Javier Milei Plans Trip to Brazil but Snubs Socialist President Lula

Argentine President Javier Milei will visit Brazil on Saturday to participate in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Balneário Camboriú, Santa Catarina, from July 6 to 7.

Milei’s visit to Brazil — his first after taking office in December — will not include an encounter with radical leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who insists that Milei issue an apology if he expects to ever speak to him. The Argentine president has repeatedly described him as an “angry communist” and “corrupt.”

The details of Milei’s trip were announced on Monday by Argentine Presidential Spokesman Manuel Adorni, who will be accompanying Milei and will also participate in CPAC’s Brazil gathering. The Argentine president is slated to deliver a speech at CPAC Brazil on Sunday, marking the second time he will participate in the Brazilian event after attending its 2022 edition while serving as an Argentine Congress lawmaker.

Milei also attended the American CPAC in Washington, DC, in February.

Although Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro is scheduled to attend CPAC, Adorni stated that “there is no confirmation” of a meeting between Milei and Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro’s eldest son, lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, will also participate in the event.

CPAC Brazil confirmed Milei’s participation on social media, publishing a video of Milei and Eduardo Bolsonaro shouting Milei’s famous catchphrase, “Long live liberty, damn it!”

CPAC Brazil will take place hours before a meeting of the presidents of Mercosur in Asunción, Paraguay, on July 8.

Mercosur is a regional trade bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, with other regional countries acting as associate states. Venezuela formally joined Mercosur in 2012 but has remained suspended since 2016 as a result of continued human rights abuses and violations of the bloc’s trade rules committed by the socialist regime.

Sources from the Argentine government reportedly confirmed to the local newspaper La Nación that Milei will not attend the Mercosur meeting, sending Foreign Minister Diana Mondino instead. The sources confirmed that Milei’s ongoing impasse with Brazil’s Lula was “fundamental” in the decision.

Lula has repeatedly demanded that Milei apologize to him and Brazil’s citizens for, among other things, acknowledging that Lula has several criminal convictions to his name on charges of corruption. Lula’s ongoing demands for an apology began in November, shortly after Milei was elected president.

The Brazilian president once again reiterated his demands in June in an interview held with the local media outlet Universo Online (UOL). Lula stated that although he and Milei participated in the recent June meeting of the G7 group in Italy, he did not speak to Milei at the gathering.

“I did not speak to the President of Argentina because I think he should apologize to Brazil and to me. He said a lot of nonsense. I just want him to apologize,” Lula said. “I love Argentina. It is a country I like very much. It is a very important country for Brazil, and Brazil is very important for Argentina.”

“There is no president of the republic who is going to create discord between Brazil and Argentina,” Lula said.

Adorni responded to Lula’s demands by stating that Milei “did not say anything he should apologize for.”

“Whatever President Lula intends is within his wishes, and we respect that, but the president did not do anything he needs to apologize for, at least for now,” Adorni said.

Milei responded to Lula in an interview held with Argentina’s La Nación network by once again calling Lula “corrupt” and a “communist” — and stating that he will not issue an apology to the Brazilian people, asking, “Since when do you have to apologize for telling the truth?”:

The things I said about him are true. What are the problems? Did I say he was corrupt? And what did I say, a communist? And isn’t he a communist? Since when do you have to ask for forgiveness for telling the truth? Or are we so sick of political correctness that you can’t say anything to the left, even if it’s true?

Adorni stated on Monday that Milei’s absence in the Mercosur meeting is “due to agenda issues” and to avoid an “overload in the agenda” as Milei is slated be present in Argentina by Monday evening to participate in the signing of a “social contract” pact with the governors of Argentina’s provinces that Milei proposed in 2024.

The pact was originally slated to have been signed on May 25, when the South American nation celebrates its Independence Day, but was pushed to July 9 due to delays in the approval process of Milei’s omnibus reform bill package, which was finally passed on Thursday.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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