Photo: Mario Vargas Llosa, Stirring Controversies in Argentina and México
The Literature Nobel prize winner was selected to inaugurate the annual “Book Fair” in Argentina, a choice that didn’t sit well with many Kirshner-followers.
Several supporters of “Kishnerism” are upset that Vargas Llosa was the official selection, given his sharp criticism of Cristina Fernández, and other populist leaders of Latin América.
Horacio González, the director of Argentina’s National Library, wrote an open letter calling on organizers to disinvite the Peruvian Nobel, a document that he has since retracted, compelled by calls and letters from president Cristina Fernández herself, urging organizers to respect the freedom of speech.
The invitation to inaugurate the book fair still stands, even though dozens of intellectuals close to Fernández,, as well as several Kirshnerist groups have expressed their dismay over inviting a liberal writer, who has criticized the current government as well as its predecessor’s so often and outspokenly, to be the spokesperson for such an event.
Vargas Llosa, has said that he will attend the book fair, just as long as the invitation is not withdrawn.
He also denied emphatically that he penned comments posted in a profile with his name on the social network Facebook. “I do not know Facebook, I don’t practice it, and I never will; I have never answered to anybody via-Facebook, and anything attributed to me in such social network, is fake, the work of impostors,” the Nobel said.
Vargas Llosa said he has a special place in his heart for Argentina, and that his criticisms, are due to his desire of seeing Argentina become “the great nation it once was.”
“I think is a shame that somebody wants to veto me, because the only time that vetoes have happened to me was during the military dictatorship, was when a General named Harguinday prohibited my books,” Vargas Llosa said from Mexico.
The Mexican Controversy
Mario Vargas Llosa is currently in México, where he will be awarded with the “Order of the Aztec Eagle” the highest decoration that the nation offers to foreigners.
In a press conference previous to his award ceremony, the Nobel was quoted as saying that “legalization is the only way to put an end to the crime associated with drug-trafficking.”
Vargas Llosa said that the current war against drugs is “brave” and “heroic,” but that it comes to a great cost for the Mexican people.
“It is evident to me that through mere repression, drug trafficking is never going to end,” he said to the press.
The writer said he shared the idea of former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso to open negotiations between producer-nations and consumer-nations, aimed at relocating the funds currently used in oppressive strategies that are evidently not working whatsoever, toward policies of prevention and rehabilitation.
Along with Cardoso, former presidents Vicente Fox and Ernesto Zedillo from México and César Gaviria, from Colombia, have manifested their inclination towards de-criminalization (of Marihuana, specifically) as a smarter way of tackling the issue, and breaking the economic power of criminal organizations.
“I think that the current [violent] situation in México,” Said Vargas Llosa “is in a way an indicator, an announcement of the times to come for other Latin American countries where “narcos” are already causing disasters of all kinds, including political,” The Nobel predicted.