2022 Race

Vargas Llosa endorses Bolsonaro against Lula

Mario Vargas Llosa. Photo: SC Image/Shutterstock
Mario Vargas Llosa. Photo: SC Image/Shutterstock

During an event in Uruguay, Peruvian writer and 2010 Literature Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa said he would prefer seeing President Jair Bolsonaro winning re-election in Brazil than witnessing a return of center-left Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the presidency of Latin America’s biggest economy.

“[Jair] Bolsonaro’s case is a very difficult one. His clownish behavior is very difficult for a liberal to condone. However, between Bolsonaro and Lula, I prefer Bolsonaro. Even with Bolsonaro’s shenanigans, he is not Lula,” he said, at the meeting hosted by a think tank in Montevideo. 

Mr. Vargas Llosa mentioned Mr. Bolsonaro’s mishandling of the pandemic as an “absolutely irresponsible affair.”

Mario Vargas Llosa’s image as an unapologetic defender of freedom has been dented by his recent political positions. Last year, he vouched for far-right politician Keiko Fujimori in the recent Peruvian presidential election — despite her defense of her father’s legacy, who ruled Peru as a dictator in the 1900s and has been convicted for crimes against humanity.

Now, the writer endorses a man who has given all the indications that he won’t accept October’s election result, unless it goes his way.