Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner gave another interview to an outlet that can’t be considered as friendly to her. In this case, it was Spain’s El País: not an outlet with which she had beef like Infobae – to which she gave her historic interview a couple weeks ago – but also not one that basically adores her. And since the outlet’s journalist asked her more than one uncomfortable question, this was another conversation outside her comfort zone. let’s recall that she decided to get out of it after the results of August’s primaries made her realize that her strategy to continue only addressing her base could lose her the October’s midterms.
Throughout more than 80 minutes, the former President gave her analysis of the electoral landscape ahead of the midterms, the crisis in Venezuela and the reasons why her party lost the 2015 elections, among other subjects.
Most of her answers were similar to the ones she gave journalist Luis Novaresio at Infobae’s TV studio: she said that doesn’t want to run for senator, but she’s doing it because she’s the only one who can beat the government’s candidate; that the media played a major role in her party’s electoral defeat in the past two elections by lying to the people; and that the Macri administration is doomed to fail. Let’s take a look at the highlights.
About her Decision to run for Senator in the Midterms
The former President again assured that the only reason why she’s running is the fact that there’s no other political leader who has more chances of beating the Macri administration’s candidate. “I would have rather not ran for senator. In politics, I never did what I wanted to, I always did what I had to,” she said. Fernández went on to argue that she wasn’t making that statement out of “arrogance, but out of reading the electoral result.”
About Corruption in her Administrations
Fernández conceded that there was corruption and corrupt officials during her eight years as President. “It’s undeniable,” she said. However, she argued that even though all corrupt officials have to answer for their actions, “you can’t say an entire government was corrupt because of some officials,” and assured that it’s something that happens in all of the world’s administrations. “I don’t think there’s any government in the world that’s exempt from having officials involved in acts of corruption,” she said.
The Media is Largely to Blame for her Party’s Adverse Electoral Results
Every time she was asked about the reasons for the Victory Front’s (FpV) defeat in the 2015 presidential elections and this August’s primaries, the former President argued that the answer was that Cambiemos combined an avalanche of campaign promises – then unfulfilled – and an alliance with the largest media outlets.
“If you promise a better and happier life, it’s likely that you’ll win. I respect the election’s results, but people have been lied to,” Fernández began. She went on to argue that the government doesn’t have a great deal of support – “the sector [of the population] that supports it is more or less the one that voted for him [President Macri] in the first round of the 2015 elections, close to 34 percent – and that the media’s support is a critical component to its victories.
“No one can ignore the role that the media plays,” she said when El País’ journalist asked her if people are so easy to manipulate. Moreover, she said that the government doesn’t enjoy a massive deal of support, but the opposition is divided. “Two out of three people in the Buenos Aires Province voted for the opposition. The problem is that the opposition is divided,” she argued.
Fernández then countered the question by asking “how can it be that a party that has been so stigmatized, persecuted, and didn’t have economic means, was able to beat a government that has all media outlets [on its side] and all the economic resources?” “The true achievement is what Unidad Ciudadana [her party’s name] did, with absolutely all odds against it,” she said.
About the State of the Economy and the Poverty Rate at the end of her Administrations
The former President doubted that one out of three Argentines were poor when she stepped down from office – as the Macri administration assured – arguing that the unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent – that figure has been disputed – and that “pensions and the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) was growing more than the inflation rate. “You think that when we administered the country one out of every three Argentines was poor? Then two and a half out of every three Argentines are poor,” Fernández claimed. “We weren’t living in paradise, but the conditions were much better,”she added.
About the Crisis in Venezuela
In her interview with Infobae, the former President said that there was no rule of law in Venezuela or Argentina. When consulted about this statement, she said: “I said the rule of law had been weakened in Argentina. Regarding Venezuela, it has entered a process of dialogue and we must not jeopardize it. Besides, I hate political violence, because it ends up killing democracy. What we have to stop is the violence,” she said.
On the Death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman and the Disappearance of Santiago Maldonado
The former President again tied the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado with the recent report from Border Patrol officials who concluded that the late prosecutor had been murdered. “You’ve got to ask Border Patrol,” she said when asked who had killed Nisman. “It’s so curious, they can’t tell us where Maldonado is after 50 days when he was last seen in an operation they conducted, but apparently they figured out who killed Nisman three years ago,” she wondered.