Alvaro Vargas Llosa Archive

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

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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Venezuela: The End of Newspapers?



I recently got a call from the owner and editor of “El Nacional,” the longstanding Venezuelan daily, in which Miguel Henrique Otero told me that things are even worse than what has been reported in relation to his country’s newspaper industry. Since the end of last year, the government has refused to allow the...
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Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, Part 2



Russia’s Vladimir Putin has obtained a Pyrrhic victory in forcing the Ukraine to reject a free-trade agreement with the European Union that would have eliminated 95 percent of custom duties on its exports to those 28 countries and, more importantly, institutionalized its ties to the Western world. The move has triggered protests that have...
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Venezuela’s Price Police



The Venezuelan government’s war on price inflation is not a metaphorical one—last weekend President Maduro, who owes his title to April’s rigged election, ordered the military takeover of Daka, a chain of electronic stores, and the arrest of several managers from that and other retail companies. The rhetoric employed by Maduro was inevitably interpreted...
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When Extremism Is Seen as Moderate...



France’s National Front, the far-right organization that has become a symbol of the xenophobic, Euroskeptic, nationalist reaction against the prevailing problems in Europe, has sent ripples across the world by topping the latest polls and winning a significant by-election. Marine Le Pen, its leader, is busy giving birth to a continent-wide movement of like-minded...
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