Translated by Marvin Najarro
The day you were in Arsenal, and while you were talking to the crowds, I was driving in the streets of Chicago, I was at work and my employer had sent me to run an errand, I connected the hearing aids to the cell phone and I heard, via Facebook, your political vindication; I had to park immediately when you introduced the young Bolivian who worked as a vegetables picker; I cried as a child, I felt that with him you named all the day laborers of all times. In his gaze of immigrant was reflected the yearning of thousands, mine included. 0nly we, the immigrants, know what it is to live in another’s home. And I won’t even tell you about the undocumented, I’ve been living without documents in the United States for 14 years and working in a thousand jobs. What broke me down was to see you next to him, as equals, treating him as a human being, as an entity of change, and you there with a project of government and society that treats everyone equally, with the same rights, and development opportunities, this was an act of political and human consistency.
I wanted to write about your pronouncement at Arsenal, but I didn’t do it until Friday, June 23, and the piece is entitled “Cristina and her stubbornness of mare”, I wanted to tell you that in my hometown, being a mare is an honor and with that honoring you. I never imagined the scope these words would have, I have received hundreds of messages from Argentine readers, who love you, and who appreciate that text. Among those who wrote me, someone told me that he could serve as a conduit to put in your hands some message I wanted to send to you. Well, you do not know me, but I don’t accept preferential treatment, it wouldn’t be fair, so I decided to write you these lines which will reach you when the time comes, because I’m sure they will reach their destination.
I was born in the eastern part of Guatemala, in the municipality of Comapa, department of Jutiapa, and grew up in a slum, selling ice creams in the market, a slum that I regard as my great love, because it gave deep roots to my life and it is the spinal cord of my political vision, it is called Ciudad Peronia (Peronia City).
What does a Guatemalan woman living in the United States has to do with Argentine politics? Well, the Patria Grande is a single one, without frontiers, and thanks to you and Evita I feel Argentine and I know that one day, sooner or later, I will walk through the dusty streets of South America which I love so much.
I want to say that like thousands of women in Latin America and the world, I am honored to be living in this time and to be contemporary to the era of a woman who rewrote the history of Argentina and the women in Latin American politics. You should be resting with all the honors, but you have decided to continue on the steepest path, as always, betting on adversity to achieve and embrace again the utopias and transform them into smiles and joy on the faces of the hardest hit of the social classes.
I am writing you these words, with admiration and gratitude; you are one of my greatest loves, because you make me dream of a more humane world, in which all of us, without distinction, are seen as equals.
I don’t think life will give me the opportunity to meet you in person, but at least I’m sure these words will find their way up to you. With them I felt the love, the appreciation, admiration and conviction of the millions of people around the world who love you. Because people like you are loved with all heart and soul, and it is natural because love is rewarded with love.
We are going to see you as president of Argentina again, and the seas will roar, and the fire of flower colored sunsets will distill poetry, and we will celebrate the happy days again. Because they will return, they will return. And your name, already written in history, will pass from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation, as a myth, and a feat of a woman who dared to work for the homeland.
At your service, my beautiful president.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado email@example.com
An Open Letter to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Translated by Marvin Najarro