Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa expressed on Monday his wish that the victory of leftist ex-guerrilla Gustavo Petro in Colombia’s presidential election “is an accident that can be amended and corrected” in the immediate future, and that the Latin American country remains “within the strict legality.” In addition, he decried that Colombians “have voted wrong.”
Vargas Llosa made these statements at the XV Atlantic Forum “Iberoamerica: democracy and freedom”, organized at the Casa de America in Madrid by the International Foundation for Liberty, which he presides.
Petro, of the leftist coalition Pacto Histórico, obtained in yesterday’s elections 50.44% of the votes against the populist Rodolfo Hernández, who obtained 47.31%.
Regarding Colombia’s president-elect, the Spanish-Peruvian writer acknowledged that the question is “whether he stays within the law or not”.
If he does, “better for Colombia, but if he intends, as some of his supporters plan, to sweep away that legality, it opens a question mark regarding the future of the country, since it would enter, like other Latin American countries, in an unpredictable world,” he argued.
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However, he congratulated Petro for his “narrow victory” and highlighted the “magnificent” work of the still Colombian president, Iván Duque, who will remain in office until August 7 and who also participated, telematically, in the Forum.
“Duque’s presidential administration has been highly questioned, but after adding and subtracting, I believe that he has always acted within the law, and hopefully this will continue to be respected under the new president,” he insisted.
Other relevant figures from the region also participated in the XV Atlantic Forum, such as Francisco Cabrera, former Minister of Production of Argentina; Cristián Larroulet, former Minister of the Presidency of Chile; Juli Minoves, Honorary President of the Liberal International, and Álvaro Vargas Llosa, son of the Nobel Prize winner, among others.