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EL ESPECTADOR

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Authentic Colombian Hero

Even if you don't judge him South America's greatest writer, there's no denying that his life lived with joy and principle is the stuff of modern legend for a country, and continent.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Authentic Colombian Hero
Anita de Hoyos

BOGOTA - He is the hero. Or was. The great founding legend, and not because he was a great writer. Indeed, Gabriel García Márquez's literary merit may be questioned, and it wouldn't make a difference. One may consider his rhetoric suspect, or his biblical lyricism tiresome; or you may even find that the famous musicality of his sentences dilute the power of the stories.

One might even, reluctantly, qualify other writers of the Latin American Boom, like Julio Cortázar or Mario Vargas Llosa, as easier to read or more effective. None of that matters, because Gabo's fame goes beyond the merely literary, and the deluded utterances of critics cannot lessen his mythical stature.

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Geopolitics

Is Soft Power Dead?

With an activist Supreme Court creating a gap between democratic rhetoric and reality in the U.S., and Russia and China eager to flex military muscle, the full-force return to hard power looks bound for dominance.

U.S. flag and Chinese flag

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — Russia's war in Ukraine rages on, tensions are erupting in the South China Sea and now abortion rights are being stripped away in the U.S.: Looking around the world, we have to ask: what is left of the notion of soft power?

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How can we talk about the power to convince when the power to coerce is increasingly the norm? And when there is such a gap between rhetoric and reality in the U.S. and in Russia and China, hard power almost seems to have become part of soft power?

“We will lead the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Joe Biden said the day after his election. But what kind of example was he talking about? That of the Supreme Court’s judges, whose decision promises a terrible future to women and to all those who still wanted to believe in an enlightened and liberal America?

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