Cristina’s air mile bonanza

January 24, 2009

Cristina Kirchner, Argentina’s illustrious president, travelled to Cuba this week. The local press are giving her a hard time. First she got ill and had to postpone the trip.

Her doctor says she’s suffering from stress and heat exhaustion. The country’s taxi drivers are convinced to a man that she was having some (more?) plastic surgery done.  

They also say that she’s too fond of flying off around the world rather than manning the ship at home. The milometre of the presidential jet has so far clocked up 75,000km under her watch.

Her most ignoble trip since being elected in October 2007 was a flying visit she made to Italy last year. It was for a UN-organised emergency summit on agriculture (prices were allegedly going through the roof because countries like Argentina were devoting land to biofuels and soya [for pig swill and chicken feed] rather than food to fill the bellies of the world’s growing population).

After lecturing the world’s leaders on the need for sustainable agriculture, she popped off for a tour of Rome’s jewellery stores. Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Argentine farmers were blocking roads and supermarket shelves were growing empty as a vitriolic battle with the country’s rural heartlands over increased export taxes was unfolding.

Cristina has trips to India, Korea, Spain and the US scheduled for the coming months. The presidential retinue never had such air mile opportunities under her husband and former president Nestor. It was enough just to drag him out of his provincial fiefdom in Santa Cruz state to fulfil his presidential duties.      

But at least Cristina got her photo taken with Fidel. Quite an achievement. It’s the first images the Cuban people have seen of their frail ex-leader in several months.

Good to see Fidel’s still wearing his trademark tracksuit. It’s difficult to make out the brand from the photo. When the lingering living legend first became ill and swapped his battle fatigues for more comfortable wear, the communist icon used to wear Adidas.

The photo’s not that clear, but I think the famous triangular stripes of the US brand can be made out. Is there a sponsorship deal running here, I wonder?  As for Cristina, points for guessing if she’s had any surgery. Additional surgery that is.