The United States Should Stand by Argentina’s Milei

Senator Marco Rubio
3 min readDec 11, 2023

By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

At one level, foreign policy is a complex business. But at another level, it’s simple: you use the tools of international relations to counter your adversaries and support your friends. At this level, the proper U.S. response to Javier Milei’s inauguration as president of Argentina is clear. Milei is a friend, and the United States should support him.

President Joe Biden should welcome Milei because friends are hard to come by in Latin America right now. The Biden Administration is doing a great job of alienating pro-U.S. leaders through criticism and neglect. Meanwhile, many of the most powerful and influential countries to our south are run by self-described Marxists. These leaders’ policies are driving their nations’ economies into the ground and causing thousands to leave, often to our southern border, as a result. Moreover, they are openly hostile to the United States — and openly welcoming to our adversaries.

Mexico’s Obrador, Colombia’s Petro, Honduras’s Castro, and Brazil’s Lula have all empowered regional dictatorships like Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. They have also given a foothold to external threats like China, Russia, and Iran, the sponsor of Hamas’s horrific terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Israel. Guerilla-turned-president Petro has even compared Israel to Nazi Germany, encouraging antisemitic vandalism in Colombia.

Milei, by comparison, is a breath of fresh air. During his campaign for president, the mainstream media here was overly focused on his unorthodox proposals — dollarizing Argentina’s economy or abolishing the Ministry of Education — and paid too little attention to his commitment to align with the United States and its staunchest ally, Israel, as an unequivocal member of the free world. Milei also pledged not to join BRICS, the Beijing-led trade group created to empower China, and he correctly characterized the Chinese Communist Party as a deadly oppressor.

Milei won Argentina’s election because he promised a decisive break from the left-wing establishment’s economic malpractice, a promise that clearly resonated with voters. President Milei then prioritized an official visit to the United States. This stands in sharp contrast to the record of his socialist predecessors, Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

These efforts should win Washington’s attention and support. Specifically, President Biden should use the United States’ influence at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help President Milei restructure Argentina’s debt. This is crucial because the most urgent problem facing the country — rising inflation that topped 140 percent this fall — is tied to the crushing $44 billion Argentina owes to the IMF. Easing that burden would create breathing room for Milei to enact much-needed reforms, namely an end to excessive deficit spending.

Beyond this, the Biden Administration should partner with Milei’s administration to advance our joint security efforts and mutual prosperity. We all stand to benefit from less communist influence in the region, and the United States and Argentina could work together to counter the designs of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and China. Moreover, the United States stands to benefit from a closer trade relationship with the world’s third largest source of lithium, an essential material for building everything from weapons to cell phones.

President Biden has trouble differentiating his friends from his adversaries in Latin America. He neglected Paraguay’s Peña this October and seems more eager to appease dictators like Maduro than work with conservatives like Milei. However, our duty is to our nation and our people, not ideology. If we want to fulfill that duty honestly, we must join hands with Argentina’s new president, and our president needs to lead by example.

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Senator Marco Rubio

Official Account. Follower of Christ, Husband, Father, U.S. Senator for Florida.