Javier Milei, a libertarian economist and former tantric sex teacher became Argentina’s president-elect on Sunday, vowing to do away with government corruption and turn the country into a global power in his victory speech.
- Malnourished Dog, Infested With Fleas and Tied Up in Park, Dies at Shelter
- Jack Russell terrier dog who survived 72 days in Colorado mountains after owner’s death is regaining weight, back on hiking trails
- Brooklyn mom identified as victim of fatal stabbing in Starrett City
- This Volvo Press Photo Is One Of The Most Mysterious Carmaker Press Photos Because Of That Huge Dog
- Target Has a Valentine’s Day Version of This Bestselling Dog Toy – SheKnows
Running on the La Libertad Avanza — Liberty Advances — ticket, he beat Sergio Massa, the left-of-center economy minister, 55.7 to 44.3 in the runoff election and will take office next month.
His victory makes him one of a tiny handful of libertarians ever elected as world leaders and the only one currently holding office.
Milei, 53, ran an upstart campaign against Massa, the Peronist establishment candidate, promising to adopt the dollar and abandon the peso to stem 124 per cent inflation as well to re-criminalize abortion and to privatize the country’s rivers as a way to stop pollution.
The populist has been compared for his outsize public persona and roots in television fame to former President Trump. Supporters wore Make Argentina Great Again caps, while in flamboyant rallies he wielded a chainsaw and promised to use it on corruption and the country’s bloated bureaucracy.
Milei’s campaign capitalized on how decades of rule by the Peronist center-left had left the country impoverished, with two in five below the poverty line, and the whole country facing unchecked inflation on which interest rates above 100% has had no effect.
He picked up votes among the young particularly, in a country where the minimum voting age is 16. Young people in particular responded enthusiastically to Milei’s showmanship on social media and in TV interviews — and his promises of change in a country hit hard by extreme poverty and triple-digit inflation.
“Because of the way Milei speaks, I buy everything he says. He’s got a way of expressing himself that reaches people,” 17-year-old Tomas Kremenchuzky of Beunos Aires told Reuters.
And he lambasted a left-of-center ruling class which he called a “caste” which had looted the country, declaring in his victory speech, “Today is the end to Argentinian decadence.”
The country’s long-running economic crisis was a major weakness for his opponent Massa, who had overseen it under the current president, Alberto Fernández, who has virtually vanished from public life in recent months.
Milei had also called China an “assassin” for its impact on the Argentinian economy, and said he wanted to cut ties both with Beijing, and Brazil, Argentina’s other largest trading partner.
Nevertheless, Chinese leaders called to congratulate him Monday and pledged to work with Argentina, which faces a $44 billion debt to the International Monetary Fund.
At the last minute he ditched a promise to allow free markets in human organs and in children, who he had previously said were “being trafficked anyway.”
The populist also scaled back some of his most inflammatory rhetoric in a campaign ad before Sunday’s vote: “We’re not going to privatize healthcare. We’re not going to privatize education. We’re not going to privatize soccer. We’re not going to allow the unrestricted carrying of weapons.”
Tousle-haired Milei has reveled in his nicknames “The Wig” and “The Lion” for his luxuriant locks, and as a teenager was known as “El Loco,” or “the madman” for his outbursts on and off the soccer field, a nickname he has also embraced.
And he has made his love of his deceased dog Conan, a 200lb English mastiff, a centerpiece of his populist rise, holding up a painting of the pet on the campaign trail.
He had Conan cloned in upstate New York after its death in 2017. The cloning cost $50,000, the New York Times reported, and unusually resulted in the litter of five puppies rather than a single clone.
Four of the mastiffs— Murray, Milton, Robert and Lucas — are named for the free-market economists Milton Friedman, Robert Lucas and Murray Rothbard.
The other is named Conan after the original animal, to whom an unauthorized biography, “El Loco,” claims he still speaks.
Milei calls the dogs his “four-legged children,” or grandchildren, telling how he preferred the company of the original Conan, named for the hero played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, to his own family.
Milei and his sister Karina were raised by Norberto Milei, a bus driver, and Alicia, a homemaker, in a middle class home in Buenos Aires. He has said his father beat and psychologically abused him.
“All those beatings that I received when I was a child mean that, today, I’m not afraid of anything,” Milei said during the campaign, adding that “[my father] always told me I was garbage, that I was going to die of hunger.”
Milei said he cut communications with his parents between 2010 and 2020, but a reconciliation was brokered by Karina during the pandemic. His father appeared at a campaign birthday rally for Milei and called his son “a genius.”
Mieli is floating the idea of installing Karin, 50, who used to own a tire repair shop and sell cakes before working for her brother’s coalition, as the South American country’s next first lady.
The president-elect has called 50-year-old Karina Milei “the soul” of his libertarian presidential campaign. He refers to her in public as “the boss,” and has praised her skill as savvy political marketer.
“Moses was a great leader but not a great communicator,” he told an Argentine interviewer during the campaign. “God sent Aaron to be the communicator. I am to Kari what Aaron is to Moses.”
Karina also taught herself to become a medium so that she could facilitate communications between her brother and Conan after the mastiff died in 2017, according to reports.
If she becomes first lady it would be instead of his girlfriend Fatima Florez, a comedian who lampoons famous politicians. Among her biggest targets is former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner.
The two started dating this year after meeting on a chat show and she calls herself “your lioness” on Instagram, wearing a Milei wig like his most ardent fans.
As a teenager Milei was a semi-professional soccer goalkeeper and played in a Rolling Stones cover band, before turning to economics in which he has two degrees, then became a regular presence on television first talking about the economy — then sex.
In 2017, he told a panel show that he had had regular threesomes, “90% of them” involving two women, and was also a “tantra teacher,” then discussed its practice in detail.
He entered politics in 2020, comparing the Argentine state to the mafia.
“If I had to choose between the state and the mafia, I would choose the mafia, because the mafia has codes, the mafia complies, the mafia doesn’t lie and, above all, the mafia competes,” he said.