Putting the ass in ambassador

Colombia’s Ambassador to the US, Gabriel Silva, is being a gobshite.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally apologized to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Cartagena on the same day that the Secret Service hooker scandal erupted.

But Silva isn’t satisfied.

“The US should apologize further,” Silva told El Tiempo’s Washingon correspondent. “It is necessary and I want to hear it from the White House. A more clear expression of remorse is required to protect the reputation of Cartagena.”

Silva tells El Tiempo that news coverage of the incident was “superficial, sensationalist and unfair.”

The New York Daily News is right: Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States “…puts the ass in ambassador.”

But who knows? Silva may get an apology if he blusters loudly enough.

President Obama frequently bows and apologizes to foreign rulers; what’s one more “I’m sorry…”

Colombian Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín is being a gobshite too.

“It makes me sad because it’s as if Cartagena were guilty…and the guilty is the Secret Service…prostitution exists everywhere, where there is a man there is prostitution, so don’t come to tell us that it’s Cartagena,” Colombia’s foreign minister admonished primly.

Gobshites and hypocrites.

Cartagena is a great tourism region, one of the most beautiful places in the Americas that a person ever could hope to visit…and Colombia is blessed with many gorgeous tourism destinations.

The Colombian people are wonderful. My wife is Colombian and I’m blessed through her to have an extended family in Venezuela and Colombia. But Venezuelan beer is much better.

Prostitution is legal in Colombia, up to a point. It’s regulated, controlled and even taxed by the state as a result. Every city in Colombia has a zone where hookers can legally ply their trade.

For example, socially conservative Bogota’s Zona Rosa is a very popular place to dine out, drink, dance, party… and hook up with women and men who play for pay.

Countries where prostitution is legalized to varying degrees, officially or otherwise, tend to attract a lot of sex tourism.

Think Amsterdam, Hamburg, Bangkok… Havana… Cartagena, etc. But the thing about countries with legalized prostitution is that horrible abuses occur anyway, all the time.

Mrs. Holguin is right…men will be found wherever there is prostitution. It’s a given, since Eve was made from Adam’s rib, that “Mas jala un pelo de cuca que una yunta de bueyes”.

But she’s really overdoing the outraged Colombian womanhood act. She’s a very intelligent woman and likely has a very good idea about the realities of Colombia’s legalized sex trade.

It’s a dark business, distasteful, uncultured, cruel, preying on women and young people…but it’s legal – just don’t bring it into the daylight.

But in countries where prostitution is fully or quasi-legal (i.e. tolerated officially) all sorts of people sell sex including women and men, gays and lesbians, transvestites and transgendered hookers, and even minors. Colombia is no exception.

(Note, also, that in different countries and cultures the age at which minors legally transition to ‘adults’ can vary from 15 to 18.)

Ambassador Silva and Foreign Minister Holguin are being gobshites because they’re embarrassed. They’re socially conservative, very educated and wonderful human beings I’m sure, but Colombians understandably tend to be very sensitive about how they’re perceived around the world.

After all, what’s the first thought that most people used to have when they hear the word “Colombia”? “Cocaine, running all around my brain…” The song Cocaine Blues has been in the world’s musical ether since before 1905.

Colombia’s image is so much better now than it was as recently as the 1990s. My Colombian wife says that we can thank Hugo Chavez for that. She may have a point.

Hookers and clients have disagreements all the time. In countries where it’s legal to sell sex the local authorities maintain public order, theoretically protecting everyone, hookers and johns. Cartagena’s cops, many of whom double as bouncers in red zone clubs, deal with hooker-client problems with some frequency. Check a month’s worth of Cartagena police incident reports in the city’s designated red zones.

People get hammered, make stupid decisions and then refuse to pay the piper all the time. Except this time the transgressor was the Secret Service pootie tang wannabe – no joda, it had to be a gringo making Cartagena look bad.

My Colombian dad-in-law says that I’m too gringo to understand why Ambassador Silva is being a gobshite. “If not for you gringos, we wouldn’t be the world’s purveyors of cocaine, and the Panama Canal would belong to Colombia today instead of the Chinese,” he explained. Well, yeah….

About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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12 Responses to Putting the ass in ambassador

  1. Al says:

    The NY Times reports on one of the better brothels in Cartagena and leaves the dark, subhuman underbelly to oblivion, and of course, our government apologizes again for what?

    If anyone should apologize it should be the Colombian government for their acceptance of subhuman conditions for Colombian girls. Prostitution is one thing; conditions that approach slavery are another thing.

    But isn’t this what it is all about? Deflecting guilt to the Gringos who are always guilty anyway.

    A few words from the former first lady or from the great humanitarian Shakira could change the whole mess, but that would mean really doing something instead of giving lip service to altruism. In the end, another dramatic staged performance with the Gringos on the dirty end of the stick.

    I still think there is a “gato encerrado” connected to this scandal. What type of working girl will partake without getting her money upfront?

    Caracas Gringo reply: She thought he was a nice guy, maybe?


    • NET says:

      Or, because he had a “badge”.


    • Roberto N says:

      Hola Gringo:

      Don’t publish the comment if you don’t think it belongs here but what gives with:

      A) Aponte Aponte on the Red Interpol list PLUS
      B) Rumors of not only another TSJ judge but Mr. Pollo Carvajal have fled to the waiting arms of the DEA?

      ñoooooo!!!!!! It’s getting positively interesting, no?

      Caracas Gringo: Velasquez Alvaray is talking, that’s confirmado. He also did a TV interview in Costa Rica very recently that hasn’t been broadcast yet. It appears that Ismael Garcia (Podemos) is one of the primary sources spreading the unconfirmed rumors re Pollo Carvajal and Judge Dugarte. Maybe it’s true, though at this point I have my doubts. But meanwhile let’s also remember that Ismael Garcia was physically present at the 7 April 2002 meeting where President Chavez put the final touches on his plan to inflict a massacre on the opposition. And let’s not forget, also, that Ismael Garcia was, at that 7 April 2002 meeting rpesided by Chavez, one of the loudest voices calling for a violent, bloody crackdown on unarmed civilians. Garcia has much to answer for in Venezuela courts and also, we hope, the International Court. There is no statute of limitations on homicide and Garcia definitely is a co-conspirator in the homicides perpetrated by Chavez’s gunmen on 11 April 2002.


    • Roberto N says:

      Well Dugarte came out to say it was false, but El Pollo is as quiet as a churchmouse.

      Ismael will not get his comeuppance anytime soon, unless it’s extrajudicial.


  2. firepigette says:

    We should always apologize to the correct people.Obama should apologize to the American people for the lack of oversight on the behavior of the secret service,and the Colombian government should apologize to its people for allowing such human abuse to be a main attraction in Cartagena.

    Caracas Gringo reply: Caracas-based photojournalist Meredith Kohut captures what it’s like inside a Cartagena brothel. Ms. Kohut’s photos can be found with this NYTimes article. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/world/americas/cartagenas-prostitutes-perplexed-by-global-glare.html


  3. Just a minor point to such a brilliant analysis like yours here…It’s “bueyes”…not “buelles”.

    Caracs Gringo reply: Thank you. Corrected.


  4. Al says:

    I went to the Colombian paper, El Espectador, to read the story and was interested in the comments from the common folk, which were overwhelmingly in tune with your gobshite point of view. Unlike our government, they know the reality of life in Cartagena, and many were surprised that the President would apologize for what took place.

    I spent a month in Cartagena in 2000. While gals were everywhere and cabbies had the everpresent list of workers, what I saw of organized prostitution was very ugly, with the treatment of gals at a subhuman level. It put me in mind of a form of slavery that goes to a level of degradation that would never be knowingly tolerated in the U.S.

    So to get an apology from the President and the former first lady is an excellent means to divert attention and blame the Gringos. I mean what is there to apologize for? That the Secret Service agent’s bungling behavior brought to light Cartagena’s famed reputation?

    Perhaps they knew that getting an apology was a done deal with President Obama and went for the gold. After all, why look into the dark side of your city, when you can trophy an apology from the always guilty Gringos.


  5. Alex Dalmady says:

    Great Stuff. Love it!


  6. Kepler says:

    I don’t understand your point. Prostitution in the USA is virtually illegal and yet the US prostitution flourishes as much as almost anywhere but Thailand and L.A. seems to be the Mecca for the porno industry (not Stockholm or Amsterdam). Hugh Grant was just one celebrity caught in the act, but really nothing out of the ordinary there.

    What would have happened if this had taken place in the USA?
    In any case: the US Secret Service really behaved clumsily. What’s new? The men were taken away…I wonder: was that obstruction of justice? What would have happen in the States?

    Caracas Gringo reply: 1. Obama and Clinton apologized. The fact that Ambassador Silva, on his own apparently (or maybe not) is now demanding another public apology from Obama expressing greater remorse for the behavior of the Secret Service pootie tang wannabe is self-serving gobshite behavior; 2. The US personnel wthdrawn hastily from Brazil before they could be arrested by Brazilian police (no, their diplo immunity would not have stopped their being arrested) would be considered obstruction of justice if the individuals were ordinary musius instead of foreign embassy staff and security personnel; 3) the “poor Cartagena, the city’s reputation has been tarnished” lamentations of Mr Silva and Mrs Holguin are BS considering that as senior government officials and upper-crust Colombian elites they know damned well what goes on in Cartagena, hence their expressions of outrage are whiney gobshite hypocrisy.


    • Maria says:


      It is Ok to be an europhile, but for God’s sake, give it a rest to the anti-americanism. It really gets boooooring.


    • Kepler says:

      Maria, you detect anti ‘Americanism’ in the soup. Give me a break. Get out of your little world.

      Caracas Gringo comment: I didn’t sense any anti-Americanism. Discussions about real or imagined “isms” are wasted time all around. I used to see the world in terms of “isms”, left/right ideologies and black vs white. But I wasn’t seeing the real world at all. All opinions and criticisms are welcome here. I moderate comments before posting because some comments are way too salty in language, or misinformed, or get into chase-your-own-tail left/right rant, or they’re just plain stupid – and I don’t post those comments. Yeah, I know…censorship, anti-democratic, all that crap. My blog, my rules. I also get way too much spam that the wordpress software doesn’t catch. All this said, I appreciate that people whom I’ve never met take the time to read my blog and even send comments. Thank you all.


  7. ColombiaGringo says:

    A good piece Gringo, love the ‘gobshite’ reference. Living in Colombia for several years now I’ve come to realize that shame is massive driver for reactions, more important than most other factors in life in Colombia, that is, what other people think is a huge measure of self worth. This may explain these ‘gobshite’ type reactions. I have to deal with this all the time….. along with the “it wasn’t me” syndrome, but it is fun to watch.


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