Archive for the ‘Mario Vargas Llosa’ Category

Vargas Llosa going to Venezuela

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Mario Vargas Llosa: ‘I feel the need to go [to Venezuela] to demonstrate’

Indeed, the BBC reports that Vargas Llosa to visit Venezuela to back anti-Maduro groups
The Peruvian Nobel Prize winning author, Mario Vargas Llosa, has said that he will travel to Venezuela to lend his support to opposition groups.

Mr Vargas Llosa said he was going to travel to Venezuela on 15 April to attend a conference organised by an opposition think-tank, Cedice.

“I will go with other liberals to lend our support and show our solidarity to those who are putting up a big fight against the dictatorship of Maduro,” he said.

As you may recall, when Mario and his son Álvaro attended a Cedice conference in 2009, they each were detained at the airport by the military.

The Goodbye, Columbus Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 10th, 2014

LatinAmerWhile more important stories were in the headlines, Cristina Fernandez took the cake by attempting to remove all traces of Christopher Columbus from the royal palace executive mansion, no matter that Columbus never set foot in the Country, and the Italian-born navigator shared a native land with millions of Argentinians.

Ted Turner Hospitalized In Argentina For Undisclosed Ailment
A security guard at the Instituto Argentino de Diagnostico y Tratamiento confirmed to The Associated Press that Turner was hospitalized there.

Pope Francis: the priest of the slums
Peter Stanford, author and former editor of the Catholic Herald, retraces the trip Pope Francis used to take to the outskirts of Buenos Aires to try to understand the man who was known as ‘the priest of the slums’

Footbridge collapses at Bolivian parade killing at least four people
Three musicians among the dead as an overloaded metal footbridge collapses during the opening parade of carnival in highlands city of Oruro

Dilma Rou$$eff

Fresh deal to end Rio rubbish strike
Rio de Janeiro officials and street cleaners say they have reached a deal to end a strike which has left litter piling up in the Brazilian city.

Chicago Latino Film Festival to honor Chilean actress Paulina Garcia
The Chicago Latino Film Festival will confer its career-achievement award on Chilean theater, film and television actress Paulina Garcia, organizers said.

Incoming Chilean Finance Minister Promises to Boost Investments
Alberto Areas Says New Bachelet Administration Will Take Over Slowing Economy
: expect more government spending, more debt.

Governing Party Candidate Pulls Out of Costa Rica’s Presidential Campaign
Sinking in the polls a month before Costa Rica’s presidential election, Johnny Araya, the candidate for the country’s governing party, pulled out of the campaign on Wednesday

At least 8 new political prisoners in Cuba in February

French Banks Investigated for Sanctions Violations

TWO Capt. Louis Renault moments:
1. Presidente plantea enmienda constitucional sin que se llame a referéndum

2. Ecuadoran President Correa Blasts NY Fed Judge’s Ruling for Chevron

Leftist party ahead in El Salvador polls
Elections in El Salvador will decide whether the incumbent leftist government will gain a mandate for another five years. The winning party must tackle gang violence and address the country’s economic problems.

The Economist: iPhonenomics
One phone, many countries
Costly Brazil, dysfunctional Argentina, bureaucratic Mexico. Our correspondents go shopping for the same Apple product

Court Setback for Mexican Drug Kingpin
A Mexican judge has denied the drug kingpin Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán Loera an injunction against any extradition to the United States.

Andres Oppenheimer: Mexico’s new friend: Castro’s Cuba

If Peña Nieto wanted to keep Cuba and Venezuela from firing up Mexico’s left, he could have done the same with polite diplomacy, without the need to praise as a “moral leader” a dictator who is responsible for thousands of deaths and has not allowed a free election in five decades. In an effort to distance himself from his predecessors, Peña Nieto has gone overboard.


Busted in Nicaragua: ex-Rep. David Rivera’s pal, Ana Alliegro, in FBI custody over campaign scheme

Panama demands Venezuela pay $1bn debt
President Martinelli asks Caracas not to use decision to cut diplomatic ties with Panama as “excuse” to not pay debt.

’7 Boxes’ review: fast-paced thriller from Paraguay

Peru to ‘eliminate’ key environmental rule for oil and gas firms, says minister
Announcement that seismic tests won’t need Environmental Impact Assessments sparks controversy and concern

Felix Salmon on Why Puerto Rico’s bonds are moving to New York: it all comes down to default protection for the bondholders.

Venezuelan president to visit Iran next month

La libertad en las calles
PIEDRA DE TOQUE. Venezuela ya no es un país democrático y la gran movilización popular es para que haya todavía elecciones de verdad en ese país y no rituales operaciones circenses como son las de Cuba

Scenes from Venezuela, 3/8/14 #8M #SOSVenezuela

Venezuela’s Opposition Is United Against Maduro, But Internally Divided

A Growing Crisis in Post-Chavez Venezuela

Los Guayabitos: The Venezuelan town where La Revolución reigns supreme

Venezuelan Crisis Plays Out On The Floor Of The United Nations

Large Protests Continue As Venezuelan Government Celebrates OAS Victory

Late Friday in Washington, the Organization of American States approved a declaration that rejected violence and called for justice for the 21 people the government says have died in weeks of street protests. The resolution also offered “full support” for the Venezuelan government’s peace initiative, in which the opposition has so far refused to participate.

The week’s posts:
Don Mario se quita los guantes y le cae encima al fascista Maduro: En español: Vargas Llosa a puño limpio

Argentina: Goodbye, Columbus

Colombia: Congressional elections tomorrow

Marco Rubio at #CPAC2014: “America must be involved in leading the world”

Argentina: Still in the hole for $185 million

Venezuela: Waiting to buy food

Cuba: Mario Díaz-Balart explains to the dense why Cuban oppression is bad

Venezuela: Door-to-door raids, AWOL colonels, Panama out

Venezuela: Hugo Chavez is still dead

Ecuador: Donziger guilty of fraud against Chevron

En español: Terapia intensiva

BREAKING NEWS Ecuador: Chevron wins

Venezuela: Big shoes and misreports

At Da Tech Guy:
Marco Rubio at #CPAC2014: “America must be involved in leading the world”

Ecuador: Donziger guilty of fraud against Chevron

En español: Vargas Llosa a puño limpio

Monday, March 10th, 2014

En su artículo La libertad en las calles
PIEDRA DE TOQUE. Venezuela ya no es un país democrático y la gran movilización popular es para que haya todavía elecciones de verdad en ese país y no rituales operaciones circenses como son las de Cuba
, Don Mario se quita los guantes y le cae encima al fascista Maduro:

La prostitución de las palabras, como lo señaló Orwell, es la primera proeza de todo Gobierno de vocación totalitaria. Nicolás Maduro no es un hombre de ideas, como advierte de inmediato quien lo oye hablar; los lugares comunes embrollan sus discursos, que él pronuncia siempre rugiendo, como si el ruido pudiera suplir la falta de razones, y su palabra favorita parece ser “¡fascista!”, que endilga sin ton ni son a todos los que critican y se oponen al régimen que ha llevado a uno de los países potencialmente más ricos del mundo a la pavorosa situación en que se encuentra. ¿Sabe el señor Maduro lo que fascismo significa? ¿No se lo enseñaron en las escuelas cubanas donde recibió su formación política? Fascismo significa un régimen vertical y caudillista, que elimina toda forma de oposición y, mediante la violencia, anula o extermina las voces disidentes; un régimen invasor de todos los dominios de la vida de los ciudadanos, desde el económico hasta el cultural y, principalmente, claro está, el político; un régimen donde los pistoleros y matones aseguran mediante el terror la unanimidad del miedo y el silencio y una frenética demagogia a través de los medios tratando de convencer al pueblo día y noche de que vive en el mejor de los mundos. Es decir, el fascismo es lo que va viviendo cada día más el infeliz pueblo venezolano, lo que representa el chavismo en su esencia, ese trasfondo ideológico en el que, como explicó tan bien Jean-François Revel, todos los totalitarismos —fascismo, leninismo, estalinismo, castrismo, maoísmo, chavismo— se funden y confunden.

Léanlo todo.

The Corcovado thumb Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio was struck by lightning, damaging its right thumb. Here’s the striking photo.

Argentine Government Rules Out Military Role in Drug Enforcement

The fish are biting . . . you: Carnivorous fish injure 10 Argentine river bathers in area where 70 were wounded last month

Bolivian President Touts Nuclear Power Program

The Laureus World Sports Awards, abruptly cancelled, Sporting events in Rio
We regret to announce

Inri Cristo, preacher on a scooter

Mulher de malandro decidirá eleição
O eleitorado diz que quer mudança, mas pretende reeleger Dilma. É puro chavismo

The drugs industry in Chile
Getting the treatment

Someone explain to me why should anyone trust the FARC, Bomb explodes in Colombian town as rebel ceasefire ends
At least one person was killed when a bomb went off in the town of Pradera in western Colombia, officials say.

Bogota; time to move on

Cuban political prisoner Osvaldo Rodriguez Acosta starts hunger to protest denial of family visit

Another Moronic Offensive Stunt to Take Place in Castrogonia

One Year of Immigration And Travel Reform… What Changed?


A tale of two hacks: Ecuador’s continued assault on the press

Ecuadorian state newspaper says new media outlet would seek to destabilize the government

El Salvador’s first presidential debate brims with pledges – but can candidates deliver?
El Salvador’s presidential election takes place next month, and topics of gang violence, the economy, and healthcare are top of mind.

Guatemala’s president and vice president withdraw criminal complaints against newspaper editor

Haitians living abroad weigh investment opportunities
After four years in Washington, D.C., a diaspora investment conference moves to Port-au-Prince

LGBT tolerance growing in Jamaica, push to repeal of anti-gay law

Cuban Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Has Lived in an Oppressive Society

Andres Oppenheimer is optimistic: Latin America’s downward spiral?

Sure, Venezuela may descend into further chaos, but it doesn’t have many followers. Argentina will most likely change course within the next two years, and Brazil will, in the worst-case scenario, remain stagnant.

More importantly, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile are doing well, and may drag several other countries in their direction. Together with Brazil, the four Pacific-coast countries make up more than 75 percent of Latin America’s economy.

More than a downward spiral, we may soon see the end of the populist cycle, and the beginning of an upward spiral.

Organized crime in 2014: What can Latin America expect?
Organized crime is adaptable and profit-driven, and in 2014, that could mean moving beyond Mexico and Colombia to a more diverse set of nations.

Adrift in Mexico’s deportation capital
Mexicali has became the U.S. government’s biggest dumping ground for deportees who often have deep ties in America.

Michoacan replaces security chiefsMexican soldiers patrol the streets of Apatzingan, Michoacan. Photo: 16 January 2014
Mexico’s authorities say top security officials will be replaced in the western state of Michoacan that has recently been rocked by violence.

Deep-water drilling is a test for Mexican oil company Pemex

Gangs from Central America on the rise in Mexico: Report
A new report out of Mexico details the growing links between Central American Maras and the nation’s main criminal groups, highlighting more cross-border gang activity

El pincel de la justicia
Ramiro Gómez hace su primera presentación en un espacio formal, en una pequeña galería en Chinatown. No tiene un taller: el dueño del lugar le prestó el primer piso para que ahí concluyera cuatro lienzos que son parte de la obra que expone.

Canal Standoff Worries Panamanians
A standoff over cost overruns in the Panama Canal expansion has Panamanians as anxious as the global shipping industry.

Peru: Media Merger Serving as Pretext for Manipulation
Let the People, Not Caudillos, Determine the Role of the Press

Disagreement between Vargas Llosa and his son illustrates the debate in Peru over media concentration

Fixing Puerto Rico: Part I

A leopard never changes its spots: Paris Hilton poses up a storm on the beach in Uruguay wearing animal print dress

Regulation, Death by a thousand cuts (Updated)

Thomas Berry died ‘trying to show family real Venezuela’, parents say
Berry family speaks for the first time of grief at death of their son and his wife, killed by robbers in front of their daughter after their car broke down on a dangerous stretch of highway

Pet rights? When all are rights there are no rights

Venezuelan economic controls lead to newsprint shortage

The week’s posts and podcast:
Puerto Rico: Festival success

Brazil: Corcovado damaged by lightning

Argentina: Where’s Cristina?

Panama: North Korea to pay fine for the rust bucket

Mexico: Mireles won’t back down

Puerto Rico: Take down that fence!

Venezuela: Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic UPDATED

Mexico: Military clash with cartel-fighting militias

Ecuador, Iran, Syria: The new axis?

Argentina’s crumbling economy

Mexico: El Universal claims DEA-Sinaloa deal in Fast & Furious

At Da Tech Guy Blog: Do heed those travel warnings.

The week’s podcast: The US-Latin America stories of the week

Michel Moynihan interviews Vargas Llosa

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

for the Daily Beast:

The Politics of Literature: An interview with Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa

Why do intellectuals hate democracy? Was Borges a fascist? The contentious 2010 Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa talks to Michael Moynihan about the big questions in literature and politics.

What about the middle way between authoritarianism and dictatorship? I know you have written about Hugo Chavez, for instance, and one can get Mario Vargas Llosa’s books in Caracas.

Oh, but with great difficulty. It is because in Caracas you still have a margin of freedom. But in Cuba—ask that Cuban journalist that is here [at the Oslo Freedom Forum]. He was telling me the way in which I am read in Cuba. It’s fantastic, you know? There are lists of people who want to read a certain book. Some times they are rented, sometimes it’s like a library, from individuals. [Dissident writer] Yoani Sanchez told me that she met her husband because she discovered that he had a novel of mine, The War of the End of the World. So she called him and said, “Is it true that you have a novel by Vargas Llosa?” He said, “Yes, but there is a list. But we can meet.” And they got married. I saw her recently and I said, “Is this story true?” She said, “Of course it is true. Thats why I am interested in what you are writing now. My sentimental future depends on it.”

In open societies you have the impression that you are just enjoying literature, that it won’t have any affect on your life. But literature always has an affect on life, even if it’s not so visible. But when you have a dictatorship, this is so immediately visible. Literature becomes an instrument to resist, to communicate things. And this is so in right-wing dictatorships and in left-wing dictatorships. It becomes a non-conformist activity, reading becomes a risk. It’s very, very important to keep alive this thing that can’t be controlled, because literature can never be totally controlled. Television can. Cinema can.

Read the whole thing.

While you’re at it, buy Vargas Llosa’s books through the above links.

More on Vargas Llosa’s optimism

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Last week I posted on the Krauze-Vargas Llosa chat, where Vargas Llosa pronounced himself an optimist on Latin America.

Andres Oppenheimer interviwed Mario Vargas Llosa recently, with similar results,
Andres Oppenheimer: Vargas Llosa’s optimism may be for real. Vargas Llosa, he writes,

is optimistic about the whole region because “today, most Latin Americans accept democracy as the framework in which one must fight the battle against underdevelopment, and that those who still dream with dictatorships, or with revolutionary or socialist governments, are a minority, and a really small minority.”

He added, “And there is something else that’s new, and that is a very wide consensus in support of a free economy. In the past, only a minority supported that modern option, while populism and socialism mesmerized the young generations. My impression is that that’s over.”

What about Venezuela and its Chavista allies? I asked him.

“Well, I think that Chavismo is crumbling,” he said. Referring to food shortages, massive corruption, record inflation rates and widespread public disenchantment with the government in Venezuela, he said that “the Venezuelan regime today is bankrupt, and the only thing we can hope for is that it disappears as fast as possible, and that it does so peacefully, through an electoral process.”

From his mouth to God’s ears, as the saying goes.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Last night at PU: Krauze and Vargas Llosa, the two giants

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Imagine the two foremost figures of Latin American letters having a conversation on the politics of the region, and you being able to listen. Well, that was the scene last night at 50 McCosh on the Princeton University campus.


Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa conversed with historian Enrique Krauze Kleinbort in front of a standing-room-only audience. The two gentlemen spoke about Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Cuba, among other countries. The Daily Princetonian reports,

“Latin America is improving. We have more democracy; we have large consensus on what kind of economic policies we need to develop and become modern and successfully fight poverty,” Vargas Llosa said, adding that the transformation of most Latin American nations in recent years has been formidable. “Poverty has diminished; in statistical terms, the poverty level is still large, but the way which the middle classes have been grown in the country is fantastic.”

Vargas Llosa cited Uruguay’s economic success as a model for the rest of Latin America. He said that the country has seen very liberal social reforms, including gay marriage and gay rights. “Not liberal in the American sense,” he added to the audience’s laughter.

More importantly, Vargas Llosa enumerated, Uruguay has respected its constitution, has independent strong institutions, observes the rule of law and welcomes foreign investment.

Krauze is not as optimistic on Mexico, pointing out the country’s recent lack of economic growth and the absence of a moderate left.

I had the pleasure of asking what the Pacific Alliance may mean for the hemisphere . Vargas Llosa said it will be the only alliance that will endure; Krauze pointed out “best yet, like the name says, it’s pacific”.

It was a splendid evening, bringing many insights from two of the greatest minds in the contemporary world.

Today’s Peru’s presidential election, Vargas Llosa not voting

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

20 million voters will elect Peru’s president in today’s runoff
I’ll be posting the results once they are in, but check out The Latin Americanist for analysis and Living in Peru for news.

Oh, and after campaigning for Humala, Mario Vargas Llosa won’t be voting for him, since his doctor says he needs to rest. No word as to whether this was due to a cognitive dissonance explosion.


The Bolivian miners Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

LatinAmerSure, everybody’s heard about the Chilean miners, but this week’s Carnival is dedicated to the unionized Bolivian miners who stopped nationalization plans,

But last week, the Federated Syndicate of Bolivian Mine Workers, which represents miners employed in the private sector, threatened to strike. “We are not going to permit the state to take control of those mines”, said union leader Cesar Lugo.

“The government is an inept administrator,” said Sergio Vacarreza Salazar, leader of a growing movement of independent mining cooperatives that is looking to foreign sources for investment.

We want to form our own ventures with private investors to develop our mines. The government just does not have the money or access to technology,” he added, following a deal signed last week between his independent workers’ cooperative and a U.S.-based miner, Franklin Mining, to develop a gold mine.

Argentina Aims to Tighten Farm-Land Ownership Rules

Bolivian Miners Stop Nationalization Plans

Brazil Will Hand Over Five Airports To Private Sector

Price of Success in Brazil: $15 Movies

Chile’s Private Social Security System Turns 30 (emphasis added)

Instead of paying a 12.4% Social Security tax as we do here, Chilean workers must pay in 10% of their wages (they can send up to 20%) to one of several conservatively managed and regulated pension funds. From the accumulated savings, they get a life annuity or make programmed withdrawals (inheriting any funds left over).

Over the last three decades these accounts have averaged annual returns of 9.23% above inflation. By contrast, U.S. Social Security pays a 1% to 2% (theoretical) return, and even less for new workers.

May Day in Chile

Former Agent for Pinochet Is Found Slain in Argentina

U.S. Millionaire Cultivates South American Park Plan

Meet the ‘New Cuba,’ Same as the Old Cuba
Take a bow for the new revolution: for all the naive optimism of some foreign observers, Cuba hasn’t really changed

No More Petro-Dictators

Cuba’s cigar industry
Smoked out
Rolling up under-the-counter trading in an emblematic product
(by subscription only)

POLL NUMBERS!!! Correa leads Ecuador referendum 60-40

Don’t reward Ecuador with a new U.S. ambassador

What is clear is that, according to the full batch of leaked cables, tensions between the U.S. embassy and the Correa government had been building for months, with the Correa government looking for any and all opportunities to criticize U.S. actions. The cables further reveal the U.S. embassy’s profound lack of trust in President Correa and their continuing frustration trying to establish a working relationship with his government. (Were these cables being read in Washington?)

They report that Correa has surrounded himself with a claque of inveterate anti-Americanists dedicated to damaging bilateral relations and the U.S. image in Ecuador. They have interfered in the work of U.S.-sponsored and trained special police units that combat trafficking in drugs and persons. A disturbing number — including the foreign minister — have close ties to Cuba, Hugo Chavez, and Colombian narco-terrorists.

Against this backdrop, it is beyond comprehension why there would be any U.S. haste in restoring ambassadors in both capitals. Correa is already under fire by Ecuadorean exporters concerned that his rash action will deprive Ecuador of trade benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which is subject to congressional approval. Beyond that, it is unclear what tangible benefits have accrued for U.S. interests from a “make nice” policy with Correa to date.

Guatemalan kingpin, wanted in U.S., captured

More Whoa! in Haiti: Did the Ruling Party Manipulate Election Results?

Mexico stiffens penalties for monopolistic practices

Charging minors

Can security reform save Mexico?

6.1-magnitude quake shakes southern Panama

Presidents from Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile gather in Lima to sign accord, the Pacific Agreement.

Mario Vargas Llosa under fire for Peru election endorsement
Revered author says he will vote for leftwing Ollanta Humala ‘unhappily and with fear’ as the lesser of two evils

Naive, irresponsible and deranged are among the kinder epitaphs raining down on the author. Jaime Bayly, a leading commentator, accused Vargas Llosa of hypocrisy and forgetfulness on the grounds that he sold the film rights of a novel, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, to an Alberto Fujimori crony.

Dripping sarcasm, Bayly said Vargas Llosa, 75, had reached an age at which he “deserved to be happy and without fear”, and so for his own sake should abstain from voting.

Bayly’s own article, in Spanish, Los golpes de Humala.

A Candidate in Peru Tacks Toward Brazil’s Course

No electricity? No problem! Have a free day, but dress in red!


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Facebook Group Honors Forsaken Vets of Argentina’s Forgotten War

Teenage cartoonist lampoons Brazil’s elite

Colombia ‘Optimistic’ About U.S. Trade Deal

Jimmy Carter Lobbies for Cuban Spies
Why lend legitimacy to the Castro brothers?

This is a new low for Mr. Carter—and not only because it demonstrates complete disregard for the American criminal justice system. The dangers that Cuban agents operating inside the U.S. present to Americans are well established. Treating their crimes lightly will only increase the nation’s exposure to serious risk.

Rafael Ibarra Roque, Cuba Political Prisoner of the Week, 4/2/11

So Long… Forever… Juraguá

Watch the full episode. See more Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Ecuadoran president sues critical news daily for defamation

Ecuador: Don’t Prosecute President’s Critics
Criminal Defamation Provisions Should be Abolished

Good enough for government work
A flawed vote beats low expectations

The uglier face of justice
Banning a documentary film has resulted in even more people seeing it

Peru’s Llosa Says Election Has Become Show

Kin selection
When family replaces party

The risk of throwing it all away
Populists like Ollanta Humala (pictured below) threaten to overcome divided moderates in one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies

U.S. Losing Big Drug Catch


Venezuela No Longer to Certify Oil Export and Production Numbers

Venezuela’s PDVSA in Ecuador — The Blind Leading the Blind

Qaddafi Exile Options Span Uganda to Venezuela as Ally Defects

Agency to continue rejecting green-card applications from same-sex couples

The week’s posts,
Terrorism in Latin America: Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah in Brazil
How Wachovia laundered $380 billion of Mexican drug money
Carlos Eire on PBS this weekend
Jimmy comes back empty-handed
Cristina awards Hugo a prize for contribution to “popular communication.”
Mexican cartel guns coming from Central America, not USA