From Organ Sales to Superhero Capes, 13 Shocking Truths About Argentina’s New President
Argentina elected Javier Milei as its new president on Sunday, which many are hailing as a win for the far-right. Milei has now become the world’s first libertarian head-of-state after winning 56% of the vote against center-left “Peronista” Sergio Massa.
Many on social media, are coining him the “Trump of Argentina.”
As per New York Times, President Milei’s political agenda includes cutting taxes and government spending. He also plans to abolish Argentina’s central bank and insert United States dollars into the economy. His plans are so disruptive that he has used a chainsaw to symbolize “slashing” the status quo.
After winning the election on Sunday, he blared, “The changes this country needs are drastic.” That being said, some experts are saying Milei’s win is a way for voters to vent “frustrations” towards Argentina’s economic crisis.
Here are thirteen things you must know about Argentina’s “chainsaw candidate” Javier Milei and his divisive political ideals.
1. President Javier Milei is out to “dollarize” Argentina
So far, the new president’s political agenda includes drastically decreasing government spending. This would mean lowering taxes, eliminating up to 10 federal ministries, and changing public health care to an insurance model. As per The New York Times, he plans to cut federal spending by 15% while replacing the Argentine peso with the U.S. dollar.
2. He was born in Buenos Aires and is a well-known economist
Milei is known for being a notable economist, university professor and media personality born in Buenos Aires.
3. Milei is the world’s first libertarian president
As per Fox News, the 53-year-old is the first libertarian head of state and has advanced his political career with his extreme libertarian ideals. While he has little government experience, he was elected as national deputy for Buenos Aires under the anti-establishment party Libertad Avanza. Since then, Milei has spoken out about a slew of issues, gaining ground with a “tell it like it is” approach.
4. Voters are counting to turn around Argentina’s economic crisis
As per The Guardian, millions of voters dismayed by the economic crisis have flocked to Milei. “The vote represents a desperate attempt at something new, come what may,” one Argentine expert told the outlet.
After his win, Milei addressed voters: “The situation in Argentina is critical. The changes that our country needs are drastic. There is no room for gradualism…Today marks the start of Argentina’s reconstruction. Today we go back to embracing the model of liberty to be a world power once again.”
5. As part of his policies, he plans to cut down government spending and several ministries
A viral video shows Milei visibly removing several ministries using a sticker model, saying, “Afuera” to each one. He states, “The thievery of politics is over.” He also calls the Ministry of Education “indoctrination”:
6. He has spoken out about banning abortion
Apart from Milei’s conservative economic policies, his extremist social ideas are proving just as divisive. He has spoken out about banning abortion, telling Tucker Carlson back in September: “Abortion is a murder aggravated by the bond [between mother and child] and the difference in strength.”
Milei has said he plans to hold a referendum to challenge Argentina’s 14-week abortion law.
7. Gun policies in Argentina could change under his presidency
The new president has also spoken out about a more lax gun policy. According to El País, he has called for the free sale of firearms and a new militarized, public-private prison system.
8. He considers the sale of human organs “another market”
Another controversial viewpoint by Milei is that he doesn’t seem to be opposed to the sale of human organs. In May, he said that he was “looking for market mechanisms to solve the problem” of organ transplants.
“If there are 350,000 donors by law, why don’t [organs] arrive: because there are people who benefit from that not happening,” he stated. Saying that “things do not work as they are,” currently, he called the sale of human organs “just another market.”
He later added, “[If] my first property is my body, then why shouldn’t I be able to do what I want with my body?”
9. Milei has claimed he does not negotiate with the left because they are “sh*t”
Argentina’s new president has often appeared on TV denouncing “zurdos,” or leftists, using profanities to describe them such as: “Son una mi*rda.” In one much-circulated interview, the right-wing politician exclaims, “If you think differently they will annihilate you… You give them a millimeter and they use it to destroy you.”
“You don’t negotiate with that sh*t,” he said, referring to the left-wing party. We are crushing them in the cultural battle,” Milei said, calling the right-wing “superior.” And yes, there was a lot more “zurdos de mi*rda” throughout the interview:
10. The new president denies that 30,000 people disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship
Milei has also denied that 30,000 people disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship, saying there were only 8,753 who disappeared.
During the human rights debate of his campaign he said, “Us liberals have been accused of terrible things, of fachos, fascists, nazis things that have nothing to do with us,” he said. “We value the vision of memory, truth and justice. Let’s start with the truth. It wasn’t 30,000 who disappeared, it’s 8,753.”
11. His image consultant was inspired by Wolverine and Elvis Presley
As per The Guardian, his image consultant was inspired by both Elvis Presley and Wolverine when creating his trademark hairstyle. “He looks like Wolverine. He acts like Wolverine. He’s like an anti-hero,” fellow politician Lilia Lemoine said about Milei.
12. “General Ancap” is his alter ego
And speaking of anti-heroes, he also once sang about the economic crisis dressed as a superhero alter ego he invented. Naming the alter ego “General Ancap,” Milei made him the “leader of Liberland,” a country where… no one pays taxes:
13. He has been coined the “Trump” of Argentina
Across social media and television, many are calling Milei the Trump of Argentina. Piers Morgan discussed the president-elect, saying “This guy is their Donald Trump.”
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