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Father Claude

As I was saying.....

I embrace the world from my backyard at the University of Portland, January 1, 2018. I again invite you to "clod-hop" with me on my journeys to Latin America via this blog. More...

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This statue by an obscure artist of Chile has become an icon, here in Santiago.  As for me, I see it as a secular object of devotion. The statue is located in Santiago’s  Liberty Park, discreetly — if obscurely — facing the US Embassy. It’s also a sort of lover’s lane for university students, with lovely shade trees. It was raining when I took the picture. Students, bring your umbrellas.

Vice President Pence is scheduled to visit Santiago on August 16 (my birthday, OMG, please change your travel plans, Mr Pence!). He has been briefed by President Trump about what to say, what to see. Trump after all, knows what he’s talking about. His business empire is building a Trump Tower in Rosario, Argentina — Chile’s so-near and yet so-far neighbor. He’s building this tower with drug money laundered from the Colombian cartels expelled through their peace process.

By way of secular devotion, I bend my knee to the glorious icon  of “Liberty Park”,  Welcome to Chile, Mr. Vice President. Be sure to take pictures, to show to your Boss.

It is raining in Santiago today. Heavy rain to continue for days. In a few days, the rain will clear and the Andes will be gloriously covered with bright, fresh fluffy snow.

This will be in great contrast with the mood of despair that I’ve encountered among my political friends. Corruption is rampant, and it has crossed over the Andes from Brazil and Argerntina, into Santiago, to an extent not previously known here. Corruption has been uncovered among the top business families of Santiago. These families are considered the representatives of the honest fiscal virtues that have characterized Chile for most of the past century. When Dictator Pinochet robbed millions from the State, Chileans responded by saying: At least the rest of the nation remains honest. No more. And compound this with scandals, huge scandals by the leadership of the Carabiñieros (the national police), and the Catholic Church. Top police have been stealing billions of dollars (yes, not pesos) for years. And the Cardinal of Santiago, reeling from sex scandals among the clergy, went to visit a convicted sex-offender in prison (bringing him candies!) while he refused to meet with the victims of convicted Fr. Karadima. The Cardinal also goes out of his way to disparage the victims of Fr. Karadima. And that is for a later blog. I will return, soon, with more specific political news, about the presidential campaign of Chile. It is heating up, baby, with it’s special controversies and scandals. Stay tuned.

It has been a blessing to be far away from the US and  all that bla-bla-bla- about bombing N. Korea, and Trump’s previous misbehavior in Moscow.
Permalink | Friday, August 11, 2017