On Vargas-Llosa’s Right-Wingism

Writing about Mario Vargas-Llosa post-Nobel at The Book Beast, Allen Barra seeks to answer accusations that V-L is right-wing:

As for the perception of Llosa as right wing, the subject himself dismissed it, correctly I think, in a 1985 essay, “Nicaragua at the Crossroads.” “For a reason as mysterious as the street directions in Managua, the defense of freedom of expression, elections and political pluralism gain one the reputation, among Latin American intellectuals, of being right wing.” And, one might add, among some American and European intellectuals as well.

Ummm . . . the incident over which most consider Vargas-Llosa right-wing–the campaign he waged for to be Peru’s president–didn’t occur until 1990. So Vargas-Llosa preemptively silenced his critics-to-be 5 years in advance?

And anyway, claims that Vargas-Llosa is right-wing tend not to hinge around “the defense of freedom of expression, elections and political pluralism” but rather the fact that he was in cahoots with Peru’s economic elite during a time of great economic pain.

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It’s a good thing you edited this, because it originally said “during the Fujimori” ‘regime,’ which is wildly inaccurate because Fujimori was the candidate Vargas Llosa was running against to begin with… At any rate, it’s rendered only the more inaccurate by the fact that Mr. Fujimori’s so-called “Fujishock” policies ended up being far, far to the right of anything proposed by Vargas Llosa–and the fact that a good 67% of Peruvians approve of them even today.

Just saying.


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