First Álvaro, now Mario Vargas Llosa:
Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa was briefly arrested today by immigration agents in Maiquetía’s national airport near Caracas, Venezuela. He was heading to a forum on freedom and democracy, which he was invited to.
The agents withheld his passport and they took him to a special room to question him as they did on Monday with his son, Álvaro, said the Economic Knowledge Disclosure Center (CEDICE) forum’s spokeswoman Rocío Guijarro.
The novelist was arrested for almost two hours and Guijarro said military command wanted to escort Vargas Llosa to the hotel, but he refused because he had a reserved vehicle.
“I don’t understand why they do this or what they are afraid of,” said Guijarro.
Before heading to Venezuela, Vargas Llosa harshly critised President Chávez’ “populist” government and said he is using the oil money to “bribe democratic governments.”
El Universal also has the news.
The Latin American Herald Tribune reports that
An evidently irate Interior and Justice Minister Tarek El Assaimi reacted to this by accusing the journalist of lying. “We see that he communicated with a private media company to lie,” he roundly declared. “He wasn’t stopped, he wasn’t detained, and nor was his identity document taken away.”
All that had taken place had been completely normal, the minister insisted. “This person arrived in the country and an ordinary procedure was completed.”
Whether or not the Peruvian was out to make mischief, El Assaimi seemed convinced this was so. “We’re not going to fall into the provocation of these sectors. They have neither shame nor morality,” he declared. “The person received a correct and dignified treatment. We respect the human being.”
The Chavez regime is clearly frightened of these men coming to the country, and the forum hasn’t even started yet.
Noticias 24 (in Spanish) has video of Mario Vargas Llosas’s arrival, where the obnoxious VTV (government) station reporter made a scene (while asking an idiotic question):
Will continue posting on this as news develop.