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Kamis, 28 Oktober 2010

Argentina - Breaking News Former President Kirchner died this morning

Former Argentina President Nestor Kirchner died Wednesday of a heart attack, state media reported.
Kirchner was president from 2003-2007 and the husband of current President Cristina Fernandez. He died shortly before 10 a.m. (9 a.m. ET) at his summer residence in El Calafate, a small town in southern Argentina, according to the official Telam news agency.
"A patriot has died," congressman Juan Carlos Dante Gullo said on the state-run Vision 7 TV network. "Argentina has lost one of its best men."
Kirchner, 60, underwent an angioplasty in mid-September after doctors found a blockage near his heart.
The surgery was the second this year for the politician, who was widely expected to run for president again in 2011 when his wife's term ended.
Kirchner had surgery on his right carotid artery in February. The two carotid arteries -- one on either side of the neck -- carry oxygenated blood to the brain. At the time, doctors said Kirchner's artery was blocked, which could have led to a stroke.
Some analysts said Kirchner had remained the most influential political figure in the nation and the person who, at least until this year and his health issues, made important policy decisions for his wife's government.
In foreign policy, the Kirchners have been among the most vocal critics of Washington in Latin America.
Their rule in Argentina has often been controversial. Over the past few years, they have dealt with billions in outstanding debt, ongoing conflicts with farmers and the press, and lingering questions over government statistics.
After taking office in 2003, Kirchner focused on consolidating his political strength and alleviating social problems, according to a recent U.S. State Department report on Argentina. He pushed for changes in the Supreme Court and military and undertook popular measures, such as raising government salaries, pensions and the minimum wage.
He announced in July 2007 that he would not seek re-election and backed his wife to succeed him.
Kirchner, as leader of the Union of South American Nations, played a key role in August to re-establish dialogue between Colombia and Venezuela.

The two nations had cut off diplomatic relations over accusations that Venezuela was harboring Marxist guerrillas. Kirchner helped broker a meeting where the sparring countries announced they were re-establishing ties.
Vice-President Julio Cobos addressed the press after Néstor Kirchner passed away and expressed his sorrow. "This man had had a huge impact on Argentine politics, we all wish to overcome this situation in the best way possible," he stated.
The Vice-President forecasted the funeral service "is surely to be performed in the National Congress." And added: "My press agents are seeking to establish any contact with people from the Executive branch to send my regards in this very difficult time."

President Christine Fernandez Kirchner

Pro-government picket leader Luis D'Elía spoke after former President Néstor Kirchner died early this morning and showed he was highly shocked by the news. "This is terrible, I found out through the media, we are filled with sorrow," D'Elía stated, crying.
"We took our country out of one of its worst crisis, A great politician is leaving us, I cannot believe it. He was my brother, an unbeatable partner," the picketer said.
D'Elía sent his regards to President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and unveiled his feelings: "We are all filled with sorrow and dismay."

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