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CULTURE | 16-08-2023 15:07

Musicians in Argentina call for reflection among fans about libertarian Javier Milei

Javier Milei’s surprise primary victory has also shaken up cultural world – musicians Lali Espósito, Trueno and Ca7riel among those to warn fans over libertarian lawmaker.

Some of Argentina’s most popular musicians are voicing their concerns about the potential impact of libertarian lawmaker Javier Milei winning this year’s presidential elections.

Pop star Lali Espósito, rappers Trueno and Ca7riel, among others, called on followers to reflect on the advance of ultra-libertarian, who emerged as the most popular candidate in the PASO primaries, which decide the presidential candidates for the October election.

"Your rights are the only thing you have, don’t give them away,” Trueno warned his fans on Tuesday via social network X, formerly known as Twitter.

The La Boca-born 21-year-old has released a string of hit singles and his 2022 album, Bien o Mal, features national and regional political commentary, including references to Latin America’s military dictatorships.

Milei, running for the liberal alliance La Libertad Avanza, won 30 percent of the votes in last Sunday’s primaries. An earthquake for the political arena, the libertarian lawmaker pushed the traditional opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition and the ruling Unión por la Patria coalition into second and third places respectively.

The anti-establishment libertarian has defined “the idea that where there’s a need, there’s a right as an aberration,” and he proposes, among other measures, to privatise education and public healthcare, repeal the abortion law and cut back on social aid, in a diverse government platform.

Milei’s followers are mostly male youths under 30.

“It’s dangerous that there are people voting for someone against rights, it’s sad,” said Lali Espósito on Sunday after it was revealed that over seven million voters had supported the La Libertad Avanza leader.
Milei ignored the criticism and in a statement broadcast on television claimed he did not know the award-winning artist. 

“I don’t know her, I listen to opera or the Rolling Stones," declared Milei dismissively in a radio interview.

Popular throughout Latin America and parts of Europe, 31-year-old Lali has filled stadiums for concerts across the world and has more than 12 million followers on social media.

Espósito later revealed that she had received messages from followers criticising her public position.

“Seven million people told you to shut your mouth yesterday,” replied one social media user known by the handle @EugeniaRolon.

Another figure at odds with the presidential candidate’s platform was musician Catriel Guerreiro Fernández Peñaloza, known as Ca7riel, who posted a long video on Instagram.

“When I was a kid, I had the privilege of going to school because it was free and state-run, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go because I didn’t have the money to pay for it,“ he told users.

“If hospitals and healthcare had been private, I’d be dead,” he continued.

Dressed in black, donning a cap and sunglasses, Ca7riel approached the camera to conclude: “I say it’s very important to think about our future and in whose hands we’ll leave it. Careful, ’cause you’re going to need things in the future and you’re not going to be able to ask for them, because they are rights, and where there’s a need, there’s a right, so when you need something, it’ll be too late."

Milei had already had run-ins with other Argentine artists – band La Renga has objected to the use of their hit ‘Panic show’ during several campaign rallies.

On the other hand, the libertarian candidate is backed by El Dipy, a cumbia singer and La Libertad Avanza mayoral candidate for the district La Matanza. The performer-turned-politician came in second, with 27.3 percent of the votes in last Sunday’s PASO primaries.

 

– TIMES/PERFIL/AFP

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