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She's ba-ack: Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner reappears

By Jose Manuel Rodriguez and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 6:28 AM EST, Fri January 24, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Argentina's President appears in public for the first time in more than a month
  • President Cristina Fernandez suggests critics fueled rumors of her demise
  • Her absence from the public stage sparked widespread speculation

Read this article in Spanish at CNNMexico.com

Buenos Aires (CNN) -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is back on the grid after more than a month without making a public appearance.

The President suggested that reports of her demise had been greatly exaggerated by political opponents. And she said she wasn't happy about the way the media covered her absence.

"I was reading in the newspapers this morning headlines that said, 'Cristina reappears.' And I said, 'What is the opposite of reappears? Disappears. ... They wanted to give it a touch of Hollywood,'" Fernandez said during a national television broadcast as she announced a new program targeting the South America country's youth.

Fernandez went on medical leave in October so doctors could perform emergency surgery to remove a blood clot on the surface of her brain. She officially returned to work in November and appeared at a series of events in December.

Her temporary exit from the public stage sparked widespread speculation about her health and questions from critics about who was running the country.

"If we hadn't had the President's illness just a few months ago, one would discard it. But the problem is the rumor has been established, and the sense of uncertainty of not knowing why," Orlando D'Adamo, director of the Center of Public Opinion at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, told CNN en EspaƱol last week. "Is it a political strategy? Is she making room for a new candidate for 2015? Is it because she does not want to face difficult situations for the government? We do not know."

CNN's Jose Manuel Rodriguez reported from Buenos Aires. CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Atlanta. CNNMexico contributed to this report.

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