Alvaro Vargas Llosa Archive

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

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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Latin America and the Fed Factor



We recently got a glimpse of what will happen to Latin America once the Federal Reserve stops printing money like crazy. Ben Bernanke’s mere suggestion, back in May, that he might begin to slow the purchase of securities (“tapering,” in financial parlance) was enough to cause $1.5 trillion to evaporate in emerging markets as...
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The End of Cristina’s Reign



Argentina held open primaries last Sunday whose ostensible purpose was to pick the candidates that will compete in October’s midterm elections. But Argentineans saw them as a major test of Cristina Kirchner’s increasingly corrupt, authoritarian presidency—and she was badly humiliated. The rules make these primary elections a foretaste of the real race, which means...
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Goodbye to the War On Drugs?



The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) that is meeting in Guatemala this week to discuss drug policy in the hemisphere is one of the few good things this body, whose record on the Cuban and Venezuelan tragedies is pathetic, has done. In early 2012, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina stirred...
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No Longer Fruitcakes. . .



Barring legal maneuvers, a fringe party becomes part of a country’s mainstream politics for one of two reasons: because it sheds or conceals its extravagant views or because mainstream politics shifts in such a way as to make it relevant. The UK Independence Party, which won an average of 25 percent of the vote...
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Goodbye, Maggie



Margaret Thatcher’s death caught up with me in the worst of places: a speech in Argentina. What to do? Should I follow my conscience and say a few words in memory of her—and risk offending an audience sensitive to the legacy of the Falklands War—or should I keep silent? I opted for saying a...
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Italy’s Populists



The populist reaction against Europe’s crisis continues to move south, as exemplified by the astounding success of the Five Star Movement led by comedian Giuseppe Grillo, which became Italy’s largest single party in the recent general elections. An organization that has been in existence for three years, the Five Star Movement has capitalized on...
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The Delusion of Money



French president Francois Hollande’s statement saying that the euro should not fluctuate according to the mood of the market; the complaint by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker about the euro being “dangerously high”; and the Bank of Japan’s recent decision to weaken the yen with “aggressive” quantitative easing confirm what we already knew: The world...
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