Former President Donald Trump congratulated Argentine President-elect Javier Milei in a Tuesday video posted to his Truth Social website, expressing hope that Milei will “make Argentina great again.”
Milei, a libertarian economist, decisively won Sunday’s presidential election with a nearly 12-point lead over socialist opponent Sergio Massa, the current minister of economy. Argentina is enduring the most severe economic crisis of its modern history, facing inflation rates upwards of 140 percent, rapidly rising poverty levels, and ballooning public spending. Under current President Alberto Fernández — a socialist Peronist — Argentina’s foreign policy has also shifted dramatically away from Western partners and towards increasing cooperation with rogue states such as China, Russia, and Iran.
LEGENDARY: This Is Argentina’s Chainsaw-Wielding, Anti-Establishment New PresidentJavier Milei via Storyful
Milei and his Liberty Advances party won on a platform of traditional libertarianism or classical liberalism: the dramatic reduction in the size of government, liberating the market through privatizing industries and limiting taxes, and eliminating the Argentine Central Bank. Milei has also promised to introduce the U.S. dollar as an official currency — in strong contrast with Fernández, who has begun paying Argentina’s prodigious debts in Chinese yuan — and realign Argentina geopolitically with America and Israel.
Both as an economic commentator and a politician, Milei has been vocally supportive of Trump’s policies.
“A very special congratulations to Javier Milei on a great race for president of Argentina,” Trump said in his video message to the president-elect. “The whole world was watching, and I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly make Argentina great again – congratulations!”
Milei has, for years, been supportive of Trump’s policies in the United States, particularly defending his economic policies as a purer form of classical liberalism or libertarianism than the pro-corporatist sectors of the libertarian movement promote. In a radio appearance in 2018, Milei asserted that Argentine politicians hate Trump because “he lowers taxes, the economy grows, and the national debt shrinks.”
“He proves that they [Argentine politicians] are useless, and all they do is shit on our lives,” Milei said at the time.
Following the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January 2021, Milei dedicated an episode of his podcast, Demolishing Myths, to defending the Trump legacy — particularly on his expertise in economic policy. Repeatedly referring to libertarians who preferred Biden as “morons” and “imbeciles,” Milei asserted that Trump’s distaste for collective trade deals with other states protected American consumers.
“Some libertarians, when they are criticizing Trump’s ‘anti-commerce’ stances, what they don’t realize is that they, in reality, are being used by the corpora-saurs [big business] because who benefits: the corpora-saurs, who have a commerce administered within a protected zone,” Milei argued.
“If I break up Mercosur,” Milei said, referring to a regional trade bloc Argentina belongs to, “I am not anti-commerce. In reality, I am taking a measure that benefits Argentines.”
“What did Trump do? he wants to break up NAFTA. Why? Because it makes Americans have to buy more expensive products from Mexico that they would otherwise be able to buy much more cheaply elsewhere.”
“Where is the anti-commerce part, imbeciles?” he asked.
As a presidential candidate, Milei praised Trump as “one of the few who fully understood that the fight is against socialist, it’s against statists, and perfectly understood that the generation of wealth comes from the private sector.”
In an interview with Tucker Carlson in September, Milei — asked to advise Trump in his 2024 campaign — said, “From my humble position, I would say [to Trump] to redouble efforts from the same position – don’t give the socialists any respite, not even for a second.”
Milei spent much of Tuesday morning meeting with current President Alberto Fernández to discuss the transition. Presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti published a photo of the two men together, appearing dour, and described the meeting as necessary to “initiate the process of institutional transition between the teams designated by both in various areas of government.”
El Presidente @alferdez recibió esta mañana al Presidente electo @JMilei. El encuentro se llevó adelante en la residencia presidencial de Olivos, para dar inicio al proceso de transición institucional entre los equipos designados por ambos en las distintas áreas de gobierno. pic.twitter.com/SltQJsFiOe
— Gabriela Cerruti (@gabicerru) November 21, 2023
Milei appeared far more upbeat en route to the meeting when he abruptly got out of his car at a red light to shake hands with children cheering for him in a nearby school bus.
Milei, rumbo a la Quinta de Olivos: en medio de bocinazos en plena Avenida Libetador, el presidente electo se bajó del auto para saludar a los chicos de un micro escolar pic.twitter.com/ZFwx5u2J65
— TN – Todo Noticias (@todonoticias) November 21, 2023
Milei’s inauguration is expected to take place on December 10.