Sunday, May 26, 2024

ARGENTINA | 13-08-2023 21:28

Libertarian enthusiasm as Milei's supporters prepare to celebrate

Supporters of libertarian lawmaker head to Hotel Libertador in Buenos Aires anticipating a strong performance by Javier Milei in PASO primaries.

When the authorities of La Libertad Avanza organised their bunker for PASO primary election night, they didn’t plan for supporters to be in attendance. The Hotel Libertador in Buenos Aires, which has an event hall capacity of around 500 people, was only intended to be for leaders, guests and the press. But, as the hours went by on election night, Javier Milei’s supporters began to gather at the doors of the building, located on Avenida Córdoba 600. 

The Hotel Libertador building is fenced off and only those with a pass can enter. On the other side of the gates are Milei's supporters, each of them hoping that the libertarian leader will come out at some point to greet them and say hello. As the organisers of the bunker realised that there were more and more of them gathering outside, they decided to set up a giant screen so the group could follow minute by minute of what was happening on the first floor of the hotel

Despite the cold, Milei's supporters say they will stay until the last minute. Little by little, banners and merchandising are popping up and, contrary to the caution with which the spokespersons of La Libertad Avanza speak, they are convinced that "El León" performed strongly in the primaries. 

Those gathered at the gates are mostly young people who say they are "fed up" and that they are confident that "someone new will come along” for Argentina.

Diana and Arenko came to the Hotel Libertador with their two-year-old son from Sarandí, Avellaneda. "We took the bus and came to support them because we like them and we believe they have to win," they told Perfil. 

Both under 30, Arenko works for Uber and Diana says she can't find work at the moment, no matter how hard she looks. What worries them most, they said, is the economic situation. "Imagine that not even my brother has a job and he is a professional nurse. We need a change," declares Diana.

The first to connect with Milei's ideas was Arenko. He discovered him through YouTube videos and watched him on television railing against the establishment. 

"I always thought the same, but I didn't know what libertarianism was. For me it was common sense," she said. In the last elections he voted for José Luis Espert, who also disappointed him. "Espert went with the worst of them all. It's time for someone new," he added. Diana said that Milei had "woken her up."

Nearby, Camilo said he knew that Milei was going to be at the Hotel Libertador and that is why he decided to stop by with his son, 10-year-old Benja. 

The youngster answered the questions at the same time as his father. "I like Milei's thoughts. He doesn't lie to us and he doesn't take our money with taxes," explained Benja.

David is 22 years old and is finishing high school. He works as a building site assistant. Marcos is 21, is taking a UBA course to study computer engineering and works as a printer repairman. Hugo is 21 and in the same programme, but he is studying for a degree in kinesiology while he works in a factory. The three friends arrived at the doors of the Hotel Libertador with the same objective: "We came to support Javier. We have to support him."

The same thing has happened to all three of them: their families don't agree with their libertarian ideas but they respect them. The trio are convinced that the only way out is with La Libertad Avanza. "We have to get rid of those who have been there for 30 years and have done nothing. We are rotten," said David. 

This is the argument they used to explain why none of the other options had appealed to them in these elections: 

"Everyone has already had their chance. It's time for something new," said David.

Giselle Leclercq

Giselle Leclercq


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