The President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, has apologized for seemingly calling Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner an “old hag.”
In a radio interview he offered “heartfelt apologies” to anyone he has hurt and blamed the quip on his “rough language skills.” However, he didn’t mention Fernandez by name.
President Mujica was overheard saying: “This old hag is even worse than the cross-eyed man.”
The “cross-eyed man” Muijica was referring to was Nestor Kirchner, the husband of Fernandez and the former President of Argentina. A lazy eye earned him the nickname El Tuerto – the one-eyed one. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 2010.
“El Tuerto was more of a politician, this one is stubborn,” Mujica added.
Mujica made the remarks in private, however, they were accidentally caught and recorded by a nearby open microphone.
In a radio interview, he put the comments down to his “rough” guerilla past.
“We can’t avoid that our daily and intimate manner of speaking is sometimes rough,” he explained.
“This kind of language is miles away from public speeches, from the press. It has only to do with intimate relationships between very few.”
Relations between Uruguay and Argentina have recently been strained because of anxiety in Montevideo over what it sees as protectionist measures imposed by Buenos Aires.