Argentina to increase ‘strategic alliance’ with United States, Milei vows in after-hours speech

The president addressed the public early Friday morning during an unscheduled trip to Ushuaia to meet with a top US military official

Milei and General Richardson in Ushuaia. Credit: Argentine Presidency

Argentina will increase its “strategic alliance” with the United States in order to better defend its sovereignty, President Javier Milei vowed during an unscheduled trip to Ushuaia to meet with US Southern Command General Laura Richardson on Friday. 

“Sovereignty cannot be defended with isolationism,” Milei said. “You need to build strategic alliances with countries that share your worldview.” 

The president, who was dressed in military fatigues, was flanked by General Richardson and U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Marc Stanley, as well as Argentine Defense Minister Luis Petri. 

Milei also lashed out at past Argentine governments, accusing them of failing to take Argentina’s sovereignty seriously. “They have done nothing to defend us from drug traffickers and Islamic terrorism,” he continued, before taking a veiled jab at China and its fishing industry. “They have not defended the sovereignty of the Argentine Sea from illegal fishing.” 

Milei further sought to distance himself from Beijing, which he has repeatedly demonized since he began his run for president, by emphasizing that Argentina has a “special affinity” with the United States because the two nations are “part of the Western tradition.”

“We should be proud of this heritage, as it has provided humanity with great progress,” he said, adding that Argentina has “sadly” been drifting away from these values for a century. “We are once again embracing these ideas because we have watched with alarm what happens when the West turns its back on them.”  

Milei traveled to southern Argentina Thursday evening aboard an Argentine Air Force plane but was forced to make an emergency stop in Santa Cruz due to inclement weather. He finally arrived at an Ushuaia aerial base, the site of the summit, a little before midnight.

General Richardson was in Ushuaia as part of a three-day visit to Argentina intended to “strengthen dialogue and cooperation” with the new government and its defense officials. She had previously met with Argentine officials at the Casa Rosada during her stay in Buenos Aires, but Milei did not attend.  

During his speech, Milei revealed that he had decided to make the impromptu visit to Ushuaia not only to greet Richardson but also to monitor the status of Argentina’s new Integrated Naval Base. The military facility, which aims to improve the country’s logistic capacity in Antarctica, is a project that the previous administration launched in April 2023. 

“It will be a logistics center and the closest port to Antarctica, helping to turn our country into the entry point to the white continent,” the president said. “It will also help improve the local economy and give support to scientific research conducted by several international Antarctica projects.”


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald