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….