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The populist Argentine president meets billionaire Elon Musk in Texas, and a friendship is born

The populist Argentine president meets billionaire Elon Musk in Texas, and a friendship is born

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — One of them is an eccentric billionaire businessman who is a self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist, prone to profanity against “wokeism” and obsessed with making humanity a multi-planetary species.

The other is Latin American rebel leader A self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, he is obsessed with cloning his dead dogs. Destroying state controls.

CTO Elon Musk and Argentine President Javier Miley finally It sealed their budding friendship Friday at Tesla's electric car factory in Texas — their first meeting after months of mutual admiration on social media.

It was a match made in free market heaven.

In social media posts that impressed their right-wing fans, the duo highlighted their true friendship.

“To an exciting and inspiring future!” Musk wrote on X, or Twitter as it was known Before he buys it in 2022, Along with a photo of him and Millie smiling broadly and giving the camera two thumbs up, the libertarian president's trademark gesture.

“Long live freedom, damn it!” Miley wrote in his own post on X, which included a selfie of the couple, with the president wearing his signature leather shirt and Mask in his Navy Air Force Academy sports jacket.

The meeting was closed to the press, and a statement from Miley's office made little news, saying that free-market enthusiasts discussed issues ranging from the predictable (how to foster entrepreneurship by cutting red tape) to the haphazard (the existential danger posed by the economy). Low birth rates).

Miley's office said the president offered to help Musk with the mission A clash between the social media company X and the Brazilian company Authorities, who charged Musk with obstruction for defying a judge's order to ban some accounts.

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The Argentine presidency said that the two leaders also agreed to host “a major event soon in Argentina to promote ideas of freedom,” but did not provide further details.

But behind the smiling photo – and the video showing Miley's fun ride in a futuristic Cybertruck minivan – there was a lot at stake for Argentina.

Support from the United States — especially at the International Monetary Fund, to which Argentina owes more than $42 billion — is crucial to boosting investor confidence in the South American country, Miley says. He seeks to fix the broken economy With market-oriented policies.

With the revival of socialist governments across Latin America, from Chile to Brazil, experts say Argentina is now poised to emerge as a major strategic partner for Washington.

“There is an opportunity that Argentina can fill this void and eventually become a strategic partner of the United States,” said Sergio Bernstein, who runs a political consulting firm in Buenos Aires. “Musk could accelerate the process of Argentina becoming part of the new (US) network of friends.”

Last month, Musk delivered Starlink satellite internet service to Argentina, a move welcomed by farmers struggling to keep up with high-tech agriculture in remote areas of the country.

Gerardo Vertin, Argentina's ambassador to the United States, attended Friday's meeting and told La Nacion newspaper that Miley and Musk discussed Argentina. Huge reserves of strategic mineralsIncluding lithium, which is an indispensable element in electric car batteries.

“He expressed a desire to help Argentina, and he had a very good view of everything we have, especially lithium,” Werthain said of Musk.

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Miley's love of free markets and close alignment with US policy is a major shift after years of left-wing governments Approved intervention policies and tense relations with Washington – raised hopes in the United States that lithium and other much-needed minerals could be extracted near the United States, breaking China's dominance of the battery supply chain.

Analysts say so Successful energy transfer The United States will demand far more lithium and other commodities than the country is now on track to produce.

“We want to be able to localize our supply chain to the greatest extent, so that we're not transporting materials all the way around the world,” said Ben Steinberg, a former senior adviser to the Department of Energy and current executive vice president of Government Affairs. Where strategies? “The United States has a great interest in working domestically and with South American countries such as Argentina.”

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Follow AP's coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean on https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america