Drama in Buenos Aires, and it's not about 'futbol' or tango

Former President Cristina Fernández was back in the news this week.  She is under investigation, as we see in the New York Times:

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner testified in a Buenos Aires court on Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations of misdeeds at Argentina’s Central Bank during the last months of her administration.

But the court hearing and Mrs. Kirchner’s return to the public eye quickly turned into a display of political theater as she claimed that she was being persecuted by her foes and reignited a debate about the independence of the country’s judges and prosecutors.

“I am not scared of you,” Mrs. Kirchner wrote in a statement she filed to the court. Even as her political capital has been ebbing, Mrs. Kirchner turned the hearing into a show of strength, speaking afterward to a large crowd of supporters outside the downtown courthouse. “We will return,” they chanted.

Frankly, there was indeed a lot of corruption in the last administration.  It is the kind of corruption that happens when government has its fingers in everything.  We call it crony capitalism.  In Latin America, especially Argentina and Brazil, it is the corrupt relationship among a centralized government, public-sector unions, and big companies happy to go along to protect market share.

My guess is that nothing will happen to ex-president Fernandez.  I think that President Mauricio Macri, a good guy, knows that this is a lose-lose game.  It will turn Cristina into a victim and energize the left after the December defeat.

Here is my suggestion to my friends in Argentina: get over Cristina, and do something about a political system infected with crony capitalism.  The answer is to blow up the system, not put Cristina in jail.    

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Former President Cristina Fernández was back in the news this week.  She is under investigation, as we see in the New York Times:

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner testified in a Buenos Aires court on Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations of misdeeds at Argentina’s Central Bank during the last months of her administration.

But the court hearing and Mrs. Kirchner’s return to the public eye quickly turned into a display of political theater as she claimed that she was being persecuted by her foes and reignited a debate about the independence of the country’s judges and prosecutors.

“I am not scared of you,” Mrs. Kirchner wrote in a statement she filed to the court. Even as her political capital has been ebbing, Mrs. Kirchner turned the hearing into a show of strength, speaking afterward to a large crowd of supporters outside the downtown courthouse. “We will return,” they chanted.

Frankly, there was indeed a lot of corruption in the last administration.  It is the kind of corruption that happens when government has its fingers in everything.  We call it crony capitalism.  In Latin America, especially Argentina and Brazil, it is the corrupt relationship among a centralized government, public-sector unions, and big companies happy to go along to protect market share.

My guess is that nothing will happen to ex-president Fernandez.  I think that President Mauricio Macri, a good guy, knows that this is a lose-lose game.  It will turn Cristina into a victim and energize the left after the December defeat.

Here is my suggestion to my friends in Argentina: get over Cristina, and do something about a political system infected with crony capitalism.  The answer is to blow up the system, not put Cristina in jail.    

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.