Daily Review: Milei’s Diplomatic Insults Have Real Consequences

Daily Review: Milei’s Diplomatic Insults Have Real Consequences
Argentine President Javier Milei talks during the International Economic Forum of the Americas, in Buenos Aires, March 26, 2024 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

Spain said it is permanently withdrawing its ambassador from Argentina, amid a dispute with Argentine President Javier Milei. At a rally hosted by the Spanish far-right Vox party on Sunday, Milei called Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez’s wife “corrupt,” referencing allegations made last month. (The Guardian)

Our Take

Just over six months since Milei, a far-right firebrand, took office, it has been clear that his main foreign policy calling card is “insult diplomacy.” Until now, his verbal missiles have been mostly aimed at leftist leaders in Latin America. In a single interview in March, Milei called the president of Colombia a “terrorist murderer” and the president of Mexico an “ignoramus.” As Frida Ghitis wrote recently, it’s part of a broader trend in Latin America that is damaging regional cooperation.

Now, though, the diplomatic incident with Spain signals that Milei is not reserving his disregard for diplomatic protocol for other leaders in Latin America. Rather, Milei views his tactic as part of a broad war on all of his ideological opponents, regardless of where they are located in the world. That made Sanchez, the leader of Spain’s Socialist Party, the perfect target, especially at a rally where Milei could use his provocations to attract attention from several prominent far-right leaders from across Europe.

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