Posts by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Alvaro Vargas Llosa is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute. His Independent books include Global Crossings, Liberty for Latin America, and The Che Guevara Myth.
Uruguay’s Freer Approach Has Severely Limited the Pandemic While Protecting the Economy


We are not talking enough about Uruguay. That small South American country boasts impressive results in its handling of the coronavirus. It is also signaling that it wants to prosper and that it understands more freedom might be the way to go about it. Under president Luis Lacalle Pou, Uruguay has suffered a very…
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The Smart Ones in the Time of Pandemic


Although it is still early days to reach definitive conclusions about many aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, we have by now a fair idea of which countries have done a better job than most others in fighting it. I propose that we group them into four categories. Several countries could be in more than…
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The Financial Virus Will Infect Our Politics


One does not need to be prescient to understand that the consequences of the U.S. government’s financial response to the coronavirus will be momentous. The U.S. Federal Reserve recently announced nine new “facilities” (lending programs) and its balance sheet has surpassed the $6 trillion mark. Even the maniacal asset-buying of the post-financial crisis years…
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Does the Coronavirus Favor the Left or the Right?


The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is caught up in the ideological and cultural wars of our time. Perhaps it is not entirely frivolous to ask whether the effects and consequences of this virus disproportionately help the left or the right. One obvious aspect plays to the interests of the right: the outbreak has…
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Venezuela’s Fictional President May Still Offer Hope


Juan Guaidó, recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate president by more than 50 countries, was brutally returned to reality after a fairy-tale tour of Latin America, Europe and the United States, when hundreds of thugs in the service of his country’s dictatorship welcomed him back at the airport in Caracas by kicking him, punching him and…
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Iran’s Greatest Myth: Moderates Waiting in the Wings


Every time Iran is in the news, the same old myths about the country’s politics seem to fill the airwaves and the print media, fueled by politicians and commentators. By far the most important myth is the one that divides the regime between hardliners and moderates. According to this view, a significant part of…
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One Central Banker Is Out, but His Legacy Could Push Europe to the Financial Brink


Mario Draghi is not a household name outside of a few European countries, and yet what he did or didn’t do had the potential to wreak havoc worldwide. The MIT-educated Italian economist, who headed the European Central Bank (ECB) for eight years until October 31, left his post after announcing measures that could damage…
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Ecuador’s Poisoned Legacy


An indispensable measure—elimination of fuel subsidies that benefited the rich at the expense of the poor—has served as a pretext for violent riots in Ecuador and a coup attempt by radical left-wing groups acting under the umbrella of indigenous organizations that have little trouble finding solidarity in the media, civic groups, and governments of…
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Boris versus Maggie: UK’s New Prime Minister Is Cut From a Different Cloth


The leader of the “tories”, Boris Johnson, could not have asked for a more perfect opponent in last week’s elections than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party. It was delusionary on the part of the Labour Party to think they could win with a leader who seemed to have come straight…
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The Berlin Wall Still Teaches Invaluable Lessons 30 Years After Its Fall


I would like to share with readers three lessons from the fall of the Berlin Wall. The first, what it teaches us about history. Historicists believe that history is teleologically guided by impersonal forces that shape things inexorably. Several thinkers, among them Karl Popper in The Open Society and its Enemies, debunked this theory…
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