The Spanish-Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa said today that Venezuela is an "example to avoid" for the rest of Latin America, considering that it shows that dictatorships do not solve problems.
"For whom can a country that has destroyed its economy and from which millions of Venezuelans want to flee even in the most dramatic conditions because they think there is no hope and opportunities for them?" Vargas Llosa asked during a talk at The Hay Festival of Arequipa, his hometown.
Accompanied by Cuban journalist Yoani Sánchez and Peruvian Rosa María Palacios, the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature said that Venezuela represents "the tragic history of Latin America."
"Venezuela, a country that I love very much, is a case that impresses me." Five times Venezuelans voted for Chávez when they could vote freely, "he recalled.
The Peruvian novelist warned that "Venezuela has deteriorated to unprecedented extremes in Latin America."
"There has not been seen in Latin America a country as potentially rich as Venezuela that becomes a miserable country from which people flee to not die of hunger, despair and frustration," he added.
Vargas Llosa said that millions of Venezuelans have left the country to walk on roads to reach poor countries with problems like Peru "as if these were paradise, and in contrast to Venezuela, those countries indeed are."
The author of "The city and the dogs" and "Conversation in the cathedral", among many other novels of his extensive work, valued that the dictatorships have practically disappeared, "except for Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua."
"We have civil governments, often very mediocre or corrupt, but a corrupt democracy is preferable to a dictatorship," he said.
Vargas Llosa argued that "democracies can be very imperfect, corrupt and inefficient, but they can be reformed from within with a minimum of violence."
The Peruvian writer also spoke of his latest book "The call of the tribe", an essay about the authors who guided him in his transition from the socialism and communism he defended in his youth towards liberalism.