Tuesday, August 26, 2003


Raven and I are catching up on the local papers from the weekend—a respectable activity in itself, but more fun accompanied by linguini with pesto sauce—albeit pesto from a jar.

“Sad mess of potage they have here in Ecuador, it seems.”

Anything specific, Rave—is this about the food? Or in general?

“Might be in general, but what I am seeing is that after Colombia’s president Uribe
shot his mouth off about Chavez leading the Colombian guerrillas—obviously following the script of the US State Department—he rolled over here to shill for Plan Colombia with Gutierrez."

Oh? And did he say anything about those poor people along the Ecuador/Colombia border who are biting the dust from the Plan Colombia anti-coca herbicides?

“Yeah. In diplomatic language, too. But the message was that they could rot in hell before they would see any compensation from the Colombian government. Maybe we could put a few basil leaves in the pasta the next time we make it—just to give the illusion of freshness?”

Anything you say, guy. And all the Colombian refugees that have been streaming in here like the water we cooked the pasta in going through the colander? Did he have any Colin Powell-forged nuggets of wisdom about them?

“Hmmm. Sounds like both governments are colluding to indicate that they are only a handful of folks. But a guy running a Non-governmental Organization for the Jesuits says they are close to a couple hundred thousand over the past few months.”

I see. If the problem doesn’t exist they don’t have to solve it. Sounds like doublespeak to me, Rave. Or maybe they think enough Ecuadoreans will be able to sneak into Spain—despite the fascist vigilance there—that they will simply be replaced by Colombians?

“Would anybody notice the difference?”

I don’t know. We wouldn’t, but we’re not from here. And they wouldn’t care about our opinion anyway. Even though we are refugees, too. Sort of.

Raven tears apart a few basil leaves and strews them over the remains of the pasta.

“It won’t be the same as cooking them with the sauce, but…”

He beaks in.

“Not bad. I think Uribe was given the task of getting Ecuador’s president to agree to accept all possible fall out from Plan Colombia. Which he will, obviously, as it was he, after all, who submitted the proposal at the Rio Summit in May for the United Nations or the Organization of American States to intervene in Colombia.”

When Chavez disagreed, and said that Gutierrez’ proposal was opening the door for South American countries to be invaded—with an appropriate quote from Simon Bolivar about the “US appearing to be predestined by Providence to plague America with misery and death in the name of Democracy”.

“Bolivar was right. Fortunately, in between misery and death there falls the shadow: of linguini with pesto sauce.”

Raven leans back and rubs his tummy, content.

You’re impossible.

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