Nobel Prize winning author Mario Vargas Llosa often has political themes in his work, and in a recent conversation with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, he didn’t hold back in his criticism of President Barack Obama.
While he said Obama has good intentions, and the fact that he is African-American is important for the history of the United States, Vargas Llosa believes Obama’s actual performance in office has left a lot to be desired.
“I don’t think he has the character, he doesn’t take the courageous decisions that are really indispensable when you are president of a country that in a way is the most important country in the world, at least for the culture of freedom,” the Peruvian-born author said. “And I think he’s been extremely weak with what is happening in our days in the Middle East, in Russia, in the Ukraine, and I think he has been very indifferent toward Latin America.”
Vargas Llosa also discussed what he sees as Israel’s rightward shift, and what he believes to be a lack of interest in literature is weakening democracy.
“If people only read superficial or frivolous things. the critical attitude which is essential to democracy can diminish and even disappear,” he said.