In Maiquetía's AirportMonday, May 25, 2009
'They told me I don't have the right to make any political comments'
Peruvian journalist Álvaro Vargas Llosa was briefly arrested for a few hours and his passport withheld by the authorities when he arrived at the Maiquetía's airport in Venezuela. He had been invited participated in a Democracy, Freedom, and Property Forum organized by Venezuela's main opposition party and the Knowledge Disclosure Centre for Economic Freedom (Cedice).
Álvaro, son of the novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, said that after being released he was told he "didn't had the right to make any political comments, that I'm only a foreigner, but as a Peruvian citizen, a country that was also freed by Simón Bolivar, I don't think I have less rights than others of Bolivar's supporters to defend my ideas."
The head of the Venezuelan United Socialists party (PSUV), President Hugo Chávez, said last week that Álvaro Vargas Llosa and Colombian Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza were going to Venezuela to participate in the inauguration of a new university, which he claimed would teach "neoliberal ideas."
"They are coming here using the Forum as an excuse. We are warning them that we are not going to tolerate that behaviour in our country," said on May 18th the PSUV Communication and Propaganda director, David Medina. "The PSUV will support the government's decision if they decides to expulse them," he continued.
The forum tries to contribute to the creation of "the country we want: of owners and not only one owner," described Rafael Alfonzo, Cedice's director.
Both Mario and Álvaro Vargas Llosa, Bolivia's former President Jorge Quiroga, ex Mexican Chancellor Jorge Castañeda and the Argentine writer Marco Aguinis will be part of the May 28th and 29th Forum in Caracas, Venezuela.