Buenos Aires Times

argentina 'CRITICAL THINKING' SUMMIT

CFK, Dilma rally in BA against 'neoliberalism' as G20 summit looms

Organisers denied the event was a 'counter-summit' to the G20 Leaders Summit, which begins next Friday in the capital.

Wednesday 21 November, 2018
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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Regional leaders Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Dilma Rousseff returned to centre stage in Buenos Aires on Tuesday, calling for the construction of a "democratic front" to fend off "neoliberalism" in Latin America.

The former heads of state of Argentina and Brazil respectively were speaking at the Global Forum for Critical Thinking, an event organised by regional think-tank CLASCO.

Organisers denied the event served as a "counter-summit" to the G20 Leaders Summit, which begins next Friday in the capital.

"Those who were triumphant in Brazil in the last elections are turning their back on Latin America," former Brazil president Rousseff charged during her speech. She was removed from office in 2016 in what she described Tuesday as a "coup."

Addressing a number of issues – including the arrest and jail of her former mentor Luis Iáacio Lula da Silva – she claimed that Brazil's incoming President-elect Jair Bolsonaro would work "towards criminalising social protests and politicians on the left."

"That's why it's necessary to build a popular and democratic front to defend our sovereignty," Rousseff added.

The former Brazilian head of state called on her supporters to "resist and confront neoliberalism and neofascism."

"We must make as many alliances as necessary to beat them," she declared.

'NOT A COUNTER SUMMIT'

When it was her turn to speak, Fernández de Kirchner told the crowd: "We are not the counter-summit of the G20."

"As a progressive movement we must get used to not presenting ourselves as 'against' rather as as a space of thought, a space for political ideas," she added.

"Neoliberalism is a political construct that forces us to think in terms of other categories. We have to create a new category for a social, civic and patriotic front that brings together all sectors who have been harmed by neoliberal policies," she argued.

Fernández de Kirchner currently sits as a Senator in Argentina's Congress. She is currently the political figure in Argentina with the highest approval rating in the lead-up to the 2019 general and presidential elections, though she is yet to clarify her intention to run.

-TIMES/AFP

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