Milei speaks and Argentina waits

There are two things that no one would have predicted on July 1st. First, that the Texas Rangers would win the World Series on Bruce Bochy’s first season back from retirement. Second, no one in Argentina thought that Javier Milei would be sworn in as President. Well, the Rangers are champs and Javier Milei won a landslide election.

Down in Buenos Aires, President Milei addressed his country for the first time. He did not hold back:

“The Argentines have overwhelmingly expressed a will for change that has no return. Today we are burying decades of failure and senseless disputes,” he declared. 

Most Argentines agree, but the question is: how does he do it? The new president gave us an idea with the speech:

The new president’s speech mixed a doom-laden assessment of the state of play with claims that freedom and liberty would lead Argentina to prosperity. Milei said he was sure that his path is the only way forward.

“At the beginning of the 20th century we were the beacon of light of the West. We received millions of immigrants escaping from a devastated Europe. But then the impoverishing ideas of collectivism were embraced and for more than 100 years politicians have insisted on defending a model of poverty, stagnation and misery,” said Milei.

However, “that model has failed,” he declared, calling his election “a turning point in our history.”

I heard portions of the speech in Spanish, and his demeanor was assertive but realistic. His line about there is no money got the loudest applause. It’s obvious that many agree because all they have are inflated and worthless pesos.

The new president does not have a majority in Congress. His party has 40 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 7 of 72 senators. The Peronist opposition has 105 deputies and 33 senators. That will present a few hurdles.

What President Milei does have is a landslide election and people fed up with their economic situation. So we will watch what lies ahead because the future of Argentina is on the line.

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