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Uruguay leader's belated apology for mic embarrassment

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica offered belated apologies to his Argentine counterpart Cristina Kirchner on Thursday for disparaging remarks he made last week about her looks and those of her late husband.

"I have to make heartfelt apologies to the person whom my words hurt," he said in his weekly "Talk to the President" broadcast.

Without knowing that his microphone was on, Mujica was caught saying on Uruguayan radio last week, speaking about the Argentine president and her late husband Nestor Kirchner: "This old hag is worse than the one-eyed guy."

The reference to former president Nestor Kirchner was apparently because of a lazy eye which earned him the nickname El Tuerto -- the one-eyed one.

"'El Tuerto' was more of a politician, this one is stubborn," Mujica added as he continued his remarks, seen by critics as intemperate and offensive.

It was not yet known whether the apology for remarks made last Thursday would be accepted, especially since he failed to mention Kirchner by name in seeking her forgiveness.

Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman last week delivered a note of protest to Uruguay for Mujica's "denigrating" remarks.

Nestor Kirchner was Argentina's president from 2003 to 2007. His wife Cristina succeeded him and won re-election in 2011. Kirchner was a key adviser to his wife up to his sudden death of a heart attack in 2010.

Mujica, 77, is a former guerrilla who took office in 2010.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130411/uruguay-leaders-belated-apology-mic-embarrassment