Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
May 5, 2017
Mr. Michael Li
President of the Oxford Union
Firstly, I address to you in order to thank you for the invitation to speak in your prestigious institution this year, and for the laudatory concepts expressed in it to me -surely undeserved- and also to the policies we carried out during our administration.
As you mention, the defence of the national interest has been the result of the love for our people and for our country. Even if it means confronting the traditional centers of power and receiving constant attacks and defamation, just as you accurately pointed out in your letter.
Secondly, I want to say -with great sorrow- that I find myself obliged to postpone my visit -scheduled for next May 16- because of very serious facts that have recently taken place in Argentina which require my presence in my country.
The economic and social situation worsens every day at the expense of the majority of the Argentine people. Added to this is a ruling by the Supreme Court -with the defining vote of two new judges who joined the Supreme Court in 2016 at the initiative of the current government- which allows those convicted of crimes against humanity not to comply with their sentences. Those crimes were committed within the framework of the civil-military dictatorship that overthrew a constitutional government on March 24, 1976. This means that more than 700 mass murderers who are now in prison will be able to walk in the streets freely as they did during the times of legalized impunity.
As you will understand, this abominable change disrupts the full respect for Human Rights, matter on which Argentina had gained international recognition becoming an example for the entire world. And even worse, this re-victimizes thousands of disappeared, imprisoned, tortured, exiled compatriots, their families and hundreds of appropriated children, many of whom still ignore their true identity.
Also, the situation of those victims who provided testimony to achieve convictions. Think for just a moment in a woman who was imprisoned, raped, tortured and then she had to testify at trial that resulted in the condemnation of her executioner. Now she sees him being released and she can run into him walking down the street or on the same bus.
As you will also understand, it is my duty to be in my country to contribute to the political and legal actions needed, together with all those who know that this must be modified.
That is why I have decided to bring forward my return to Argentina to the next weekend, postponing my visit to the UK.
I have made institutional commitments in Greece -with the Government Party and its Prime Minister- and in Belgium -with members of the European Parliament- which make it impossible for me to fulfill the entire trip originally planned.
Once again, I reaffirm my gratitude for the invitation and I remain at your complete disposal to agree on a new date to make the presentation in your venerable institution.
With my greatest respect and esteem.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner