Dear Editor:

Congratulations on Mary O’Grady’s superb editorial page commentary defending Dr. Manuel “Muso” Ayau from the antics of the U.S. Embassy and its “Ugly American” functionaries (“A Guatemalan Free-Market Reformer Is Under Fire from the U.S.”, August 3).

If anyone is the opposite of a “Latin oligarch,” it is Dr. Ayau, who has been an utterly gracious, noble, and courageous fighter for the freedom, education, and welfare of Guatemalans for decades. In fact, he may be the single most important leader in Central and Latin America since well before World War II.

As you note, the Francisco Marroquin University is a truly remarkable and enormous achievement by Dr. Ayau. To see U.S. diplomatic operatives working to discredit it and him is an utter outrage.

We know that empowering the people through privatization, free trade and free-market economic development are essential to liberate them, and the poor in particular, from the oligarchy of government patronage the U.S. has long supported. And we know that U.S. government foreign aid and other interventions are anathema to economic and social welfare. Bit it is even more telling to see U.S. Embassy flacks pursuing their covert schemes to protect their cherished system of government privileges and central planning from a man whose only weapon has been ideas. After all, whether the interests of the public, the jobs of U.S. bureaucrats might be at stake if Dr. Ayau’s arguments were acted upon.

David J. Theroux
Founder and President
The Independent Institute