BANANALANDIA (Part V)
Wow, Rave, it's really raining out there!
"It's a hard rain that's falling on the now ex-president of Ecuador."
I see you've been glued to the computer and the t.v. So, where's he going--Panama or the Dominican Republic?
"On a couple of channels they said Panama."
Hmm. Well, the honking has petered out, so I thought you'd want to celebrate with a piece of chocolate cake.
"I'm definitely ready for that. I thought you were going to bring me leftovers from your lunch. What happened to you?"
They sent someone to tell me that classes had been cancelled. One of our students was killed this morning. So I took a walk. Then I stopped in an Internet cafe to see if there was commentary on the web from other countries. When I read in aporrea that the armed forces had withdrawn their support of the president, I figured it was over, that the government had fallen. So I went for the cake and some cheese. Couldn't get any bread. All of the shops around here are either closed or are closing. So what's the situation now?
"There are a lot of folks calling for the congress to go out, too. It seems the vice-president is being sworn in, and elections are up in the air."
Well, it's been the only excitement since we got here. And we couldn't even participate. But at least the Quiteños decided to throw the bum out.
"Time to turn our attention to other problems, if you ask me. Oops, just a minute. Did you hear someone just mention the possibilityof his going to Venezuela?"
On the t.v. screen a helicopter approaches a small white military plane on a rain-soaked airstrip.
If he goes to Venezuela there will be no doubt that he is no Hugo Chavez, but my money's on Panama. It's a tradition, after all. And ex-president Bucaram just got back from about 9 years of exile there.
"It doesn't matter. What matters is whether the indigenous people will really have a place in the NEXT government here in Bananalandia."
While you're working on that, Rave, give some thought to what to do about the election of The Grand Inquisitor as pope.
"Ratzinger--er pope Benedict XVI? The nazi who silenced Leonardo Boff, Hans Kung, your friend Matthew Fox and others? What to do is hope he dies quickly. He's 78, after all. There's a real hue and cry in this hemisphere against him. Even THE SEATTLE TIMES, not exactly a leftist paper, editorialized against him today. Both Boff and Kung indicated their disappointment. I didn't see anything from Matt Fox. In Africa and South America a pall has fallen over the scene."
I'm sure the Opus Dei types are cheering, though.
"You bet. In Foxilandia--er Mexico--Fox is sending Martita to the Vatican to be a cheerleader."
On t.v., the shout of "Que se vayan todos" (Everybody, get out) continue in the streets of Quito. But the rain is letting up.
"Que se vayan todos a la chingada: Gutierrez, Vicente Fox, Martita, Pope Ratzo, the Bush Gang...."
Very optimistic scenario, Rave.
"Hey, I want to live into my eighties. Do you think the place where you bought the cake is still open?"
Governments come and go, but Raven's stomach soldiers on.