Thinking about Liu Xiaobo


Liu Xiaobo got the Nobel prize for Peace! Kudos to him and kudos to little Norway! It did not let itself be intimidated as other countries have.

¡Muy bien!

As a Latin American and native speaker of Spanish I am very happy Vargas Llosa has got the Nobel Prize of Literature. Vargas has produced a significant amount of masterpieces of the Spanish language. My favourite book by Vargas is La Fiesta del Chivo, but there are many others that were a joy to me. Vargas has also been very vocal when denouncing demagogues and dictators that for so long have been a hindrance for Latin America's prosperity. He has been an outspoken critic of the current military president Venezuela has. Now, I leave it to Daniel to write more extensively about Vargas.

Today I want to call your attention to a candidate for the Nobel prize who is in jail because he believes in freedom and democracy. That writer is Mr Liu Xiabo.

Mr Liu was nominated to this year's prize by such figures as Vaclav Havel, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. He has been in prison since 2008 because he signed, together with hundreds of other intellectuals, a petition to the Chinese government asking for more freedom and democracy for his country. The Chinese regime did not tolerate that. Liu was deemed a traitor of the "fatherland". He was condemned to eleven years in prison and 2 years of privation of political rights. He is currently serving sentence. The Chinese government has openly pressurized the Swedish government not to give the prize to Liu. Ma Zhaoxu, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry had suggested giving the prize to dissident Liu was "totally wrong".

I believe Vargas Llosa more than deserved the prize he got today. I have to say I haven't read anything by Mr Liu apart from a translation of that manifest. I don't know if I would like his books if I ever get a translation of them. What I do know is Vargas would not mind that we also think this day about Mr Liu. Here you can read one of Amnesty International's appeals to the Chinese government to release the Chinese writer. I support that release.