August 01, 2003

Aaahh!! 2 Weeks Left!!

What?! Where does the time ago?
I`d like to give a shout out and a hi five to the new Argentine president Nestor Kirschner. Here`s why: During the years 1976-1983, Argentina lived through an unbelievably brutal military dictatorship that abruptly ended when they got their asses kicked by Maggie Thatcher and her giant penis and the English navy for trying to take back the Falkland Islands. It`s actually a lot more complicated than that, but I`ll be nice and spare you the details. Okay, so during these years the Argentine military government was busy murdering and disappearing anyone even closely related to someone against their government, and in only 8 years the grand total of missing and dead added up to an astounding 30,000 people. To put this in perspective, the Chilean military dictatorship lasted 18 years and a grand total of about 3000 people went missing and dead. So in the years after the dictatorship ended there were many attempts from international courts and courts in other countries to bring the high ranking officers who orchestrated all the mass killings to justice for crimes against humanity, but nothing was ever actually accomplished. In fact, during Carlos Menem`s two terms as president from 1990 (I think) until 2000 he actually wrote a memorandum making these generals and so forth immune from extradition to other countries to stand trial for the murder of foreigners by the Argentine Dictatorship. In Spain, there`s a judge named Balthazar Garz˛n who`s spent many years trying to convince the Argentine government to allow extradition so they could stand trial in his court for all the Spaniards who were murdered. Needless to say, Menem is a fascist shithole and never budged. But fortunately for Argentina, Carlos Menem is no longer their president. Nestor Kirschner is, and a few days ago he actually reversed the memorandum prohibiting extradition to Spain, and only a couple days later 39 of the 45 generals and so forth had already been arrested and arrived in Spain. How fucking cool is that? In Latin America there`s this idea regarding military officers responsible for crimes against humanity, in that the governments would prefer that these bastards would go unpunished than be scooped up by foreign governments to stand trial abroad. It`s an argument of nacional soveirnty against, well, human rights. The same Spanish judge Balthasar Garz˛n ordered the arrest of Pinochet, the Chilean ex dictator, when he was in London and presided over his trial in Madrid after he was extradited from England to Spain. During this time the Chilean press, which is ridiculously conservative and monopolized as it is, painted Garz˛n as the devil and Chile funneled millions of dollars into Spain to generate support for Pinochet. What`s so important about Kirschner`s decision to allow these Argentine military officials to be extradited is that finally it`s being realized that some crimes are so horrible that it doesn`t matter two shits where they happen and that the world community has a responsibilty to hold those responsible reliable for their actions. The United States has been decidedly against this attitude for some time now, especially since they were found guilty by the International Justice Court for violating the national soveirnty of Nicaragua during the whole Iran Contra affair back in 1986, the only country ever to be found guilty in this court. Anyway, salud to Nestor Kirschner and the example that he`s setting.
So a couple days ago I went back to the Venezuelan restaurant around the corner from my house, and they made me a salad, a big plate of beans, rice and fried bananas, 6 of these little fried corn balls with a delicious avocado sauce, a plate of cooked cabbage with garlic and red chili, and a big glass of fresh apple orange juice. All this with bread, in my stomach, for 4 bucks. I love Venezuela already and I`ve never even been there.
I got an email from my housemates Kat and Jon who left a week and a half ago with Puma letting me know that they all arrived safely to Wisconsin. Apparently Puma puked up the kitty tranquilizers they gave him for the plane ride and the airline claimed not to know anything about a reservation for a cat, but after all that the little bastard arrived safely. We miss him at our house on Salvadore street but know that he`s kicking ass up north, the little bastard.
Okay, enough of this, off to the precolombian art museum, then home to rest and eat before heading out to a show tonight. rock.

Posted by steve at August 1, 2003 03:58 PM