36 thoughts on “Now I’ve Seen Everything

  1. I will give you the #1 reason for Venezuelans to cheer for Fujimori instead of Humala:

    If Humala wins Chavez will give away tons of money and oil to Peru in exchange of…. snake anti venom or something like that!!!

    We all know that Venezuela cannot afford another blood sucker…


  2. “Right wing extremist”?

    Come on Quico, that’s a bit of unfair, all of us leftie fan of Vargas Llosa out there are going to be a bit offended by that. ALTHOUGH I can imagine you are saying that to make a point. Moreover, remember MVL said a few days just compared Peru’s dichotomy with deciding between getting Cancer or AIDS!, I guess he is picking Cancer.. or AIDS.. hmm which one is Humala and which one is Keiko?


  3. Hatred runs deep people. This is not about ideology, or what’s best for the country. It’s about 1990.

    This is not totally unexpected.


    • Although, I gotta say that this

      “los peruanos reivindican una de las dictaduras más atroces que hemos tenido, cuyos responsables están además en las cárceles, cumpliendo condenas de 25 años, empezando por Fujimori por los crímenes horrendo que cometieron y los robos espantoso”, dijo el escritor.”

      is spot on.

      BTW, exciting that he’s in town. I hope I run into him (sha, right).


  4. There’s one thing that bugs me about the whole Keiko-fobia thing, and I wrote about it yesterday:

    “And is it fair to judge Keiko for the sins her father made and that she’s running on?”

    Keiko wasn’t really “part” of the dictatorship. Her main crime seems to be (that wwe know of) that she doesn’t reject it, that she vindicates her father.

    But… it’s her father, you know? True, he was horrible, but how many of us can be 100% proud of what our parents do? I dunno, there is something inherently unfair about equating her with Montesinos, even if she’s practically running on a platform of vindicating her daddy.


    • This thing about not judging Keiko Fujimori in terms of her dad all sounds nice and very correct in theory, but you know… thinking about this will probably give us the Vargas Llosa perspective:

      Let us travel forward to the future, we turn the TV and watch a presidential campaign ad:

      “Por una venezuela Rosa Rosita…
      Rosa Inés Chavez pa’l 2031!!!”


      • There is a big difference, from economic point of view.

        Fujimori took Peru in a condition much worse than Chavez is having TODAY. At that moments there where doubts that Peru could survive as a country, if you add poverty and terrorism.

        When he left, Peru was economically viable, not the best of the world, due to corruption, unemployment, and economic crisis, but with low inflation, reserves (from NEGATIVE) and open credit.

        I wonder which credit is going to take Chavez daughter.


  5. Anything can heppen between now and the Peruvian run off on June 5th. If Humala wins then all we need to square the circle is for him to believe he is Sucre or San Martín and join up with Chavez (who is really the reincarnation of Bolivar) and there you go. United South America and Chavez maitains his hegemony over the continent despite Francisco’s theory that Chavez is now an “irrelevenat force”. hahaha….


    • With such fantasies running strong in them, I would not be surprised if a few decades from now, the parts of HispanoAmerica that fell under them are Chinese or American overseas territories.


  6. Come on Quico, why do you say MVL is a “right wing extremist”? Just because he happens not to fit the classical writer’s politically correctness?

    In that case, I might be extreme right wing myself because in many occasions I have been 100% d’accord with Vargas Llosa.


    • Bruni! Any chance for a Guest Post?!

      I was trying to make the point that even very very conservative people like MVL can be ridiculously good writers – it’s not the usual thing, but I don’t think either part of that equation is seriously in question.

      You have to admit – MVL can imagine voting Humala? THAT is Man Bites Dog.

      (ps, mi hermana me regañó horrible hoy por no haberte sacado a almorzar…she’s right, you know?)


    • First “right wing extremist”…

      Then “I was trying to make the point that even very very conservative people like MVL can be ridiculously good writers – it’s not the usual thing”…

      FT, next time you have a millionth of the standing Vargas Llosa has, either as a political commentator, writer, politician, or simple ideologue, please do carry on with your stupid comments.


      • I have to say, I’m with Alek on this one Quico. Right-wing extremist?! Vargas Llosa is a fan of Lula’s and Bachelet. If he’s a right-wing extremist, then you should call me Il Duce from now on.


    • no, no, no. Keiko is explicitly running on her dad’s record. Ollanta is running AWAY from his dad’s craziness. It matters.


        • She’s an independent thinker, granted, but her dad has her ear, the same way chavez has Humala’s ear.

          The question then becomes, who’s a better advisor for the nation, Fujimori Sr. or chavez.


      • Francisco:

        Humala plans to reform completely the constitution. The same as Chávez, Evo Morales, the same that Zelaya pretended. Sounds familiar.

        He supported an coup d’etat attempt in 2005. And his brother Antauro anounced that he was going to surrender after receiving an order from Ollanta (I heard that on the radio). I can remember that for many years, there was a newspaper called Ollanta, that even supported OPENLY a coup d’etat against Toledo.


        So, it is doubtful that he will preserve democracy. He will say everything to gain power, like Chávez. The question is if he will respect the rules and leave power, without blood.

        I could write an entire article about the people who surrounds him, between them Javier Diez Canseco, who said tha Castro had the best democracy of the world. The same man who was liberated in 1997, when MRTA took the Japanese Embassy in Lima, and was saluted by the leader of the gang, Nestor Cerpa Cartolini with “Hi, Javier”.

        So much for democracy with this people.

        Vargas Llosa keeps on crying after the wound he had in 1990.
        Maybe the worst campaign in whole earth.

        I have heard him declare, in Chile (around 1995), that bussinessman should NOT invest in Peru, due to instability.

        In February 1995, Peru had an armed conflict with Ecuador, that thankfully did not extend. This found Peru out of base, without preparation. I can recall that many construction projects were cancelled, due to war expenses.

        Alvaro Vargas Llosa writted an article saying that conflict was due to Fujimori’s ambition to foster his campaign. This is very doubtful, considering that Fujimori achieved around 60% in first round (around april)

        Well, in the middle of the war, Mario Vargas Llosa supported his son. Against Peru.

        He supported Alan García in 2006. After having said the worst of him (AND OF THE COMMUNIST) in 1987-1990. And García is no angel, precisely.

        I can recall this frase of Vargas Llosa:
        “(Ollanta) is Chávez with light brazilian accent. A disaster.”


        In the end, it seems to me that Mario Vargas Llosa is a man unable to overcome his rancour . And it’s incredible that he has been unable to learn, after 20 years.


  7. FWIW, here is a statement from Human Rights Watch about the killing of innocents in the civil war in Peru. It supports my contention that the greatest human rights violations in the civil war occurred before Fujimori :

    “The violence peaked in 1983 and 1984 in Ayacucho, one of Peru’s poorest provinces. Both guerrillas and security forces massacred civilians indiscriminately. Three-quarters of the victims named in the report were Quechua-speaking Indians, the poorest and most exploited sector of Peruvian society.”

    That would be when Belaúnde Terrry was President. Not Fujimori.
    But I’m sure Quico has written a resounding denunciation of Belaúnde Terry. Just like Quico wrote a resounding denunciation of Alan García’s bloody hands.
    Just like the denunciation Quico wrote for Fujimori’s daughter to say.

    Right, Quico?

    It is ironic that Vargas Llosa would be supporting the leftist candidate. One thing that tees Vargas Llosa off about Fujimori is that Fujimori ran to the left of Vargas Llosa in the 1990 campaign, and then proceeded to enact economic policies that were pretty much what Vargas Llosa had campaigned on. If anything, Fujimori’s economic policies in office were more to the right of what Vargas Llosa had campaigned on. They were also successful economic policies.


    • If anything, Fujimori’s economic policies in office were more to the right of what Vargas Llosa had campaigned on. They were also successful economic policies.
      The economic politic of Fujimori was really harsh. I can recall that in 1992, and IMF mission said to the Secretary of Economy, Carlos Boloña, that he should open little the hand, because economic politic was tough.

      Yeah, the International Monetory Fund saying that your politic is TOO harsh (any other precedent).

      Anyway, in these years there was a strange and strong connection between the people and Fujimori, that I don’t understand. He launched the worst economic package in Peruvians history (one of worst in worlds history), after saying he would not do it, and anyway he manage to keep things in control, without “Caracazos”.


      • Eduardo
        Anyway, in these years there was a strange and strong connection between the people and Fujimori, that I don’t understand. He launched the worst economic package in Peruvians history (one of worst in worlds history), after saying he would not do it, and anyway he manage to keep things in control, without “Caracazos”.

        Here are the results for GDP per capita annual growth in Peru from 1988-1998, courtesy of World Bank Development Indicators.

        1988 -10.7
        1989 -13.6
        1990 -7.1
        1991 0.1
        1992 -2.3
        1993 2.8
        1994 10.8
        1995 6.7
        1996 0.7
        1997 5.1
        1998 -2.3

        The “strange and strong connection” connection between Fujimori and the people was that he inherited a tanking economy- and the civil war – when elected in 1990 and turned both around. Judging by the results, Fujimori’s economic policies hardly constitute worst economic package in Peruvians history (one of worst in worlds history).


        • Keep in mind that in the latter part of the decade, both the Asian crisis and El Niño caused huge problems for the Peruvian economy.


        • Hi Bol. Tejano:

          I’m not talking about the general economic experience, that was difficult, but much better that previous governments.

          I’m talking specifically about the “Fujishock”, 12-Aug-1990.

          Let me explain:
          -An increase in 2700% in gasoline price (yes: TWO THOUSAND PERCENT!). Alan Garcia, with an inflation of 30% monthly, had kept freezed the gasoline price for several months.
          -Elimination of subsidies on basic food (almost 100% increase).
          -Free dollar exchange, instead of peruvians CADIVI (“Dolar MUC”).

          Afterwards, come the reduction of personnel in all state companies, that was harsh.

          And ALL THIS with high disemployment, almost no state action, shortages of water and power in Lima itself, and terrorism.

          I remember the Finance’s minister saying (and feeling it!): God save us!

          This one of the moment that you expect to experience only ONCE in your whole life…


          • My point is that the “worst economic package” worked. So it couldn’t have been the worst.

            The worst economic packages are ones that don’t work. Such as what Alan Garcia tried in his first term. Such as the policies of the governments in Argentina that retired the Nobel Prize awarded for inflation, having won it so often. :)

            Most drastic economic package?
            You might have a point.


        • Boludo Tejano says:
          April 13, 2011 at 8:33 am
          My point is that the “worst economic package” worked. So it couldn’t have been the worst.


          I agree that you have a point here.

          This was the most drastic package, with 100% inflation in one day, and 400% inflation in one month. But I agree with you this type of solution, one and for all, is the best. Anyway, it was politically complicated, and agravatted by the fact that he lied before.

          On the other side, Alan García had, in Nov-88, his own economic package. It was decided by the Finance Minister, and on last minute Garcia changed it.

          Inflation this month was 100%. Afterwards monthly 30%. Coward and useless package (as “anecdote”, I can add that same day, there was a power failure, and drinking water in Lima was contaminated with sewage water. “Jueves negro”).


  8. Right wing extremist, and very-very-good-novelist, Mario Vargas Llosa …

    Perhaps Quico was writing with his tongue in cheek here. I hope he was writing with tongue in cheek. I fear not.

    When I think of “right-wing extremist,” I think of the Gorillas. Franco in Spain. Marcos Pérez Jiménez or Juan Vicente Gómez in Venezuela. The Somozas in Nicaragua. Big Al Stroessner in Paraguay. Videla in Argentina. Lucas García in Guatemala. [I will never forget being introduced to relatives of Lucas García in his hometown of Las Casas. When the madam of a house of prostitution introduces you to relatives of the then-current President of the Republic, it makes an impression.]

    Vargas Llosa was never aligned with those Gorillas. Vargas Llosa started out on the left, and after seeing the results of the left in power, such as Velasco in Peru [military socialism similar to Thugo’s] or the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Vargas Llosa left the left. More democracy, less government intervention. For reasons similar to those of Vargas Llosa, I also left the left.

    I would agree with others that much of what Vargas Llosa has said after 1990 on politics is tinged with rancor about his failed presidential campaign. As such, I discount it. What is most important about his politics is the change he made before 1990.


    • Oh, and never mind the fact that Vargas Llosa could have never had a leading role in the boom with the other three had he been a “right wing extremist”, but one must guess that that little fact escaped the infallible FT.

      He then ventures another one of his infallible opinions by implying that conservative people can’t be good writers. No, good writers can only be leftists, according to Toro’s wisdom. In his comeflor little bubble, Roberto Smith, Teodoro Petkoff or bloody Habermas are the kind of towering individuals who merit nauseating, servile praise…


  9. BTW, congratulations to Nestor- assuming he is the same Nestor Guillen who has previously commented here- for finishing his Ph.D. in Mathematics at UT and going on to a postdoc at Berkeley.


Comments are closed.