MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Thursday’s assassination attempt on Argentina’s politically powerful Vice President Cristina Fernández stunned members of South Florida’s large Argentine community.
A man was detained Thursday night after he aimed a handgun at point-blank range at Fernández, who was once the country’s president.
Argentina’s president called it “the most serious incident since we recovered democracy” in 1983 and urged political leaders, and society at large, to repudiate the incident.
Unverified video posted on social media shows the pistol, which apparently misfired, almost touched Fernández’s face.
State-run news agency Télam identified the alleged gunman as Fernando Andrés Zabak, a Brazilian citizen. Officials had not confirmed the information.
“It’s obviously very sad,” Gaston, a Miami Beach resident from Argentina, said. He said the attack, beyond any political ideology, was an attack on democracy.
Customers at the Rincon Argentino restaurant in Miami also reacted to the attack.
“People are crazy,” one customer said.
General Manager Carlos Rossi said it’s a sign of tense political times worldwide.
“I’m not sure that that’s happened in Buenos Aires for quite a while,” Rossi said. “I don’t remember anything happening and I used to go to Buenos Aires all the time.”
He added: “Thanks to God it wasn’t her time.”
The powerful and controversial vice president is currently facing trial for corruption allegations during her time as president.
“There’s people who don’t have their marbles straight and those are the people we have to be careful of,” Rossi said.