CARACAS, Venezuela — Socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro delivered a hysterical reaction on Monday to the election of libertarian economist Javier Milei to the presidency of neighboring Argentina, declaring Milei a “neo-nazi” and a “threat” to Latin America.
Maduro, whose authoritarian regime has yet to issue any official statement regarding Argentina’s Sunday presidential election at press time, made the claims against Milei during his weekly television show Con Maduro+ (“With Maduro Plus”). Maduro offered no evidence to substantiate any of his accusations against Argentina’s president-elect.
“Yesterday, there were presidential elections and, as predicted by the polls, the neo-Nazi extreme right won in Argentina,” Maduro said. “It is an extreme right-wing that comes with a colonial project for Argentina but that intends to lead a colonial project for all Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“From Venezuela, we will always tell the truth; we respect the vote of the Argentine people. They wanted to give themselves that government,” the dictator continued.
“Well, you decided. But we are not going to keep quiet because the arrival of a right-wing extremist with a colonial project kneeling to the North American empire, who intends to put an end to the State, is a tremendous threat.”
— Monitoreamos (@monitoreamos) November 21, 2023
In reality, and against Maduro’s unfounded “neo-Nazi” accusations, Milei has unapologetically expressed his support for Israel and expressed his interest in converting to Judaism. Milei has also announced his plans to move the Argentine embassy in Israel from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Milei said on Monday that he would carry out a “spiritual” visit to the United States and Israel before his inauguration on December 10.
Maduro continued his attack against Milei by claiming that the recently elected libertarian economist wants to “continue” the 1970s dictatorships of Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and Uruguay’s military dictatorship:
Venezuela remains as a trench of truth, justice, progressivism and the rights of the peoples. We respect the decision of the Argentine people, but we call for reflection on the emergence of far-right groups that seek to impose themselves in order to recolonize Latin America and impose extremist models. In Venezuela, this has not happened and will not happen. We will remain a free and Bolivarian land.
Milei, who will take office on December 10, said in an interview in November that, if elected president, he would condemn the three authoritarian regimes in the region — Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua — as similarly vile as North Korea or terrorist organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah. Milei said he would withdraw Argentina’s ambassadors from those countries.
Throughout his career, Milei has fiercely condemned communism as a “murderous system” and socialism as a “disease of the soul.”
Venezuela’s socialist regime, first with Hugo Chávez and now with Maduro, has been a longstanding ally and key financier of the Argentine left-wing Peronist type of government known as Kirchnerism, named after late President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Fernández de Kirchner not only succeeded her husband as president from 2007 to 2015 but is currently Argentina’s outgoing vice president until the current term of leftist President Alberto Fernández (no relation) ends on December 10, when she will be succeeded by Vice President-elect Victoria Villarruel.
As vice president, and according to the Argentine constitution, Fernández de Kirchner is also the current president of the Argentine Senate until December 9. Fernández de Kirchner was sentenced to six years in prison after an Argentine court found her guilty of corruption in December 2022. However, her position as both Argentina’s current vice president and head of the Argentine Senate granted her double immunity from the court’s ruling. The sentence is presently undergoing a lengthy appeal process initiated by Fernández de Kirchner.
Neither Alberto Fernández nor Cristina Fernández de Kirchner chose to run for president in Argentina’s 2023 presidential race, opting to have Kirchnerism represented on the ballot by outgoing Economy Minister Sergio Massa, whom Milei defeated on Sunday with a lead of over 11 percentage points.
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Javier Milei via Storyful
Hugo Chávez’s financial backing of the Kirchners played a prominent role in allowing Kirchnerism to consolidate power in Argentina. Since 2003, Kirchnerism has controlled the Argentine presidency for nearly two decades, having only lost once to former President Mauricio Macri between 2015 and 2019.
Hugo Carvajal, Chávez’s former spymaster, revealed in 2021 that Chávez sent $21 million from Venezuela’s state coffers to Argentina to help finance Fernández de Kirchner’s 2007 presidential campaign. According to his statements, the money was sent on flights and divided into several suitcases. In 2007, Venezuelan-American businessman Guido Antonini Wilson was stopped by Argentine airport authorities as he tried to enter the country with $800,000 in cash in a suitcase, which allegedly was destined for Fernández de Kirchner’s campaign.
Wilson, on the run from both Argentine and Venezuelan authorities since, was finally found guilty in September 2023 by an Argentine court. Wilson is currently living in the United States after agreeing to collaborate with U.S. authorities.
Carvajal was extradited by Spain to the United States in July, facing multiple narco-terrorism charges in U.S. court.
The Venezuelan socialist regime not only financed Kirchner’s campaign but also aided the Kirchnerist government by buying $5.5 billion worth of Argentine public debt bonds to help bail the economically ailing nation out of its severe fiscal deficit.
The bonds have been accused of having been sold at more than double the interest rates that neighboring nations had to pay their lenders at the time, with both the Venezuelan socialist regime and the Kirchners allocating to each other part of the large cash benefits between 2005 and 2007.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.