Posted on November 22, 2023

Florida Republican Rep. Salazar Praises Argentina as Having ‘One Race’

Suzanne Gamboa, NBC, November 21, 2023

In a video endorsement of Javier Milei days before he was elected president of Argentina, U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar praised the country as having everything, including “only one culture, only one religion and only one race, completely homogenous.”


The comment by Salazar, a Florida Republican who is of Cuban descent, appeared to refer to a perception of Argentina, including among its own citizens, as a country of white European descendants. {snip}

Speaking in Spanish, Salazar said on video: “We want it to be one of the best countries in the world, because it’s what they deserve. A country that has everything. It has soy, it has meat, it has minerals, it has land, it has water, and it has only one culture, only one religion and only one race, completely homogenous.”

Salazar further questioned why, with those characteristics, Argentina is in the state it is in, referring to its crippled economy.

Democrats who see her Miami-area district as one of the few opportunities for the party in the state criticized her statement in a news release.

“María Elvira Salazar’s comments praising the notion of advancing a society with a single culture, religion, and race are antithetical to our American values,” José Muñoz, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose job is to elect and re-elect party members to the House, said in a statement.

“It is clear that Salazar is not interested in working to lower costs, provide jobs, or protect the fundamental rights of all diverse people who make up Florida’s 27th district,” he said.

In response to a question about her statements and the DCCC criticism, Salazar’s spokeswoman, Mariza Smajlaj, said in an email that “Argentines were united as one people against the failures of communism” and that Milei is a staunch anti-socialist. {snip}


The definition of Argentina as predominantly white and Catholic is misinformation that was held through most of the 20th century and been repeated in foreign encyclopedias and textbooks, uncritically until recently, said Oscar Chamosa, an associate history professor at the University of Georgia.


“Although the official censuses do not account for race, it is apparent that there are two major ancestral groups: one of predominantly European ancestry, the result of large migration waves at the turn of the 19th century, and the other, made of the Mestizos, that is individuals of mixed Indigenous, African and Spanish ancestry,” Chamosa said.