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Latino Daily News

Wednesday January 5, 2011

The Three Nationalities of Mario Vargas Llosa. Peruvian, Spanish and now… Dominican

Mario Vargas Llosa has “accepted” a symbolic third nationality—Dominican.

the Writer was born in Perú, on March 28, 1936, and aquired the Spanish citizenship in 1993.

The Minister of Culture of the Dominican Republic, José Rafael Lantigua, proclaimed the author a honorary citizen of the Dominican Republic during a ceremony where President, Leonel Fernandez, awarded the Nobel Prize winner with the ‘Order of Christopher Columbus’ in the rank of ‘Grand Cross Badge of Silver’.

The Hall of Ambassadors of the Dominican National Palace was crowded with writers, academics, politicians, businessmen, artists and diplomats; a large group of people who cheered, smiled, rose from his seats and, shook hands with the Nobel, who attended the ceremony with his wife Patricia, his sons, his grandchildren and other family members with whom he spent the New Year holiday in the island.

Lantigua opened the ceremony with memories of the first time that Vargas Llosa came to the Island. Later, the Minister of Culture remembered that “in his speech in Stockholm, on receiving the Nobel, [Vargas Llosa] mentioned our country on two occasions. To highlight its democratic values, and to affirm that it is one of the countries where it feels like home.” Without hiding his excitement, Lantigua then said, “with the consent of the President Mario’s is the first Nobel Prize for Dominican literature”.

“I am moved by the words of the minister,” the writer said. “Now I have three nationalities.” Vargas Llosa then spoke of his visits to the country in the contexts of leisure, as well as of researching his novel “La fiesta del Chivo” about the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. “We can say that all the peoples of Latin America have felt the horror of the dictatorship, but perhaps none has been felt with such ferocity and cruelty as that of Trujillo.”

The writer ended his speech paying a tribute to a nation with a remarkable “spirit of resistance and heroism” against the forces of the regime.

Once everyone was ready to give way to toast President Fernández said the Dominican people feel “honored that our country has become his third country” “We are deeply proud to share with you the nationality of the nation’s largest, which is Latin America. “