Nov 21 (Reuters) – The weekend victory of Argentina’s libertarian president-elect Javier Millay has sparked mixed reactions worldwide – including hostility from some on the Latin American left, tentative support from others and reassurance from China. opinions.
Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, won Sunday’s runoff by double digits in voters angry at the deepening economic crisis and years of economic dysfunction.
The former TV pundit is set to take the reins of power next month, moving Argentina decisively away from the centre-left Peronist government of outgoing President Alberto Fernandez.
Asked for her reaction on Tuesday, Mexico’s leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he respected the voters’ verdict but said he believed Miley’s victory was unlikely to ease Argentina’s problems.
“It’s something we don’t think will help,” López Obrador told reporters. He then used a football term to describe the foreigner’s victory: “It was an own goal.”
Bolivia’s former leftist president Evo Morales, a close ally of past Peronist governments in Buenos Aires, took to social media on Tuesday to stress that he “does not want victory for fascism, extreme conservatism and neoliberalism.”
Leftist leaders in Venezuela and Colombia also expressed dismay at Sunday’s election results. Colombian President Gustavo Pedro described it as a “sorry for Latin America” in a post on X.
But other leftist Latin American leaders were more supportive. Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva both congratulated Miley.
Lula’s congratulations came despite Miley’s harsh criticism of the Brazilian leader on the campaign trail, at one point branding Lula an “angry communist” and corrupt.
“Democracy is the voice of the people and it must always be respected,” Lula said on social media on Sunday. However, a close aide to Lula said Miley had offended the Brazilian leader and should apologize to him before talks begin.
Others outside the region, with whom Miley showed little friendship, were also diplomats.
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Miley, largely abandoning his past support for Ukraine in its war with Moscow, and signaled that Argentina would not join the Russia-backed BRICS bloc under Miley’s leadership.
“We will focus and judge (Miley) mainly by the statements she makes after the inauguration,” a Kremlin spokesman said.
Despite some critical comments from Miley’s team during the campaign, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing was ready to work with Argentina to “keep relations on a stable course.”
Miley has found enthusiastic support among right-wing populists, including former US President Donald Trump, who told Miley in a video to “make Argentina great again”, and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whom Lula narrowly defeated last year.
“I’m very happy,” Bolsonaro revealed in video footage of a call with Argentina’s next president. “You have a big job ahead of you … it’s a job that goes beyond Argentina,” Bolsonaro said, pumping his fist in the air.
The leader of Spain’s far-right Vox party congratulated Mili, while Chile’s right-wing opposition leader José Antonio Caste declared her a “tremendous victory”.
El Salvador’s President Nayeb Bukele rode a wave of popular discontent into office, responding with a tirade of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from the musical “Evita.” But he turned it around.
“Tell me now without crying,” Bugel wrote in a post on X.
Reporting by Steven Gratton in Sao Paulo; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Rosalba O’Brien
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