After presenting a written statement to Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio regarding the future dollars case in which she is implicated, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner gave a speech outside the Comodoro Py courthouse to cheering crowds of supporters, visibly touched by their acclaim.
Her speech was quite similar to her written statement: it’s worth taking a look at the statement’s introduction, which outlines the underlying theme of the whole speech.
“Every time a populist political movement has ended or been overthrown, new, incoming authorities have systematically attempted to undermine the movement’s leaders, accusing them of serious crimes tied to power abuse, general corruption and ill-gotten wealth.
However, the real motives underlying these attacks are always the same: on the one hand, to sweep under the rug the rights and populist gains won by society, and on the other, to impose ‘adjustment’ and debt-incurring programs, hiding both of these objectives behind corruption allegations.”
Here are some of the the most resounding phrases from Cristina’s hour-long speech:
- “I want you all to be calm, very calm. They can summon me 20 times, they can put me in jail, but they can never shut me up. I will always be with you.”
- “Do not see this as an attack on one person, let us reflect on history and see that this is not the only case of a persecuted ex President, on the contrary.” [She said this before comparing her current situation to those of former Presidents Hipólito Yrigoyen and Juan Perón.]
- “Those that change history are not [political] leaders, it’s the people that make change happen.”
“I’m sure that if they could, [this government] would take the letter K out of the alphabet.”
- “Do you think for one second that while [this] government investigated incessantly for the “K” money trail that they would find the “M” money trail? That I could have been President with an offshore account in my name? […] This clearly shows that [their] arguments have only one objective: to go after the rights obtained by the Argentine people over 12 years [of the Kirchner administrations].”
- “As former President, I have kept a respectful and democratic silence out of respect for the will of the people, but be warned. The will of the people must be respected not only by the opposition: those who should respect it most are the government who said they would not steal nor implement price hikes or austerity measures. I want to speak up not only for the 49 percent [that voted for Scioli, her chosen successor] but the 51 percent that voted [Macri]: let him respect the will of the people because many voted believing in him.”
- “Do not be angry at your fellow compatriots [or] accuse someone for having believed [in Macri] because at the end of the day, they believed him. You must also understand them, because not everyone has the ability, attitude or political will to defend themselves from the hegemonic media.”
- “I take pride in that after eight years as President, I have very, very few Emergency Decrees (DNUs) […] one of the few was the DNU that outlined the Universal Child Allowance.”
- “There should be a Citizen’s Front, made up of people from NGOs, social groups and religious groups […] There are people that will never be Kirchnerite, and that’s fine, but the gas bill, the electricity bill and the supermarket trolley have to be filled by everyone. […] I think that the Citizen’s Front should recover the freedom of the Argentine people.”
- “Don’t ask people what party they support […] don’t get angry, that doesn’t help. Ask people how they were before December 10th, how they are now and if they want to fare better than they are now. That should be the big mission. I did not come here to divide the Argentine people, I believe we should be united.”
- “When [political leaders] do not fulfill [the will of the people], do not wait for saviors or Messiahs. There may be a Messiah on Judgement Day, but definitely not in front of this building [the courthouse].”
- “You all know that I voluntarily and explicitly gave up any privileges [that would keep me from going to court]. I don’t need them. I have the privileges that were bestowed on me by the people in two consecutive elections.”
- “The only organization that I have been a part of is the National Executive Branch, voted by the people.”
- “I have never seen so many calamities in 120 days.” [Referring to Macri’s first 120 days in office.]
- “The only responsibility that I feel, sincerely, as a political activist is to help my compatriots to once again live a little better, which is what [Macri] promised. Honor the will of the people!”