• Argentina: Milei's dollarization plan is in doubt

Javier Milei, president-elect of Argentina, wants to put in the past the disagreements with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whom he invited by letter to the inauguration ceremony in Buenos Aires, on December 10.

"I send you this message, bearer of my cordial greetings and in order to convey the invitation to accompany me, on December 10, in the events that will take place here on the occasion of my Assumption of the Presidential Command," Milei wrote in a letter that his future foreign minister, Diana Mondino, delivered this Sunday in hand to the Brazilian foreign minister. Mauro Vieira. Mondino flew to Brasilia for the match.

"Both nations have many challenges ahead of us and I am convinced that a change in the economic, social and cultural spheres, based on the principles of freedom, will position us as competitive countries in which their citizens can develop their capacities to the fullest and thus, choose the future they want," adds the ultra-liberal populist. He won the Argentine elections a week ago with 55.6% of the vote.

Milei's step is audacious, after months in which he dedicated all kinds of disqualifications to Lula and the Brazilian government. Having sent his future foreign minister to Brasilia to try to restart the relationship speaks to the fact that the Argentine president-elect will bet on pragmatism instead of continuing with his idea that with "socialist and communist countries" there should be no government-to-government political relations. The same should be expected of the relationship with Spain, despite the fact that there have been no contacts with Pedro Sánchez yet.

On the night Milei won the Argentine presidency, Eduardo Bolsonaro, one of the sons of former President Jair Bolsonaro, uploaded a drawing to social media showing his father, Milei and Donald Trump smiling. Argentina's president-elect has strong affinities with the former U.S. president and the former Brazilian president, and is well aware that Bolsonaro is little short of the devil to Lula.

The tense situation added a new ingredient last Wednesday, when Milei posted a message on the social network X: "Thank you to each of the leaders of the world who contacted me to congratulate our team and express their good wishes for the future of Argentina."

The message included the mention of several world leaders, including Chile's Gabriel Boric, on the left, Italy's Giorgia Meloni, France's Emanuel Macron, Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron. Lula did not appear, despite the fact that on Sunday the Brazilian congratulated Argentines on the election, although without mentioning the president-elect.

Mondino, the future head of Argentine foreign relations, spoke in recent days with her Brazilian counterpart, Mauro Vieira, and with the Brazilian ambassador to Argentina, Julio Glinternick Bitelli, as well as with the Argentine ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Scioli. The four met on Sunday in Brasilia.

Scioli's case is particularly interesting. Presidential candidate of Peronism in 2015, narrowly defeated by Mauricio Macri, he managed to get Bolsonaro and the current Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, to talk and understand each other on some issues despite having begun their governments with disqualifications and insults. Scioli wants to remain in Brasilia as ambassador, and it would not be surprising if he did: Milei was part of his economic teams in the 2015 campaign. Other versions indicate that the Peronist Scioli would be secretary of tourism.

On Tuesday night, Lula gave a signal of détente at the Rio Branco diplomacy school at the Itamaraty Palace. "I don't have to like the president of Chile, Argentina or Venezuela. He doesn't have to be my friend. He has to be president of his country, I have to be president of my country. We have to have a Brazilian state policy and he has to have his. We have to sit down at the table, each defending his or her interests. There can be no supremacy of one over the other, we have to come to an agreement. That's the art of democracy."

We must "try to live together democratically in adversity," Lula added. If Brazil's president and Argentina's president finally manage to establish a fruitful relationship, this would be greeted with jubilation in Brussels, headquarters of the European Union (EU), which is seeking to close the strategic partnership agreement with Mercosur, and the last thing it needs is for Brasilia and Buenos Aires not to understand each other. And it would also be important for the rest of the world, because Brazil will preside over the G-20 in 2024, and a fight between the South American giant and its main regional partner would not exactly be a help in that forum.

After being blessed Saturday night in Buenos Aires by a rabbi, Milei will travel tonight to New York, where he will attend to private matters of a "spiritual" nature, and then move to Washington, where he will have meetings with State Department officials.

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Venezuela
  • Sebastián Piñera
  • New York
  • European Union
  • Brussels
  • Add
  • United States
  • Daniel Scioli
  • David Cameron