Javier Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, recently won Argentina’s presidential race and made a trip to Washington, DC, to meet with a top national security adviser for the United States. This trip was more than just a victory lap, as it signaled Milei’s plans for a major shift in Argentina’s foreign policy. He aims to align the country more closely with the US and Israel, and move away from China and leftist regional partners.
This shift could make Argentina stand out in Latin America, where countries are trying to move past Cold War-era divisions. Some experts are concerned that Milei’s presidency may deepen political divides between the right and left, as he has expressed strong ideological convictions and rhetoric reminiscent of the Cold War.
During his campaign, Milei criticized China, a major destination for Argentina’s agricultural exports, and even threatened to freeze relations with the country due to its Communist Party rule. He also traded insults with Brazil’s left-leaning president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, despite Brazil being Argentina’s largest trading partner.
Milei’s radical ideas for revamping Argentina’s economy include dissolving the country’s Central Bank and adopting the US dollar as its currency to combat inflation. However, his party’s limited presence in the National Congress may limit his domestic ambitions, but he is expected to have more influence in foreign policy.
Milei’s pick for foreign minister, Diana Mondino, has confirmed that Argentina will not join the BRICS bloc, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This decision has strained relations with China and Brazil, but it is expected to give a new boost to the global far-right movement.
Under Milei’s presidency, three key shifts in foreign relations are expected. He plans to re-evaluate Argentina’s relations with China, a major investor in the country’s lithium sector. Milei’s hardline rhetoric could jeopardize these relationships, and experts are skeptical that Argentina can maintain economic ties with China while severing political relations.
Milei is also expected to embrace the US more openly, aligning Argentina’s foreign policy with the “free world”. This shift is seen as a great opportunity for the US, as Milei’s pledge to rein in government spending and stabilize the country’s economy is expected to resonate with US officials.
Additionally, Milei’s presidency is expected to be a high point for Argentina-Israel relations. While other Latin American leaders have criticized Israel’s military tactics, Milei has not issued any such criticism. Instead, he has shown support for Israel, which could lead to a closer relationship between the two countries.
In conclusion, Javier Milei’s presidency is expected to bring significant changes to Argentina’s foreign policy. His alignment with the US and Israel, re-evaluation of relations with China, and support for Israel are likely to shape the country’s international standing in the years to come.
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