The voters of Argentina have decided that 53-year-old Javier Milei is going to be their next president. He will be the first unmarried president since 1916 when Vicente Yrigoyen was elected. Like Yrigoyen, whose nickname was el peludo (the armadillo, literally the hairy one), Milei has a nickname that is to do with hair: la peluca (the wig, because of his lush and abundant hairdo). Like Yrigoyen in his day, Milei has a political agenda that seems anathema to the interests of the empire to which Argentina belongs. A century ago it was England, today it is the US Empire.
Vaguely resembling Argentinian Independence hero Manuel Belgrano, and with sideburns like former president Carlos Menem, Milei is usually characterized as “right-wing” and “populist,” which are just meaningless epithets. In politics today, the very notions of right and left have long lost the significance they once had. Many of the ideas that today’s “right-wing” politicians and parties cherish would have been called “left-wing” only one or two generations ago, and vice versa. As for the term “populist,” this is merely an adjective applied to anyone with attitudes and beliefs that are outside the realm of what is politically correct. Media pundits and assorted “experts” have put Milei in the same category as Donald Trump and Brazil’s Bolsonaro, both favorite anti-heroes of the Western political establishment.
Hardcore neoliberal that he is, and an adherent of the Austrian School of Economics, Milei has announced he intends to abolish Argentina’s Banco Central and slash government subsidies for things like public transportation and other services. He plans to turn Argentina into a fully dollarized economy (like Ecuador and El Salvador for over two decades now) without even the pretense of monetary and economic autonomy. This prospect has certainly been among the main arguments convincing Argentinians to vote for Milei.
Despite his statements in opposition to wokism and other manifestations of mental deficiency emanating from the heart of the Empire, Milei will prove a useful pawn in support of US imperial interests.
Few countries in the world have been consistently subject to intermittently high and protracted inflation as Argentina. It is calculated that from 1944 to 2023, annual inflation has averaged 190%, with the highest inflation rate registered in March of 1990: a whopping 20,000%. Today, inflation is over 140%. For those with access to dollars and euros and able to exchange these on the black market, currently there is hardly a cheaper place to live than Argentina’s wonderful capital Buenos Aires: one can dine out truly lavishly for as little as eight euros a person. Foreign investors and speculators are having another field day, being able to snap up anything they fancy at ridiculous prices. Whether choice real estate, precious works of art or industrial equipment, anything can be had for next to nothing.
Each decade since the 1940s, Argentina has been through steep inflation periods during which foreigners, assisted by a corrupt, local comprador elite, have been able to cream off the riches accumulated during the short spurts of economic growth preceding the inflation. It will not be any different this time around.
Once in office, Milei will continue to talk tough on economics, but will prevent his country from joining BRICS, whereas the current administration had announced plans to have Argentina join it. Needless to say, this plays perfectly into the US agenda of keeping the nations of Latin America divided and under control. Milei also intends to steer away from increased cooperation with Brazil, which has been underway for some time now. Despite his statements in opposition to wokism and other manifestations of mental deficiency emanating from the heart of the Empire, Milei will prove a useful pawn in support of US imperial interests.
In this respect it should be pointed out that Buenos Aires is now among the favorite destinations of US tourists, whereas only two decades ago, Americans shunned Buenos Aires because it was just too exotic and impenetrable for strictly monolingual tourists. Now that more young Argentines can speak English and with user-friendly translation apps on smartphones, Americans are finally able to find their way around independently in the vast urban conglomerate that is Buenos Aires. Inflation has helped to remove any further impediments and today US tourists are flooding Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, since it is well known that mass tourism ultimately kills its destinations, before long Buenos Aires will be just like Venice, Amsterdam or Prague: a place to avoid at all cost for anyone with a bit of refined taste.
Essentially being what Argentinians call a cipayo (a sepoy, a faithful servant of foreign interests), Milei is likely to turn Argentina into another US colony. If not, he will remove any remaining obstacles standing in the way.
Sooner than many are willing to believe, Argentina will be a kind of replica of the Dominican Republic or Guatemala.