— Cedice Libertad (@CEDICE) April 24, 2014
Mario Vargas Llosa, visiting Caracas for the Cedice conference:
On his last visit to Venezuela in 2009, he was held for several hours at the airport and criticized by Chavez for coming to “offend” and “provoke” Venezuelans.
Again, Vargas Llosa did not hold back, saying 15 years of socialism in Venezuela was a “pathetic failure” akin to Cuba and North Korea, evidenced by the highest inflation in the Americas and other weak economic indicators.
“What’s happening in Venezuela is a radical anachronism,” he said. “Venezuela has gone ever more backwards in the last 15 years and is approaching the most pathetic examples of economic, political and social failures like Cuba and North Korea, the last real exponents of socialism in the world.”
He added, however, that he had no wish to provoke anyone in Venezuela, and was grateful to the country for giving him his first international award, the Romulo Gallegos prize, in 1967.
Vargas Llosa offered his support to students who have been protesting against Maduro since early February.
“I hope the dialogue is genuine and authentic, and enables the pacification of the country,” he said of talks between the government and moderate opposition leaders intended to stem violence that has killed 41 people in the last two-and-a-half months.
As the Venezuelan Supreme Court Outlaws Spontaneous Protests as “Not an Absolute Right” and demands express authorization from the mayor or the governor of the jurisdiction where they are carried out, repression has intensified since the opening of the “dialogue” (link in Spanish).
Musician Willie Colón, who has close ties with Venezuela:
VENEZUELA: MADURO'S GOONS ARRESTING CHILDREN pic.twitter.com/TKWyQigSlY
— Willie Colón (@williecolon) April 27, 2014
And, as repression intensifies, RATION CARDS, BLOCK LONG FOOD LINES AS INFLATION RATE IN VENEZUELA HITS 60%