Sunday, April 6, 2014

Venezuela: Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa,78, to Lend Support to Protest Movement

According to, Mario Vargas Llosa, 78, a former Peruvian presidential candidate and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, says he will travel to Venezuela later this month to lend his support to opposition groups.

The 78-year-old novelist plans to attend a conference hosted by a conservative opposition think tank, the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE).

Vargas Llosa has accused Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of attempting to install a “Cuban-inspired dictatorship” in Venezuela and warned that freedoms in the whole of Latin America could be threatened if he succeeds.

At least 39 people have been killed and more than 500 have been injured since the unrest began in western Venezuela on February 4, and has grown into a nationwide movement protesting the economic crisis, scarcity of basic food and household necessities, high inflation, violent crime and police brutality.

COMMENT: Maduro insists that the protests are part of a right-wing plot, backed by the US and assisted by the media, to oust his democratically elected government.

Vargas Llosa meanwhile lamented that the government of Peruvian President Ollanta Humala had not “led in Latin America the protest against the virtual disappearance of democracy in Venezuela."

"I will go with other liberals to lend our support and show our solidarity to those who are putting up a big fight against the dictatorship of Maduro," he said.

The CEDICE conference, “Latin America, freedom is the future,” will be attended by many other centrist and conservative intellectuals from Latin American countries, including Mexican historian Enrique Krauze and former Mexican secretary of foreign affairs Jorge Castañeda.

Vargas Llosa, one of Latin America’s most acclaimed writers, has previously said that he wanted his 1969 novel “Conversation in the Cathedral” to show "how a dictatorial and authoritarian government corrupts all the society."