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.
Germany and the Political Price of Cynicism


As I walk around Berlin, I remember a song about the Wall by the famous Spanish singer Joaquín Sabina that loosely translated begins like this: “That guy who goes to the golf club / if you saw him yesterday / yelling “Yankee go home” / chanting Fidel’s slogans / Today he has a cobblestone,...
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Cancel Culture as Collectivist Fragility


A conversation with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the celebrated Somali-born writer and activist based in the United States, has convinced me that “cancel culture” is not just a fleeting academic perversion or a fad for silly Millennials, but the new ideology that threatens liberal democracies. Cancel culture also takes other names: identity politics, critical race...
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The Treason of the Intellectuals


One hundred and fifty well-known intellectuals from the English-speaking world, a majority of them from the left, have published an open letter in Harper’s Magazine railing against intolerance, censorship, obscurantism. They have aimed their guns not only against the enemy on the right, but also against their counterparts on the left. And they have...
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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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