On the heels of Greece’s historic referendum vote, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is receiving a flood of praise from Latin America. Many are hailing his win Sunday as a victory for leftist ideals after Tsipras’ Syriza party took a stance against austerity measures offered by European creditors.
According to Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, the rejection of more budget tightening and Tsipras’ leadership on the issue was historic. “The people of Greece have rejected rule by international banks and opted for charting an autonomous, self-directed course,” he said. He added that Tsipras showed “great courage” in the face of pressure from banks and European governments.
Cuban President Raul Castro said the vote suggested the people of Greece firmly back Tsipras’ leadership and his party’s ideals. “That result demonstrates the majority support by the Greek people of the courageous policy of the government you lead,” Castro said, according to the Associated Press. The message to Tsipras was printed on the front page of official newspapers in Cuba on Monday.
More than 60 percent of voters in Greece rejected bailout terms offered by the country’s creditors, which failed to include debt relief, a major sticking point. Tsipras had called for his country to vote “no” on the terms despite the suggestion that it might result in Greece’s exit from the Eurozone and the loss of the euro as a currency.
“I call upon you to ignore the sirens, the scaremongering. Decide for Greece, proud Greece in a democratic Europe,” Tsripras said to large crowds before the vote, according to the Telegraph.
The debt crisis was sparked by Greece’s missed payment of $1.73 billion to the International Monetary Fund last Tuesday. By voting “no” the country called for less harsh bailout terms.
Chilean President Michele Bachelet called the vote of the Greek people inspiring. “They did not buckle to the pressure and decided to chart their own course,” she said.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hailed the results. He tweeted on Sunday, “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” according to teleSUR.
Tsipras and his Syriza party have been tied with Venezuela, with both governments favoring socialism and disdaining “economic neoliberalism,” according to the Telegraph. Tsipras attended the 2013 funeral of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, and was called a “fresh political air for Europe,” by the Venezuelan government upon taking office this year, reported the Telegraph.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner also sent words of support to Tsipras and Greek people, whom she called “brave,” for their vote. She also referenced her own country’s financial struggles in the early 2000s. “The Greek people have said ‘NO’ … to the impossible and humiliating conditions imposed upon them for the restructuring of their foreign debt,” she wrote in a series of tweets. “We Argentines know what this is about. We hope that Europe and its leaders understand the message of the polls … Nobody can be asked to sign their own death certificate.”