Monday, May 27, 2024

WORLD | 14-12-2023 15:02

US senators demand sanctions against Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for ‘corruption’

Five Republican U.S. Senators asked for sanctions against former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner on Wednesday for “acts of corruption”, in a letter sent to President Joe Biden.

In an unexpected intervention from up north, five Republican US Senators have asked for sanctions against Argentina's former president and vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Wednesday for “acts of corruption.”

In a letter to US President Joe Biden, the lawmakers wrote that Fernández de Kirchner “is a convicted kleptocrat who stole billions from the state coffers and allowed evil actors such as China and Iran to deepen their corrupt influence in a fundamental ally of the United States, Argentina.”

In the missive, they recommend Biden to use any tools at his disposal to prevent access to a visa to Fernández de Kirchner and some of her relatives with the aim of “holding them accountable for their participation in acts of significant corruption."

Aged 70, Fernández de Kirchner has been indicted in different graft cases that she considers to be a campaign of political and judicial persecution. 

After being exonerated in several of them, in December last year the former president was sentenced to six years in prison, from which she was protected by her immunity, and a permanent disqualification from holding political office in a trial for fraud and corruption for the award of public contracts in her political stronghold province of Santa Cruz, when she served as head of state. Her sentence is currently being appealed and is not final.

In November, a court of appeals reopened an investigation against her for whitewashing known as “K money route."

Two months before a court reopened two cases: one was “Hotesur-Los Sauces,” named after the two family-run companies which, according to the prosecution, were a vehicle to launder millions of dollars allegedly coming from public funds and the other for the alleged coverup of the people responsible for the terrorist attack against the AMIA Argentine-Israeli Association Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994.

These court cases "took place while Argentina was doomed to bankruptcy and hyperinflation under the presidency of Fernández de Kirchner, which allowed important financial transactions between the government of Argentina and China, Russia and Venezuela," stressed the letter signed by James Risch, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Bill Hagerty and John Cornyn.

The text, dated December 12, quotes “nebulous agreements for public works contracts that compromise the security of both the United States and Argentina."

It also gives the example of a deep space station in Argentina “controlled by the Chinese military" – a claim that has been debunked by several political analysts who highlight that Argentines also work at the site.



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