On 19 November, Argentina will host the second round of its presidential election between Sergio Massa (Unión por la Patria) and Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza).
The stakes of this presidential election could not be higher — for Argentina, for the region of Latin America, and for the prospects for democracy worldwide.
Javier Milei has campaigned on a platform of “anarcho-capitalism”, calling to dismantle the Argentine state and eliminate ministries such as Education, Labour, and Health, and strip citizens of rights to reproductive health and public education.
“The state is the enemy,” he has said. “If I had to choose between the State and the mafia, I would choose the mafia.”
40 years ago — following seven years of killings, disappearances, and systematic human rights violations by the US-backed military junta — Argentina won its democracy.
Now, Milei wants to rewrite the nation’s history to negate this legacy of state violence. Milei has viciously attacked the Grandmothers and Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who have dedicated their lives to the search for their loved ones.
Meanwhile, his running mate Victoria Villarruel has actively defended prisoners convicted of crimes against humanity. In an interview with La Nacion, Villarruel said that “the 30,000 (victims of the Argentine dictatorship) are a myth” and that the “scam of human rights still exists today”.
Yet the international community has so far failed to register the threat of Argentina’s extreme right — not only to Argentina, but to the prospects for peaceful coexistence around the world.
Amid escalating environmental breakdown, Milei has called climate change a “socialist lie”, promising to permit companies to pollute without restrictions, endangering species in Argentina and across the planet.
Meanwhile, La Libertad Avanza openly aligns itself with anti-democratic forces across South America, North America, and Europe. Ahead of the first round of the presidential election on 22 October, Milei invited representatives of Spain’s VOX, Chile’s José Antonio Kast, and Eduardo Bolsonaro to join La Libertad Avanza’s bunker. “My alignment with Trump and Bolsonaro is almost natural,” Milei has said.
Following defeat in the first round, Milei deployed their playbook to claim widespread electoral fraud against him — without providing any evidence for this claim. In the days since, Milei’s campaign has called for a “national march” against electoral fraud, foreshadowing a more violent assault on Argentine democracy in case of his defeat on 19 November.
Argentina is suffering. Ex-president Mauricio Macri’s illegal IMF agreement saddled the Argentina economy with an unbearable weight of sovereign debt, immiserating poor and working people across the country.
Javier Milei hopes to capitalize on this misery with a vision of exclusion, division, and draconian cuts that promise to send millions more Argentine citizens into poverty. The IMF agreement, in Milei’s words, is “tiny compared to the austerity package I am proposing.”
We, the undersigned, call on all democratic forces to respond to the urgent threat presented by Javier Milei, La Libertad Avanza, and its international allies — to defend Argentine democracy, and the precious rights that its citizens have secured since they defeated the military dictatorship 40 years ago.
Democratic Socialists of America – International Committee (USA)
Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra - MST (Brazil)
Izquierda Unida (Spain)
Belgian Workers Party (Belgium)
Party of the European Left (Europe)
Frente Amplio (Uruguay)
Communist Party of Chile (Chile)
Comisiones Obreras (Spain)
Convergencia Social (Chile)
Colombia Humana (Colombia)
Nuevo Perú (Perú)
Revolución Democrática (Chile)
Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (Brazil)
Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Teto - MTST (Brazil)
Parti Communiste Français (France)
Pacto Ecosocial e Intercultural del Sur (Latin America)
Todos Somos Colombia (Colombia)
Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores do Ramo Financeiro (Brazil)
Patria Progresista (Chile)