Thursday, April 10, 2003


Too bad Raven is not with me here in Caracas. With the White House Hawks who dominate the news everywhere I go in the world rubbing their claws together and salivating over the spoils of Iraq (only guys who have souls like oil spills could salivate over petroleum....), I miss Raven’s manic lyricism, his pointed wit.

Yesterday Rumsfeld described the images from Bagdad—the toppling of statues of Hussein--and said he couldn’t help thinking about the fall of the Berlin Wall, and of the Iron Curtain. He compared Saddam Hussein to Hitler, Stalin and Lenin. I am not sure how he hooked Lenin into the picture, but....He clearly forgot to notice that the cartoons circling the world in protest banners and newspapers most commonly show Bush with a false Hitler-style mustache, and discreet nazi swaztikas circling him like flies. (Who was that peanuts character? Ah yes, Pigpen....)

Who is Rumsfeld kidding, anyway? Now we will watch the Hawks take out the carving set and start slicing off chunks of Iraq. Petroleum for Cheney’s pals at Halliburton, France and Germany complaining that they are being discrimianted against in the division of the spoils because they didn’t support the US invasion. Cynical bastards are on the ascendancy almost everywhere, knives and forks upraised.

Here in Caracas, maybe not. This morning we will begin the Solidarity event to commemorate the failed coup that isolated Hugo Chávez from the presidency for almost 48 hours--returned to the office by the PEOPLE, those forgotten and disparaged elements of a democracy that is fast disappearing in the world at large—and there are folks from all over the world. So far I haven’t seen anyone else carrying a US passport, but maybe I will today? In the Foro Bolivariano de las Américas, I feel a little lonely holding down the fort with al the other spots in the hemisphere so well-represented—especially the younger generation of Canadians. I am hopeful that the White House petrocriminals who have tried to get their claws on Venezuela´s oil by demonizing Chávez and fomenting counterrevolution have not convinced every other US citizen but me to stay away from here.

But as an expat, I guess I don’t count anyway. I feel a precious sense of freedom—I can say or write what I want, even associate with terrorists if I choose to without being threatened with jail for my lack of patriotism. Or lack of nationalism—that outmoded 19th century bugaboo suddenly back in fashion in the retrograde epoch of Bush.

I am almost as free as Raven.


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