A reader from El Salvador writes,
Your Corner post about poisonous excuses rings very true to me. In Latin America we have a long and proud history of making excuses. You may remember that the book Chávez gave Obama (Eduardo Galeano’s Las venas abiertas de América Latina) is one gigantic weepy excuse for all our problems. . . .
It’s so much easier to point the finger at others than at the man in the mirror, but it is a fruitless exercise. It leads only to rage and sterile self-satisfaction. It is the father of the spiritual poverty that begets material poverty. Unfortunately these bonds are cultural, ancient, and deep, so it will take more than a few generations to break free of them.
What a beautiful letter, even if on a frustrating topic. May the spirit of Mario Vargas Llosa, Hernando de Soto, and this NRO reader prevail, widely.
P.S. When I said, “Hernando de Soto,” I was referring to the contemporary economist, not to the 16th-century explorer — but, frankly, either will do . . .