A right-wing former “tantric sex trainer” who was elected president of Argentina believes the Falkland Islands belong to his nation and has vowed to “take them back.”
Javier Milei, who uses the media to contact his dead dog for political advice, caused a huge upset by defeating Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa in Sunday’s polarized presidential runoff.
However, during his presidential campaign, Milei insisted that Britain’s return of the Falkland Islands was “non-negotiable”, adding that the territory, known in Argentina as the Malvinas, belonged to Argentina.
Milei, a right-wing economist known as “el Loco” or the Madman who promised to shake up Argentina with his victory, said he would “do my best” to reclaim the Falkland Islands but stopped short of saying he would go to war with them.
He insisted that Britain’s handover of the Falkland Islands to Argentina was “non-negotiable”, comparing it to Britain returning Hong Kong to China.
The Falkland Islands were the subject of a short but brutal war following the 1982 invasion by Argentina. Britain expelled the invaders after sending a naval fleet, but the issue was never considered settled in Buenos Aires.
However, during his presidential campaign, Milei (pictured with a chainsaw) insisted that Britain’s return of the Falkland Islands was “non-negotiable”, adding that the territory, known in Argentina as the Malvinas, was Argentine territory
Pictured: British troops patrol the Falkland Islands last year
Argentina believes the Falkland Islands were illegally taken from it in 1833 and invaded the British colony in 1982. Britain sent troops and Argentina lost a two-month war over the archipelago in a conflict in which 649 Argentines and 255 British soldiers died.
Argentina still claims the islands, while Britain claims the Falkland Islands as a self-governing entity under its protection. In the country’s 2013 referendum, 99.8% voted to remain British.
During his presidential campaign, during which he launched a chainsaw to symbolically cut the country down to size, Milei insisted that questions about the future of the Falkland Islands “cannot be ignored.”
He said, “What do I propose? Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas is non-negotiable. Malvinas are Argentinians.
“Now we have to see how we get them back. It is clear that the war option is not the solution.
“We propose a move towards a solution such as that reached by England with China regarding Hong Kong, but in this context the position of the people living on the islands cannot be ignored.
You can’t deny that these people are there. These people cannot be underestimated.
“We need to negotiate with the UK and take into account the views of the islanders.
“We are looking for a solution that would allow the Malvinas to return to Argentina through diplomacy; a solution that is feasible and achievable.”
Milei has previously praised former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as one of the “greatest leaders in human history.”
The comments were condemned by Falklands War veterans as Thatcher is still mocked in Argentina for ordering the sinking of the cruiser General Belgrano, killing all 323 people on board, during the 1982 war with Britain.
Milei has previously blamed the Argentine government for making “a number of mistakes” that further complicated the situation. Last April he said that if Argentina wanted the Falkland Islands to become Argentine it would mean “very long negotiations” with the UK.
He said then: “Argentina has never created the conditions for the people of Malvinas to want to become Argentines.
“Therefore, it is an extremely complicated situation in which Argentina has made every possible mistake, which has led to blockage and confusion. So now it’s a counterfactual because of all the errors. This is the most complicated.
He added: “If we want the Islands to come back one day and become part of Argentina, it will mean long, very long negotiations during which Argentina will have to propose something interesting.
Conflict: British troops arrive in the Falkland Islands
Milei, who often dresses up as his superhero alter ego “General AnCap,” short for anarcho-capitalist (pictured), has become famous for furiously condemning the “political caste” on TV shows
Newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei of La Libertad Avanza kisses his girlfriend and actress Fatima Florez after the polls close in the second round of the presidential elections on November 19
And Argentina is not an interesting country if its own people decide to leave the country,” concluded the lawmaker who is currently the country’s president-elect.
Diana Mondino, a close adviser to Milea, said in September that the people of the Falkland Islands – 99.8 percent of whom voted to remain British in the 2013 referendum – “cannot be underestimated”.
Mondino added that Argentina must “become a normal country” to convince islanders to seek closer ties.
“How could someone who wasn’t born and raised in Argentina understand this? [our] inflation?’ she said. “Why would anyone want to become part of society – we have to become a normal country and we are an empty country,” she said.
On the UK side, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out starting any new negotiations on the future of the Falkland Islands.
Sunak’s official spokesman said after Milea’s victory: “It’s obviously a settled issue, a long-settled issue and we have no plans to revisit it.”
Pressed on Milei’s suggestions that a new relationship could be established along the lines of that between China and Hong Kong, the prime minister’s spokesman added: “The Falkland Islands’ position was established some time ago and will not be changed.”
With victory on Sunday evening, Milei threw Argentina into the unknown in terms of how extreme his policies would be.
In a speech after the dramatic victory, he promised that “Argentina’s reconstruction starts today,” while adding that he would “drain the swamp,” referring to stopping the influence of special interests and lobbyists.
Milei, who often dresses up as his superhero alter ego, “General AnCap,” short for anarcho-capitalist, has become famous for furiously condemning the “political caste” on television shows.
His pledge for rapid, major change resonated with Argentines fed up with annual inflation soaring above 140% and poverty rates as high as 40%. He will take power on December 10.
Milei, who is also a prominent economist and radio talk show host, has spoken openly about his preference for threesomes and how he likes to communicate telepathically with his dead dog for political advice.
He failed to win the first round of voting before the second round of elections, but finished second to Massa, thanks in large part to the support of young voters who are so disillusioned with more “conventional” politicians that they have turned to the man whose latest biography was titled El Loco, or the Madman.
Milei, who was a political unknown until a few years ago, was elected to the Argentine Parliament in 2021 as a member of La Libertad Avanza (“The Advances of Freedom”).
He prefers to call himself an anarcho-capitalist, meaning he would like to remove as much government intervention as possible and leave everything to the free market.