Musk and Milei share their love of free markets during their first meeting

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Libertarian Argentinian President Javier Milei and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk met for the first time Friday, cementing a social media friendship between two free-market advocates known for denouncing government excesses and values progressive cultural.

The two men, who have exchanged messages of support over the past year on Musk’s X platform, met at the Tesla factory in Austin, Texas, and discussed “the need to free markets ” and “the importance of eliminating bureaucratic obstacles that keep investors away,” according to a statement from Milei’s office.

Gerardo Werthein, the Argentine ambassador to the United States who attended the meeting with Musk, told Argentine media that the two also “discussed investment opportunities” for Tesla in lithium, the crucial metal for electric vehicle batteries, of which Argentina has one of the largest in the world. reserves.

Milei, a libertarian economist and former TV pundit, won an unexpected election victory in November on his pledge to cut spending and reduce inflation. Since then, he has courted a wide range of figures aligned with the global right, from techno-libertarian Musk to former US President Donald Trump and former Brazilian far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro.

Meetings with such figures in recent months have delighted Milei’s national base, as have fiery speeches championing free-market ideals at the World Economic Forum in January and the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, propelling him under the international spotlights.

Last September, Musk shared an interview with Milei by former Fox News reporter Tucker Carlson and later celebrated his election victory, saying “prosperity is coming to Argentina.”

Milei is a prolific user of X, telling the Financial Times in February that he spends “two or three hours a day” on Elon Musk’s platform and other social media.

In addition to championing free market values, Milei and Musk have expressed similar support for Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza – both traveling to the country to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent months. Each also has tense relations with certain left-wing governments.

Milei, who called Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva “corrupt” during the election campaign, “proposed [Musk] collaboration in the conflict that social network X is leading in Brazil.” Last week, the company criticized orders from Brazilian judges requiring it to censor “certain popular accounts.”

On Sunday, Musk, who declares himself a “free speech absolutist,” called on a Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Sunday to “resign or be impeached.” Brazil’s attorney general then called for “urgent regulation” of social media platforms, including X. It is unclear how Milei’s support might affect the dispute.

Argentina’s opposition politicians criticized Milei’s trip to the United States – her third since her election in November – calling it “personal” and a diversion from her busy domestic agenda.

Before meeting with Musk, the president, who has expressed a spiritual interest in Judaism, visited Miami, where he was honored as an “international ambassador of light” by a Jewish community group for his support of Israel .

Back in Argentina, Milei’s La Libertad Avanza coalition faced a political crisis in Congress on Friday, with three deputies breaking away from the bloc following a dispute with the president’s top advisers, which will reduce its already minimal minority of 41 seats out of 257 in the lower legislative elections. House.

However, Milei appeared jubilant in the images he shared on X of his meeting with Musk, captioned with his slogan: “long live freedom, damn it!”

Musk also posted a photo of the two together, with the caption: “To an exciting and inspiring future!” »

The president’s office said he and Musk agreed to hold “a big event in Argentina soon to promote the ideas of freedom.”

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