In an emotional speech that culminated in tears on Tuesday, Alberto Fernández paid tribute to Néstor Kirchner on the 10th anniversary of the late president’s death, describing him as a leader “who changed the history of Argentina."
"I feel that my duty is to finish the task that Néstor began and that Cristina [Fernández de Kirchner] continued,” said Fernández.
“And so I am going to do it and that is how we are going to do it," the president declared, vowing to “fulfill each of the promises we made in the [presidential] campaign.”
Fernández, who served as Cabinet chief to Néstor Kirchner in the late president’s administration, was the star speaker at Tuesday’s commemorative event at the Kirchner Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Kirchner, CCK) remembering the late leader and his political achievements.
A number of government officials – including Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof, Lower House Speaker Sergio Massa, Interior Minister Eduardo "Wado" de Pedro and Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero – were in attendance, though Fernández de Kirchner herself was noticeably absent.
Other figures such as ex-Bolivia president Evo Morales, former Ecuador president Rafael Correa, union leader Hugo Moyano and the president of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, Estela De Carlotto, sent video messages praising the departed leader's impact.
During his address, Fernández praised Kirchner for being “able to give back to a whole generation of Argentines the idea that politics made sense and that politics was the way."
He added that the former president "did things that many believed were impossible to do,” citing reforms of the Supreme Court to trials addressing crimes against humanity against dictatorship-era repressors.
"When you review Nestor's achievements, they are infinite," he concluded.