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Argentina's Cristina Kirchner sweet talks international banks

Just like the rest of the hemisphere, Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seemed most concerned about Cuba in the run-up to the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend.

Speaking with the authority of one who paid a house call to Fidel Castro several months ago, Kirchner had some characteristically choice words to describe the status quo of U.S. Cuba policy: "absurd", an "anachronism". "The Washington consensus was a tragedy for our economies," Kirchner said Friday.

Much to her chagrin, though, it looks like Kirchner won't have the chance to air her complaints to America's face.

While both neighbor Brazil and the only other Latin American economy larger than Argentina's, Mexico, got official private face time with Obama, the government of Argentina has been denied the privilege. They find this particularly insulting, considering that smaller economies like rival Chile scored a meeting. Chile's claim to fame, though, is that it currently leads the Union of South American Nations.

Argentina, on the other hand, still suffers somewhat from the pariah reputation: on Thursday, U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner reportedly denounced Kirchner's anti-crisis measures as promoting economic uncertainty and capital flight.

These are the chronic woes that have made Argentina ineligible for loans from the International Monetary Fund. The Summit of the Americas is a chance for Argentina to try to sweet talk other development banks. President Kirchner met with the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Saturday, bringing her one step closer to what was reportedly one of her top goals for the summit: getting her country back into the international credit system.

Editor's Note: This posting was updated to correct dates.

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/argentina/090419/argentinas-cristina-kirchner-sweet-talks-international-banks