Alvaro Vargas Llosa Archive

Alvaro Vargas Llosa is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute. More information

Humala’s Hatchet Man May Be Key Figure in Peruvian Spy Scandal



The Peruvian government is spying on its critics, real or imagined. The first revelations came out a year and a half ago but were summarily dismissed by President Ollanta Humala. Now a profusion of videos, documents, and other evidence has been leaked out by insiders at the National Intelligence Directorate (DINI), an organization headed...
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Oil and Dictators



Will the collapse of oil prices benefit or erode petrodictators in the Middle East, Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America? At first glance, the answer would seem obvious. Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iran need crude prices as high as $110 per barrel to fund their states in their present condition. Russia, half of whose government budget...
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The Malvinas versus Argentina



I hope someone has the cheek to send Argentine President Cristina Kirchner a copy of the Statistical Yearbook 2014 published by the Falkland Islands Government—preferably without giving too many hints of their identity, if they want to avoid serious trouble. Regardless of what one thinks about the sovereignty issue, few documents in recent memory...
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Brazil—Back to Normality



Brazil’s presidential election has confirmed that, after a few weeks in which environmentalist candidate Marina Silva and her “new kind of politics” turned things upside down, everything is back to normal: the governing Workers Party (PT) is a hegemonic force, the Social Democratic Party (PSDB) is a convenient opposition and, despite the increasing impatience...
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Obama: The Unbearable Lightness of Being on Immigration



President Obama’s decision to postpone executive action on immigration is probably the nail in the coffin for comprehensive reform under the current government—regardless of whether the president has the constitutional authority to bypass Congress or not, which is not the topic of this post. Whatever reform comes after the midterm elections, if any, will...
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A Hell of a Pinpoint Operation



Secretary of State John Kerry was right to call Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas “a hell of a pinpoint operation” in an apparently private comment that had the hallmark of a diplomatic move aimed at putting pressure on Tel Aviv. Except that he was referring ironically to the military aspect of the operation,...
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Piketty and Emerging Markets



Much has been said to refute Thomas Piketty’s important book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, from the perspective of developed countries, but not from the standpoint of emerging markets. His contention that the rate of return of capital, roughly twice the rate of growth of the economy, leads to increasing inequality is not consistent with...
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India—A New Beginning?



When Antoine van Agtmael of the International Finance Corporation coined the term “emerging markets” in 1981 and helped launch the first global fund aimed at investing in those countries, he was desperate to change the negative perception about the “Third World.” Little did he know that, a few decades later, the problem would be...
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What Middle East Peace Process?



The so-called Middle East peace process has died a thousand deaths. The last one happened early in April, when Mahmoud Abbas signed several treaties with international agencies under the Palestinian Authority’s recently gained “observer State” status against the wishes of the United States and Israel. The move followed Tel Aviv’s decision to renege on...
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Leopoldo Lopez: Venezuela’s “Dangerous Man”



After several days in hiding, Leopoldo López, one of the leaders of Venezuela’s resistance movement, turned himself in at a massive protest rally and proclaimed: “If my imprisonment serves to wake up people...it will have been worth it.” The Chavista dictatorship headed by Nicolás Maduro has charged him with acts of violence related to...
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