Javier Milei: Argentina’s Javier Milei: From TV pundit to the presidency newsbhunt

Javier Milei is an Argentine economist, author, and politician who is the President-elect of Argentina. He won the presidential election on November 19, 2023, defeating Sergio Massa in a run-off. He is the leader of La Libertad Avanza, a libertarian party that advocates for radical economic reforms and challenges the political establishment.
Milei was born on October 22, 1970, in Buenos Aires.He graduated from the University of Belgrano with a degree in economics and later obtained a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from the Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social and the Torcuato di Tella University, respectively. He is a follower of the Austrian School of economics, which emphasizes free markets, individualism, and minimal government intervention. He has taught courses in macroeconomics, economic growth, microeconomics, and mathematics for economists at various universities for over twenty years. He is also the author of several books on economics and politics.
“Long live freedom, damn it!” was his rallying cry throughout a campaign in which he railed against a “thieving and corrupt political class,” notably on TikTok and YouTube where he fired up the youth.
Milei, with wild hair and thick sideburns, has drawn comparisons with former US president Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro for his abrasive style and controversial remarks.
Both former presidents congratulated him on social media.
“The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you,” Trump wrote on his platform, Truth Social. “You will turn your Country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!”
Milei’s presidential campaign was largely based on social media, especially TikTok, where he has an army of influencers who spread his message and attract young voters. He has proposed the abolition of the Central Bank of Argentina, which would result in a de facto dollarized economy, and a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s fiscal and structural policies. He has also promised to end corruption, reduce poverty, and restore Argentina’s international credibility. He has been variously described as populist, right-wing libertarian, ultraconservative, far-right, and ultraliberal, while he identifies as a liberal libertarian, aligning specifically with minarchist and anarcho-capitalist principles. His views distinguish him in the Argentine political landscape and have garnered both public attention and political reactions.
The 53-year-old economist with a rock-star persona blindsided experts when he first emerged as a serious contender by winning an August primary election with 30 percent. While described alternately as libertarian, far right, or antiestablishment, Milei’s political views are hard to pin down. He describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist” who is “above all for freedom.”
Milei, former TV pundit, fully embraces his unconventional image. He has openly criticized Argentine Pope Francis, calling him a socialist, and has not shied away from making controversial remarks about the late soccer legend Diego Maradona. Additionally, he has expressed admiration for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a figure not widely revered in Argentina due to her involvement in the 1982 Falklands War.
His inner circle is limited, with his 51-year-old sister Karina being a key figure. She serves as his campaign manager, and Milei, who is unmarried, humorously suggested she could act as the “first lady”.
Another significant presence in his life was his dog Conan. After Conan’s passing in 2017, Milei spent $50,000 to clone him. He now owns at least four mastiff dogs named Murray, Milton, Robert, and Lucas, each named after famous liberal economists.
Milei has made the unusual claim that it was Conan, communicating through a medium, who inspired him to pursue the presidency. He also regards his dogs as the “world’s best strategists.”
Milei is expected to take office on December 10, 2023, with Victoria Villarruel as his vice-president. Villarruel is a human rights activist and the founder of the Center for Studies on Transitional Justice, which defends the rights of military personnel accused of human rights violations during the Dirty War. She is also a member of the Libertarian Party and shares Milei’s economic vision.
Milei’s election marks a historic shift in Argentina’s politics, as he is the first president who does not belong to either of the two traditional parties, the Peronists and the Radicals. He is also the first president who openly opposes the Kirchnerist movement, which has dominated the country’s politics for the last two decades. His victory reflects the discontent and frustration of many Argentines with the economic and social situation of the country, as well as their desire for change and innovation. However, his presidency also faces many challenges and uncertainties, as he will have to deal with a divided congress, a hostile opposition, a fragile economy, and a skeptical international community.
(With inputs from agencies)

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