What I find confusing is the use of the word "intellectuals" in this piece of news:
Intellectuals close to President Cristina Kirchner launched a campaign Tuesday to stop Mario Vargas Llosa from opening the Spanish-speaking world's largest cultural fair because of his disparaging remarks about Argentine politics. . . Peru's Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel prize for literature, has been invited to inaugurate in mid-April the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires, which UNESCO expects to be attended by more than one million people. The intellectuals are angered over Vargas Llosa's statements on Argentine politics and personal attacks against Kirchner. In a recent interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the writer, who is an outspoken proponent of free markets and liberal democracy, described Kirchner as "a total disaster." "Argentina is going through the worst form of Peronism, populism and anarchy. I fear that it is an incurable country," he told the newspaper.
Since when do the "intellectuals" ally themselves with politicians who are in power in order to hound a writer for expressing his views? Vargas Llosa does, in fact, have a tendency to espouse unintelligent political beliefs. In this, he is no different from many other writers who make fools of themselves by becoming mouthpieces of barbaric regimes. (Juan Goytisolo immediately comes to mind.)
Still, no true intellectual would even think of defending some dime-a-dozen politico at the expense of one of the greatest writers of the XXth century. Historically, nothing could be more insignificant than the antics of the Kirchner couple. Vargas Llosa's contribution to the artistic legacy of humanity will remain long after everybody forgets who the Kirchners were. Argentinean "intellectuals" just made themselves look very stupid here.
Thank you, Margaret Soltan, for reporting this.