Concepcion M. Moreno
Montevideo, May 11 (EFE) .- From one of those ancient temples that in secular Uruguay offer adoration to the book to a tribute from the highest academic institution in the country, going through a talk on Latin American politics: this is how Mario’s visit went Vargas Llosa to that nation that he considers exemplary in the region.
Outstanding representative of the so-called ‘Latin American boom’, presidential candidate in Peru in 1990 and Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010, the writer born in Peru’s Arequipa 86 years ago and of Spanish nationality since 1993 expressed his opinions on the “sad” Latin America in which everyone should “imitate” Uruguay.
A tweet from his son and member, like him, of the International Foundation for Freedom (FIL), Álvaro Vargas Llosa, showed the Nobel Prize winner this Wednesday on his “inevitable visit” to “the most beautiful bookstore in the world”, the historic Linardi and Risso, installed in the Ciudad Vieja, the historic center of Montevideo, which he goes to whenever he is in Uruguay.
Later, and under the watchful eye of former Uruguayan president Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera (1990-1995), father of the current president, Luis Lacalle Pou, the author of “La fiesta del chivo”, “La ciudad y los perro” or “Conversaciones in La Catedral” offered a talk invited by the ‘think tank’ Center for Development Studies (liberal).
Recently recovered from the covid-19 that forced him to be hospitalized in Madrid, where he lives, Vargas Llosa offered his perspective on the Latin American reality before representatives of the world of politics, finance and journalism, and at the Hotel Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa -which in the past housed personalities such as the physicist Albert Einstein or the writer Federico García Lorca-.
“Latin America is going through a very bad time, a time of crisis that is quite deep in some countries and more superficial in others,” said the Nobel Prize winner, who added that the continent “is profoundly mistaken and is choosing the worst options.”
He was especially harsh against his country, which he said is “the saddest case”, and against those who voted for “the worst”, in reference to the current president, Pedro Castillo.
“Have you felt the shame that I have felt listening to him? Is that a president of a modern country? It is a shame and I, as a Peruvian, recognize it immediately. We cannot have presidents like this and think about progress. Those who voted were wrong radically,” he said.
Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua received the worst comments from the writer and journalist, who insisted at various points in the talk on the idea that “socialism has not triumphed anywhere” and only saved “social democracy in Germany, although it has no nothing to do with socialism.
“Let’s not follow the bad examples, they are going to lead us to our ruin, they are going to stimulate a corruption that, unfortunately, is deeply rooted in Latin America and fundamentally because Latin America has been determined to defend socialism,” he argued.
He also referred to Argentina, a country he recently visited and of which he believed that “as long as Peronism represents what it represents, there is no hope.”
“It is the catastrophe that has sunk Argentina,” he snapped.
Although he personally attacked few politicians, such as the current president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (1999-2013), he asked that in countries where there will soon be elections, such as Colombia or Brazil, “they vote well “, since, in his opinion, it is not only enough that there are free elections in the region, but that citizens choose well.
“Colombia is one of the most dramatic countries at the moment because if Colombia, as Venezuela wishes, votes badly in these elections, Latin America sinks,” he commented.
Facing a “sad” panorama of the region, he was “enthusiastic” with Uruguay, which has “a democracy that works.”
“It is a peaceful, calm country, where the laws work, the governments work for the majority. It is the example that must be followed, the example that we must follow in Latin America,” he commented.
The event, which brought together hundreds of guests, concluded with the award of the title of doctor honoris causa by the University of the Republic (Udelar) to the winner of the 1994 Cervantes Prize, in a simple ceremony in the presence of its rector, Rodrigo Arim, and of the President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou.
And so, the author of “La tía Julia y el escribidor”, “Pantaleón y las visitadoras” or “Antics of the bad girl” closed his visit to Uruguay, the “example country”. EFE
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The Nobel Vargas Llosa in Uruguay, the “example country”