Illness to keep Argentine president from holiday

AP News
Posted: Jul 06, 2014 6:45 PM
Illness to keep Argentine president from holiday

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will miss her country's Independence Day celebrations this week to continue recovering from an acute throat infection.

The Presidential Medical Unit said Sunday the 61-year-old leader will perform her duties from the presidential residence through Wednesday, when she was scheduled to preside over events marking Argentina's 198 years of independence.

Fernandez's withdrawal from public coincides with the start Monday of negotiations in New York to resolve Argentina's dispute with U.S. bondholders over $1.5 billion in debts.

The illness is the latest health issue to sideline Fernandez. In January, she was treated for hip pain and sciatica. Last fall, she underwent head surgery to remove a blood clot. A 40-day period between December and January when Fernandez went silent from public comments sparked concern over her condition.

Fernandez had invited leftist allies from Ecuador, Venezuela and Uruguay to Wednesday's Independence Day celebration in the western city of Tucuman. The gathering was billed as an opportunity for the Argentine leader to rally international support against what she calls "vulture funds" the country has been battling in court for years.