Self-described ‘anarcho-capitalist’ Javier Milei is Argentina’s next president
Argentina's newly-elected president, self-described 'anarcho-capitalist' Javier Milei. | AP

The victory of the far right in Argentina’s presidential election is a “tremendous threat” to the rights won in 40 years of democracy, activists warned Monday.

Javier Milei easily won Argentina’s presidential election on Sunday, swinging the country to the extreme right following a campaign in which he promised a dramatic shake-up to the state to deal with soaring inflation and rising poverty.

According to Argentina’s electoral authority, Milei won the presidential run-off with 55.7% of the vote over the centrist Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who polled 44.3%. It is the highest percentage that a presidential candidate has received since the South American country’s return to democracy in 1983.

The self-described “anarcho-capitalist,” who has been compared to former U.S. President Donald Trump, said in his victory speech that the “reconstruction of Argentina begins today.”

He told supporters that “Argentina’s situation is critical. The changes our country needs are drastic. There is no room for gradualism, no room for lukewarm measures.”

Massa, who was the candidate of the ruling Peronist Party, said: “Guaranteeing the political, social, and economic functions is the responsibility of the new president. I hope he does.”

Dollarization: Javier Milei holds up a giant cardboard sign depicting a U.S. $100 banknote emblazoned with an image of his face during a rally in La Plata, Sept. 12, 2023. Milei wants to replace the peso with the U.S. dollar as Argentina’s currency and says that the country’s Central Bank should be abolished. | Natacha Pisarenko / AP

Milei has said that he wants to slash the size of the government, dollarize the economy, and eliminate the Central Bank as a way to tackle galloping inflation that he blames on successive governments printing money indiscriminately in order to fund public spending.

He also opposes sex education in schools and abortion, which Argentina’s Congress legalized in 2020.

People’s Dispatch co-editor Zoe Alexandra told the Morning Star that Milei’s win was “a huge upset for progressive forces and poses a tremendous threat to the rights gained by the Argentine people in 40 years of democracy.

Alexandra said that Argentinians clearly want profound change but “this won’t happen through dollarization and harsh austerity, but rather through meeting progressive demands which address peoples’ socioeconomic conditions, such as land, jobs, and housing for all.”

Latin American analyst Francisco Dominguez said: “Mr. Milei’s victory will encourage more aggressive United States interference in Latin America.”

Peace and Justice Project international lead Laura Alvarez said: “This result has been coming for some time. Things have been awful for the working class, but the alternative chosen does not bear thinking about.”

Morning Star



Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper. He is the author of the book "African Uhuru: The Fight for African Freedom in the Rise of the Global South" published by Manifesto Press.