Self-described libertarian Javier Milei surprised the world in Argentina's presidential open primary election last week by finishing first with 30 percent of the vote, ahead of candidates from both the country's dominant left- and right-wing parties.
Milei, the figurehead for La Libertad Avanza coalition, is an Austrian economist, has called himself an anarcho-capitalist, and has made a name for his fiery media appearances excoriating Argentina's "political caste" of "parasites." He's pledged to end Argentina's central bank and dollarize the economy, privatize its social services, cut taxes, create education vouchers, and abolish the health, education, and environmental ministries. His opponents and many in the media have repeatedly described him as "far right" and "a new Trump." Latin American political analyst Daniel Raisbeck, on the other hand, paints a more nuanced picture and warns pundits not to "confuse Javier Milei with Jair Bolsonaro."
Join Reason's Zach Weissmueller this Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern for a conversation with author and radio and TV host Gloria Álvarez and Argentine economist Eduardo Marty to discuss the election, Milei's chances of victory in a country experiencing triple-digit inflation, the culture war he's fighting in Argentina, and what his rise says for the prospects of libertarian ideas in Latin America.
Watch the stream on Reason's YouTube channel.
Sources referenced in this conversation:
"Who is Javier Milei, Argentina's right-wing presidential front-runner?" by Sarah Dadouch
"Javier Milei shakes up Argentina's political scene," by the Economist Intelligence Unit
"What's in Javier Milei's head?" by Federico Rivas Molina
"Argentina Should Dollarize, Pronto," by Daniel Raisbeck and Gabriela Calderon de Burgos