Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina, tweeted a letter greeting the election of Argentine-born Pope Francis late Wednesday.
The news of the elevation of the first pope ever born in the Americas electrified Buenos Aires, where cars honked horns and Catholics journeyed toward the cathedral. The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the son of Italian immigrants, known for his concern for the poor and his conservative views.
In her statement, President Fernandez wrote: "I want to congratulate you and express my happiness on the occasion.'' See the full memo here in Spanish.
The Associated Press quoted Ana Maria Perez, who had been waiting for the announcement at the cathedral, as saying the new pontiff has strongly held his frugal ways, which include taking public transportation alongside working class Argentines. "He's going to the be pope of the street,'' the AP quoted Perez as saying.
— David Beard and Mark Berman