Alvaro Vargas Llosa Archive

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

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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Krugman’s Coin



Paul Krugman has made a tongue-in-cheek proposal that has set tongues wagging—having the U.S. Treasury Department mint a $1 trillion platinum coin in order to circumvent the federal debt ceiling. Actually, Krugman was not the first to propose this solution he himself calls “silly” but he has given it wider exposure. In these weird...
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Morsi’s Power Grab



The recent crisis in Gaza has confirmed that Egypt´s Mohamed Morsi is a new power player in the region. Everyone—including the United States, Israel and the Middle Eastern countries— paid almost as much attention to what he did or did not do than to the action on the ground and ultimately had to rely...
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