Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Carlos Fuentes, one of the most prolific Latin American writers associated with the Latin American Boom, a literary movement made up of young authors critical of the status quo and established traditions died at age 83 in a Mexico City hospital.

Candidate for the Nobel Prize, winner of the Cervantes Prize in 1987 among many other distinguished literary awards, Fuentes' wrote a wealth of novels, plays and essays as well as regularly commenting on political events in the Spanish newspaper El Pais. His most famous works were "The Death of Artemio Cruz" and "The Old Gringo."

On this day I would like to pay tribute to this important writer as he had the honesty and vision to compare populism in Latin America with Fascism. In particular I would like to recall his now historic words when Fuentes compared Hugo Chavez (the president of Venezuela) with Benito Mussolini:

Fuentes warned on 2007 that the Latin American hemisphere risks the emergence of governments that are not only populist but also fascists. Fuentes said this is the case with president "Chavez who rules a regime that in its organization, rhetoric, purposes, uniforms and balconies resembled a Venezuelan Benito Mussolini."
With all the gestures and political theater similar in all populist political system (either fascistic or socialist) this photo arrangement shows the choreographic aspects that has distinguished populism throughout history. The pop photo shows Benito Mussolini saluting followers from a balcony. The lower photo shows Hugo Chavez with a closed fist symbolic of Chavismo saluting followers from the presidential balcony) Photo arrangement/selection by Blog Salon de Talleyrand

For more information about 'populism' in the Latin American context I recommend "The Integralist Movement in Brazil"  

"Mexican author Carlos Fuentes Dies at 83" BBC News (May 16, 2012)
"Escritor Mexicano Carlos Fuentes muere a los 83 años por problemas cardiacos" NTN24/EFE (15 de Mayo del 2012)
"Como Fascista Tipico" Salón del Señor Talleyrand
"Carlos Fuentes llama "perturbado" al presidente de Venezuela" Asociación Mexicana de Derecho a la Información (13 de Noviembre del 2007)

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