News / Americas

Argentina's Fernandez Returns from Surgery, Names New Economy Minister

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez poses with her dog at the Olivos Presidential residence in Buenos Aires in this Nov. 18, 2013 handout supplied by the Argentine Presidency.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez poses with her dog at the Olivos Presidential residence in Buenos Aires in this Nov. 18, 2013 handout supplied by the Argentine Presidency.
Reuters
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez burst back on the scene on Monday after a five-week absence following surgery, naming as economy minister the government's point man in its 2012 seizure of the country's biggest oil company.
 
The promotion of leftist economist Axel Kicillof, who had been deputy economy minister, was announced by government spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro in a televised address just minutes after Fernandez appeared for the first time since early October.
 
Kicillof, a charismatic and polarizing figure, steered the administration's expropriation of a controlling stake in energy company YPF from its former parent company, Spain's Repsol .
 
The YPF takeover enraged Argentina's trading partners from the European Union, but was welcomed by many Argentines as a defense of national strategic interests.
 
Known for his fiery speeches in defense of Fernandez's  unorthodox economic policies, Kicillof spent most of his career in academia, giving classes and writing about the theories of economists such as John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx.
 
He replaces Hernan Lorenzino, who was named ambassador to the European Union.
 
Fernandez had an operation on Oct. 8 to remove blood that had pooled on the surface of her brain after she fell and bumped her head. She had not made an official public appearance or speech until earlier on Monday evening, leaving a five-week political vacuum in Latin America's third biggest economy.
 
“Thank you ... to the thousands of Argentines who have been praying for me,” a smiling Fernandez said in a televised address. Sitting on a sofa, she appeared healthy. On a table was a vase of red roses she said had been sent by a well-wisher.
 
She briefly held a small white dog she said was sent to her by one of the brothers of Hugo Chavez, the late left-wing leader of Venezuela and a political ally of Fernandez.
 
The president's absence had been conspicuous in a country accustomed to her centralized leadership style and frequent speeches.
 
Her office said her agenda on Monday was confined to meetings with senior officials. She has not been cleared for air travel and is scheduled for another medical checkup on Dec. 9.
 
Appointment 'Won't be Welcomed by Markets'
 
As she enters the final two years of her second term, Fernandez faces possible new protests from farmers who say her policies hurt their profits. High inflation, estimated by private analysts at 25 percent, rising crime, an overvalued currency and dwindling foreign reserves are also concerns.
 
Fernandez's supporters suffered heavy losses in congressional elections on Oct. 27 that ended her chances of securing a change to the constitution that would have enabled her to run for a third term in 2015.
 
“The appointment of Kicillof is not going to be welcomed by the markets,” said Ignacio Labaqui, local analyst for New York-based consultancy Medley Global Advisors.
 
“It confirms that government policy will not be altered by the results of the midterm election,” he said. “It increases the likelihood of a dual exchange-rate scheme, which Kicillof has been advocating, and we can expect that the central bank will continue to be the main source of financing for the Treasury.”
 
Despite his youthful appearance - local media sometimes make as much of his sideburns as of his policymaking -  Kicillof is a traditional leftist who shuns the tenets of 21st century globalism and believes Argentina must find its own way to industrial prominence.
 
Also on Monday, Argentina designated Carlos Fabrega as the country's incoming central bank chief and Carlos Casamiquela as agriculture minister.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

New $9.15B Airport for Mexico City to Quadruple Passenger Capacity

New international airport will eventually handle 120 million passengers a year, President Enrique Pena Nieto said in his annual state-of-the-nation address
More

Venezuelan Socialist Party Swaps God for Chavez in New Prayer

Delegate Maria Estrella Uribe recites 'prayer' on Monday at PSUV party Congress to implore beloved late leader for protection from evils of capitalism
More

Tropical Storms Bear Down on Mexico From Both Coasts

Two separate storms risk a double hit on country a year after pair of storms converged to cause major flooding that killed over 100 people
More

Mixed Signals on Second Migrant Wave at US Border

Number of Central Americans apprehended at the border peaked in June, but reports from migrants indicate more might be on the way
More

Cuba Enacts New Rules to Restrict Imports

New rules increase duties on items such as televisions, limit the number of personal items air travelers can bring to Cuba and increase duties on mailed packages
More

Nicaragua Rescuers Save 20 Miners; Search Continues

Wall of mud, rocks trap miners at El Comal site in Bonanza, 420 kilometers northeast of Managua
More