Mario Vargas Llosa: A Nobel Long Overdue

mariovargasllosa

The literature of Mario Vargas Llosa has prompted several key turning points in my life. The first was 17 years ago, in a summer of blackouts and economic crisis. Under the pretext of borrowing “The War of the End of the World,” I approached a journalist expelled from his profession for ideological problems, with whom I still share my days. I keep that copy with its yellowed cover and detached pages, because through it dozens of readers have discovered this Peruvian author censored in the official bookstores.

Then came university, and while preparing my thesis on the literature of the dictatorship in Latin America his novel “The Feast of the Goat” appeared. The inclusion in my analysis of that text about Trujillo did not sit well with the panel evaluating me. Nor did they like that among the characteristics of American caudillos, I highlighted exactly those also flaunted by “our” Maximum Leader. Thus, for the second time, a book by the now Nobel Prize winner in Literature marked my existence because it made me realize the frustration of being a philologist in Cuba. Why do I need a title, I told myself, that announces I am a specialist in language and words, when I can’t even freely unite phrases.

So Vargas Llosa and his literature are responsible, in a direct and “premeditated” way, for much of what I am today: from my matrimonial happiness and my aversion to totalitarianism, to my having reneged on philology and turned to journalism.

I am prepared now, because I fear the next time one of his books falls into my hands its effect will last another 17 years, or once again slam the door on a profession.

75 thoughts on “Mario Vargas Llosa: A Nobel Long Overdue

  1. Marabu! BEEN GETTING THAT MESSAGE TOO! DONT WORRY, LA FLACA IS SMARTER THAN MOST OF US HERE! ALL THESE PROBLEMS ON HER BLOG “JUST HAPPEN” TO OCCUR WHEN THERE IS AN IMPORTANT EVENT IN LA FLACA’S WORK, LIKE THIS TRIP! INTERESTING TIMING, DO YOU THINK DEAR??

  2. Nick !! ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TALK ABOUT CUBA OR A CUBA RELATED SUBJECT DEAR?? YOUR POSTS ARE MOSTLY ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE! ARE YOU TRYING TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT??

  3. @Nick

    Democracy is not God.
    The danger with it is that those who can pay for media campaigns can promise free lunches, get to power, seal as much as they can, do not keep the promises and then say: vote me out.

    And then they are voted out – and replaced by another group who can pay for media campaigns.

    If you are really hungry, Nick, you may sell me the democracy. I’ll give you $5 for it. Not that I need it, but I help the hungry from time to time.

  4. re Marabu #71

    In an ideal world you wouldn’t have a monarchical theocracracy in Saudi Arabia where they still have the death penalty for crimes such as ‘witchcraft’, ‘sorcery’ and switching from the official religion.

    In an ideal world you wouldn’t have had George W Bush 8 years in power (due to nepotism and electoral fraud) in the most powerful nation on earth and one of a tiny monority of countries which still carry out the death penalty on people who are mentally ill.

    And in an ideal world you would not have one man in power in Cuba for 49 years (the death penalty is still on the statute book but is very rarely carried out and is likely to be done away with before too long).

    I guess in Cuba Fidel Castro always said that he was in power with the will and the mandate of the people but this does this mean they should not have had a more democratic and pluralist electoral process?

    The mitigating circumstance would be the question of whether more democratic elections would have ever been permitted or accepted due to the potentially massive input of the big neighbour to the north.

    An example would be Nicaragua where Ortega called and won an election that was widely regarded as fair by international observers but not by the U S (under Reagan)or the right-wing owned U S media groups. His democratic success was followed by 5 years of governance plagued by a U S backed opposition and a U S armed terrorist insurgency.

    Another example would be Chile where Allende won a democratic election in the early seventies. This result was doomed never to be accepted by the U S and we all know what happened next down there…

    Historians will argue whether true democracy was ever permitted by the USA in Latin America during that era, any more that democracy was permitted in the same era by Russia in the Soviet bloc.

    The only democratically elected leaders in Latin America during the second half of the 20th century that were accepted by the big boys in the north were those who danced to the U S tune (or at least tapped their feet along to it).

    Unfortunately we still do not live in an ideal world.
    But in some respects maybe it’s getting better.

  5. Marabu, you HAVE to be joking, right?! Too silly for words! Where do you live? Do you live in a so called “kingdom” and are you happy with it?

  6. @Nick
    You say: “My own personal opinion would be that, in an ideal world, nobody should be in power for this length of time.”

    But.. why not?
    I look at Cuba as if it were a kingdom, and kings use to stay on top all their life.
    Castro has the same right to govern as Abdullah has.

    Sure both kingdoms are very different. The Saudis have more wealth to distribute and Cuba respects human rights better, but who are we to ask foreign kings to step down?

    It’s not how long they rein but what they achieved and where they failed.

  7. INTER PRESS SERVICE: OP-ED: Change in Cuba Comes in Stops and Starts – by Leonardo Padura

    While economic and social changes have so far brought about slight (or not so slight) shifts in the relations of production, property and citizen rights, such as the revitalisation of private enterprise, creation of agricultural and worker cooperatives, distribution of land for farming, or the important migration reform that allows a majority of the population to travel, changes in the years to come will have a more radical effect on the basic structures of the system.

    As Díaz-Canel said: “We have made progress on what was easiest, in the solutions that required less depth of decision and less work to implement, and now we are left with the more important aspects, which will be more decisive in the future development of the country, as well as more complex.”

    What is intriguing is that neither leader has specified what the changes will consist of, or what their sphere or scope will be. They merely respond that everything is laid out in the Guidelines.

    But an event of international importance has made a big difference to the balance of decision-making in Cuba.

    The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Cuba’s main political supporter and trading partner through bilateral and regional agreements, such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), is definitely a factor that Havana cannot take lightly.

    If, as analysts expect, Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s political heir, wins the presidency in the upcoming elections in Venezuela, Cuba will be able to breathe more easily, given Maduro’s promises with respect to the island and the loyalty he has pledged to Chávez’s thought and commitments.

    Meanwhile, the complex social fabric, that is so different today than in the early 1990s (when a severe crisis was triggered by the break-up of Cuba’s main political and trading partner, the Soviet Union) requires more realism and dynamism in the process of change, given that a large percentage of the Cuban population is made up of young people with different ideas and points of view, and also that many people have spent more than 20 years struggling to survive on low wages and facing concrete problems of all kinds.

    Has the time come to cut short the pauses and accelerate the pace? And is it time for citizens to begin to learn what future is in store for them with those deeper and more complex transformations, that could define the destiny of the country and, certainly, of their own lives? In all likelihood, yes.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/03/op-ed-change-in-cuba-comes-in-stops-and-starts/

  8. NICE PIECE! FROM THE CUBAN HEART! GREAT JOB Mr. Rivero!!

    WLRN PBS SOUTH FLORIDA: After Yoani Sanchez: What Changes Linger In The Miami Air? – by Daniel Rivero

    For people of my generation, you simply could not avoid getting a crash course on Cuban politics and the dream of a free Cuba. The reason we are here. We are here because of him. Because of Fidel. During her recent visit to Miami, Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez spoke at the Freedom Tower, where so many Cubans first passed through on their way to new lives in the United States. We have been divided by a dictatorship, Sanchez told the crowd — split into “two irreconcilable worlds.” We are a diverse people, divided by geography and time apart, but we form a single heritage and history. The country needs you. Do what you can do! Her pragmatic views and bold actions have rekindled a sense of unity between Cubans in exile and those still on the island, as well as among Miami Cubans themselves. Indeed, a look around the mixed crowd at the event showed Cubans spanning generations, citizenship status and sides of the political spectrum.

    And for the first time I can remember, the differences that separate us from one another felt trivial. A feeling of reinvigoration struck, a feeling still looming in Miami’s air.

    As Sanchez took the stage, a chant of libertad nearly brought me to tears. I was so unprepared for the weight of the passion, the force of the sound, the diversity of voices.

    I stood paralyzed for a moment, unsure whether I should join in or not. Should a journalist do this or would that be a political action? Could I actually participate in a chant?

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://wlrn.org/post/after-yoani-sanchez-what-changes-linger-miami-air

  9. THAT BEYONCE ! SUCH A “SOCIALIST” AND “HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER”!! ALWAYS HANGING OUT WITH THE POOR AND THE OPPRESSED! AND GIVING CASTRO’S BUDDY GADDAFI A “GREAT SHOW”!!! BUT HECK, HE WAS A “SOCIALIST” AND THERE WAS THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!! JE JE JE!

    STAR PULSE: Beyonce Donated Private Concert Fees From Gaddafi to Charity Last Year
    March 2nd, 2011
    The Crazy In Love hitmaker was one of the headliners at a 2009 New Year’s Eve party hosted by the dictator’s son, Muatassim Gaddafi, on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.

    She came under increasing pressure to hand over her performance fee to a good cause last week as civil unrest grows in the Middle East.

    Other artists, including Usher, Nelly Furtado and Mariah Carey, who have all performed at gigs hosted by members of the Gaddafi family, have also faced calls to return their pay checks.

    Furtado announced on Monday that she had become so appalled by the controversial Libyan leader’s decision not to step down and give up power amid growing unrest in his country, she was planning to give her $1 million fee to charity.

    And now Beyonce’s representative has moved to end the controversy telling the Associated Press the singer donated the cash to boost Haiti earthquake relief efforts more than a year ago.

    Gaddafi has become a vilified character across the world with many countries, including the U.S., imposing sanctions on Libya in a bid to force the tyrant to listen to his people and resign from office.

    http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2011/03/02/beyonce_donated_private_concert_fees_f

  10. what message did obama deliver to castros via beyonce…that he will go there for a beach trip…or that castros can come for a trip to american beach. Look good relationship…so why dont you grow it more. Another thing that must be clear now is what message did send yoani from castros to obama…that there should continue the hidden unembargo…I think the white is black and black is white behind the scene

  11. SPEAKING OF WHEN YOANI LOST HER TOOTH!!

    AUDIO DECLARATIONS (Spanish Only): Yoani Sanchez narra su detención y cómo perdió un diente a manos de las policía Cubana – Yoani Sanchez recounts her arrest and how he lost a tooth at the hands of the Cuban police
    levantamientoencuba.podomatic.com/entry/2012-10-06T12_04_43-07_00

  12. I THINK JAY-Z JUST GOT WHOOPED (look up meaning on urban dictionary), OR FUACATAAAAAA IN CUBAN! HOW FREAKING ARROGANT OF HIM TO THINK THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA IS HIS “BOY”!! COMEMIERD@!!

    ABC NEWS: Jay-Z vs. Jay-C: White House Dismisses Rapper’s Cuba Song – by Mary Bruce

    In the song, entitled “Open Letter,” Jay-Z brags that he “got White House clearance” for his recent controversial trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today denied the White House had any involvement with their trip, saying the Treasury Department handles all clearances for travel to Cuba.

    “I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury,” Carney joked.

    In the song, Jay-Z also recounts a conversation he had with President Obama about his trip. “Obama said, ‘Chill, you, gonna get me impeached… We don’t need this s-t anyway, chill with me on the beach,” he raps in the nearly three-minute song.

    Carney dismissed the claim. “It’s a song,” he said. “The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.”

    “I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s personal — anybody’s travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles,” he said.

    Jay-Z and Beyonce’s trip to Havana was government-sanctioned and allowed through a licensed program that encourages “meaningful contacts” with Cubans.

    According to the new song, they “turned Havana into Atlanta” with “Guayabera shirts and bandanas,” Jay-Z raps.

    abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/04/white-house-pans-jay-zs-cuba-rap-song/

  13. That is a rather offensive comment about Yoani’s broken tooth. Especially considering how it was a goon from the Cuban state security who broke her tooth when she was assaulted for trying to attend the trial of Angel Carromero.

    I guess you Castro apologists get a big chuckle out of that sort of thing, eh?

  14. I’ve just seen Yoani’s interview on PBS on Ausralian tv. I was hoping Yoani would get a new tooth somewhere in her travels. Is there a generous dentist out there????

  15. PBS NEWSHOUR VIDEO: Cuban Dissident Yoani Sanchez Reflects on Freedom and Oppression. Blogger Yoani Sanchez, called the most famous Cuban not named Castro, writes about freedom, oppression and life as a dissident in her home country. In this interview from WNET’s MetroFocus, Sanchez talks with Rafael Pi Roman about how her country has suffered, and whether the government is being transformed or weakened.
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2364994041

  16. NO REALITY IS QUITE A CONTRAST AGAINST TODAY’S LITTLE PRISON TOUR!

    Ten videos smuggled out of Cuba’s biggest and reputedly worst prison, in an unusually daring operation by a dissident, show grotesquely dirty toilets, grimy walls, leaking sewage and food described as worse than “animal feed.” “Show this video to the international community, how this miserable dictatorship commits cruelties against humanity,” says the videos’ main narrator, an India citizen serving a 30-year sentence in Havana’s high security Combinado del Este prison. Havana dissident journalist Dania Virgen García, who writes the blog “Cuba por Dentro” — Inside Cuba — said the videos were shot in late January with a digital camera smuggled into the prison “so that everyone can see Cuba’s reality.”

    The videos — which also showed several inmates, including a U.S. citizen complaining about prison conditions — appeared to be the first ever smuggled out of Cuba’s 200-plus prisons. Their views of prison buildings matched those of the Combinado del Este prison.

    VIDEO #1: La cárcel por dentro – 1ra parte (The prison from inside part #1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYJewyAtEcY&feature=player_embedded

  17. THE CASTROFASCIST SMOKE AND MIRROR PRISON SHOW AFTER A 9-YEAR ABSENCE! VERY WELL STAGED!

    FOX NEWS: Cuba gives reporters rare prison tour, seemingly seeking to counter criticisms of conditions

    HAVANA – Cuba invited foreign journalists to tour four prisons this week in an apparent attempt to counter public criticisms of conditions inside.

    At the Combinado del Este, the island’s largest lockup and one of five maximum-security prisons, reporters were shown workshops where inmates were hard at work disassembling cars, repairing motors and making shoes.

    The prison, which is home to Cuba’s gravest offenders, also offers classes in useful skills like bricklaying, carpentry and soldering.

    Roelis Osorio, director of the Combinado del Este, said 27 percent of the inmates work voluntarily and are compensated for their labor. He said 37 percent of prisoners take classes.

    Cells measuring about 2 by 4 yards (meters) house three inmates, and each has a bathroom separated by plastic curtains or blankets.

    Medium-security prisons were also opened up to reporters for the first time in nine years.

    Cuba has 56,000 prisoners in 200 penitentiaries.

    Cuban dissidents have accused prison facilities of abuse amounting to torture — something vehemently denied by authorities.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/10/cuba-gives-reporters-rare-prison-tour-seemingly-seeking-to-counter-criticisms/

  18. COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: CPJ welcomes release of Cuban journalist

    New York, April 10, 2013–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of Cuban journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a reporter with the independent news agency Centro de Información Hablemos Press, who had been imprisoned since September while reporting on an international medical donation to Cuba. “We are overjoyed that Calixto Ramón Martinez Arias has been released and relieved that his ordeal is over,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “Cuban authorities must end their practice of detaining or intimidating journalists who report independently. Reforms in Cuba cannot be fully credible until they include a free press. Martínez Arias was officially accused of contempt for shouting anti-Castro slogans after he was harassed by authorities in September 2012, but was never formally tried. The journalist, who was on intermittent hunger strikes, described the inhumane conditions he faced in prison.

    http://www.cpj.org/2013/04/cpj-welcomes-release-of-cuban-journalist.php

  19. NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY VIDEO : Rosa Maria Paya at NED
    http://www.ustream.tv/new/search?q=ROSA+MARIA+PAYA

    NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY EVENT: Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba: The Legacy of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas – A discussion sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy and the National Democratic Institute

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 9:00 – 10:30 AM
    1025 F. Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004
    Telephone: 202-378-9675 RSVP by April 8th.

    FEATURED SPEAKERS :Rosa Maria Paya (daughter of Oswaldo Paya) & head of Christian Liberation Movement
    with comments by: Fred Hiatt – Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Post
    and Santiago Cantón – Director, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

    ABOUT THE EVENT: As the founder and leader of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement, the late Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas was an unwavering advocate for democracy and human rights. In 2002, the Christian Liberation Movement’s Varela Project captured widespread attention, both in Cuba and internationally, as it called for a popular referendum to establish the foundation for a democratic system in the country. With more than 25,000 Cuban citizens publicly signing the petition, the Varela Project became one of the most creative challenges to totalitarian rule in Cuba. Throughout his life, Oswaldo Paya served as a consistent voice for pluralism, national reconciliation and respect for human rights, and placed these principles at the forefront of his efforts to bring democracy to the island. His tragic and untimely death in July 2012 increasingly has raised questions in the international community and, at the same time, galvanized support for the ideals that he stood for. Please join us as we honor his legacy and reflect upon the future of Cuba’s democratic movement. Panelists will include Rosa María Payá Acevedo of the Christian Liberation Movement,Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post and Santiago Cantón of the Robert F. Kenney Center for Justice and Human Rights

    ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
    Fred Hiatt is the author of Nine Days (Random House, publication April 9), a thriller for young adults inspired in part by the true story of dissident Wang Bingzhang and his daughter’s efforts to win his freedom from Chinese prison.

    Santiago Cantón was the former Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States.

  20. THE CASTROFASCIST ARE AGAINST THE WALL! THEY EVEN GAVE SOME PRESS CORRESPONDENTS “A TOUR” OF A CUBAN JAIL TODAY! WHY NOT TAKE THEM TO SEE ALAN GROSS OR SOME OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS??

    WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: Oswaldo Payá’s fight for a democratic Cuba lives on

    ACAR WRECK on a road outside of Bayamo, Cuba, last July 22 tragically took the life of dissident Oswaldo Payá and youth activist Harold Cepero. The circumstances of their deaths are suspicious and need investigation. But whoever attempted to kill Mr. Payá could not extinguish his message. On Tuesday, a forceful exponent of that message, Mr. Payá’s daughter Rosa Maria, brought it to Washington.

    The message is that genuine democratic change of the kind Mr. Payá sought has not yet come to Cuba. Cosmetic “reforms” have been launched, intended to impress the outside world while preserving the Castro regime’s grip on power. Ms. Payá cautioned that these “false images” must not be confused with political and economic freedom, which Cubans do not yet enjoy.

    The transition must make democracy “legal, specific and real,” she declared, and not give way to another thinly veiled brand of authoritarianism. “We don’t need another Russia or China,” she said. “Today, my father’s voice reminds us that all dictatorships have no political color — not right or left, they are only dictatorships.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/oswaldo-payas-fight-for-cuba-lives-on/2013/04/09/692d4fdc-a153-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html

  21. 2 big wars planned,one in asia and another in the middle east may get rid of the 5 billions….which is also the plan of the globalist teams made of right and left wings teams working together…and that is 70% of the humanity as castro said to north koreans if there is a war in asia

  22. the depopullation worldwide masacre is run by paid mercenaries of right and left wings,conservatives,liberals and all their neos…paid,financed by the same world elite

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