Fact Check: Argentina

958 days, 18 hours, 23 minutes ago


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President Kirchner’s Black Helicopter Speech

It’s official. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has lost her marbles. In a fiery speech given last night after Judge Griesa ruled Argentina in contempt, the President went on a lengthy tirade against everyone who was to blame for the country’s ills: the farmers, the businessmen, and the bankers.  She accused these forces of plotting to overthrow her and announced government investigations into those seeking to destabilize the economy. And those were just the local Argentinians who are to blame.

Cristina then refocused her attacks on those in North America who were to blame: the vultures, Judge Griesa (who she called “senile” and his declaration of contempt “foolish”), the acting US ambassador (and favored punching bag of the Kirchneristas) Kevin Sullivan, and finally, the US government.

“They are firing missiles on the Mid East, only God knows what is really happening there, but they won’t fire missiles on Argentina, they are sending financial and speculative attacks on Argentina, they seek to bring down our successful restructuring process and the benefits achieved by Argentine workers. Beware, they want force us to pay billions of dollars,” she stated.

Portraying herself as standing up against the forces of tyranny, Cristina declared, “Perhaps they will arrest me next time I go to New York, but let me be clear, I’m going to go anyway.”

Cristina ended her speech with a dramatic suggestion, “If something happens to me, look north. Not east” to the United States. The President seems to have forgotten that we aren’t living in the 1960s anymore – the US government may find her annoying, but this accusation is offensive and beyond preposterous.

The beginning of the fallout from Cristina’s speech could be seen earlier today when it was confirmed that Central Bank President Juan Carlos Fabrega had resigned. Cristina disparaged Fabrega in her speech last night, so his resignation was not a complete surprise. Nevertheless, the unsettling news sent the Merval Index plummeting more than 8%. As Business Insider put it, “The Only Voice of Reason in Argentina’s Government Just Quit.”  Fabrega, who was frequently at odds with both Cristina and Kicillof at various stages throughout his tenure, was in favor of negotiating a settlement with Argentina’s creditors. Now Cristina and Axel are left to do as they please with the economy which is a truly terrifying thought.

Fabrega’s replacement, the former head of the National Securities Commission Alejandro Vanoli, is another one of Cristina’s default deniers. In August, he stated “the market itself is saying there is no default,” and has lambasted both Judge Griesa and Special Master Pollack.  There is surely more bad news to come.

The only upside to Cristina’s antics is that the domestic and international press saw the speech for what it was: total and utter lunacy. We’ve included a few for our readers to get a sense for how ridiculous Cristina looks in all of the media coverage from the past 24 hours.

“Argentina President Claims US Plotting to Oust Her,”The Guardian

Argentine Businessmen Plot Government Overthrow, Fernandez Says,” -Bloomberg

“US Could Topple My Government, Kill Me: Argentina President Cristina Kirchner,” -Agence France-Presse

“Argentina Slams US judge after contempt decision”,  -Associated Press

The Guardian piece concluded with what we thought was an appropriate summary of the situation.

“The president’s mental wellbeing was previously questioned by Hillary Clinton in 2010. ‘Is she taking medication?’, Clinton asked in a diplomatic cable leaked to the press while she was US secretary of state. ‘How does stress affect her behavior toward advisers and/or her decision-making?’ the memo added.

We just hope Cristina isn’t reading the wires.