Where is Latin America going?

Mario Vargas Llosa’s visit to Uruguay last week continues to spark debates in our country and beyond.

The conference entitled “Uruguay: an exception in the region?” Organized by the Center for Development Studies, it was picked up by various international media throughout the world, such as The Guardian of the United Kingdom or El País of Spain, among others. It is that the comments on the international reality of the Nobel Prize for Literature are brave and forceful, so as not to leave anyone indifferent.

In the conference held last Wednesday at Sofitel and broadcast live on our newspaper’s website, Mario Vargas Llosa made a detailed analysis of the region, country by country, describing the bleak panorama that we are all witnessing.

Indeed, few countries on the continent are being saved from what appears to be a second progressive wave of lower quality than the first and greater capacity for damage.

Mexico is governed by a populist president who has been highly popular up to now, and who is taking that great country of our continent by leaps and bounds. Undoubtedly, as Vargas Llosa pointed out, Mexicans voted badly and now the country is going down the wrong path. It should be added that the consequences are not yet fully visible, but they will be in the not too distant future.

Bolsonaro is far from an ideal ruler, but he does not look worse than the alternative of a Lula who defends Russia in the war he waged against Ukraine and supports dictatorships and corrupt governments on the continent.

Leaving the pathological cases of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, where no one in good faith can deny that there are ferocious criminal dictatorships and liberticides, the other continental cases that are worth dwelling on are found further south. In the case of his country, Peru, he pointed directly at the controversial President Castillos: “Have you felt the shame that I have felt listening to him? Is that a president of a modern country? He is an embarrassment and I, as a Peruvian, recognize it immediately. We cannot have presidents like this and think about progress.”

The continuous rubbish of the Peruvian president seems to endorse, certainly, the comments of our illustrious visitor.

One of the aspects of Vargas Llosa’s talk that was most highlighted by the international media, and made headlines in several leading Brazilian newspapers, was his definition of the upcoming presidential elections. “Bolsonaro’s antics are very difficult for a liberal to admit. Now, between Bolsonaro and Lula, I prefer Bolsonaro.” Vargas Llosa sentenced.

This position, however unpopular it may be due to a certain European infatuation far from reality that exists on the decadent figure of Lula, should not be so extravagant. Bolsonaro has certainly had positions that are difficult for a liberal to digest, but his Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes, has been remarkably successful in a series of major reforms regarding public companies, market deregulation and the opening of the economy.

Bolsonaro is far from an ideal ruler, but he does not look worse than the alternative of a Lula who defends Russia in the war he waged against Ukraine and supports dictatorships and corrupt governments on the continent.

Regarding our other neighbor, he was not more accommodating: “It is very difficult to understand the romanticism that exists in Argentina with Peronism, which has been the source of all its ills,” he was right to point out. The course of the sister republic certainly does not shed any hope until the possible political change that may be generated in the next elections.

After painting a frankly bleak picture, pointing out that what will happen in the elections in Brazil and Colombia is key, he arrived in our country. “It is a calm, 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” described the Nobel. Vargas Llosa effectively concluded that Uruguay is an exception in the region, that it has an exemplary institutional framework and party system, and a government that is leading it in the right direction. This diagnosis certainly fills us with pride, but at the same time we should be concerned about the environment.

Uruguay has managed to go through the pandemic in freedom, has chosen a sound strategy from the health, economic and social point of view, and is advancing in an important agenda of fundamental reforms. At the same time, the continent is concerned, the fate that Argentina and Chile are facing, and the fate that Brazil and Colombia may face after their next elections call us to be vigilant.

We would love to say thanks to the writer of this article for this amazing material

Where is Latin America going?