Chairman of this board
- May 6, 2005
January 1st 1836 Journal de Reacción
Profiles in oppression – His Highness Caudillo I, King of the United Crowns of Central America
-Your highness, it is a privilege, nay an honor to be here as a guest in your esteemed domain.
- I welcome you here, esteemed sirs. Tell me, do you have any rich friends back in Europe that might be interested in investing here? Just so you know....the peons are basically slaves. I pay them in tobacco leaves.
- Ah sounds like a most lucrative business proposition, but are you not afraid that your subjects will read this and take offence at your admittedly lowly view of them?
-I neither know or care what the peons think. They can't read proper Spanish anyway. I find if you talk loud enough and point, they usually figure it out.
As his royal highness takes a sip from his – what seems to be a delectable mint julep – drink, his face turns red.
This is SOUR! PEDRO! He turns towards us. I’m sorry gentlemen I have some royal business to attend to. His majesty disappears in a flurry of movement towards the servant’s quarters.
During his absence my travel companion, the marquis of Leon ý Asturias ý Cork and I truly get a chance to take in the sweeping vistas and beautiful sceneries that are prevalent in this country. Small brick villages with thatched roofs dot the countryside like spots on a leopard. Their randomness in a fantastic juxtaposition contra the ordered rows and columns of the plantations. Truly this is among our Lords finest creations, with the azure blue sky and the majestic green hillsides hemming in the valleys and plateaus that, with their array of color, form a spectacle that is a feast for both mind and eye.
The only thing offsetting this delightful occasion was what seemed to be some ungodly native singing coming from the servants’ quarter; the marquis and I both agreed it more resembled screaming than anything we would call singing in the civilized world. For thirty minutes this savage serenade continued before a gunshot is heard. A dozen multicolored birds of all shapes and sizes take flight as his highness soon returns with crimson stains on his fine satin clothing. As he takes place on the patio beside us we once again assure him how grateful we are to have an opportunity to take in these beautiful vistas and sights, not to mention the amazing culture and finesse of the ruling classes.
- Your majesty, is it fine if we continue? Caudillo wipes some unsightly pinkish grey substance from his jacket.
-Si, si, continue.
- I apologize for our earlier interruption gentlemen, I had to settle some accounts. State business, I’m sure you understand. We nod in unison.
- We have heard sinister voices from the northern yanquis about how poorly your population supposedly fares under your legitimate rule. Is there any grain of truth to this?
-Absolutely.But what the hell do I care? Next question. Our host says with a smirk. After some wholesome laughter we continue our rewarding interview. The jovial nature of his Majesty puts us all at ease.
His royal highness waves towards one of the servants which have been hovering around us. He produces a bottle of the finest tequila and three highball glasses which he fills with the golden liquid. In turn and faster than we could anticipate, his highness has emptied them all. The empty bottle rests impatiently in our host’s steady hands. With a delightfully careless childish grin across his face he throws the bottle off from the patio and into the plantations below. It hits a young negro man in the back off the head, a most astonishingly precise throw from our host.
-You better watch out, Boy! Caudillo bellows at the young negro, who has stopped working for unexplicable reasons.
- I like to throw them a trinket now and then, but they have to earn it, keeps them alert and on their toes, you see?
-There is no doubt you are also skilled in the ways of running a plantation your highness. But tell me, what are your interests apart from your tireless devotion to your people and their every need?
-Hmm, well gentlemen, the only thing I enjoy more than...err...tireless devotion to the people is tireless devotion to another group...the women. His Highness chuckles softly to himself and sighs happily.
-Ah, a true gentleman no less, rumour has it that you are quite a favourite among the young señoritas of these lands. I say with a tone that can only imply one thing.
-They don't call me 'father of the nation' for nothing! His highness laughs one of his signature laughs, sends a glance at his servants, they join in. We laugh too, being the polite upstanding gentlemen we are.
-This has been a pleasure your highness. But if I may talk business matters for a moment. Our readers in Europe and the American south wish to know a few things about how the United Crowns of Central America is truly run, it is said that you run a tight ship here and that an investment in UCCA is a safe investment. Can we carry your guarantee with us home?
-Well, gentlemen, I can safely say that an investment here will be the wisest you could possibly make. No nation can honestly claim to provide better profit-expenditure margins because, as I said before, my peons are the lowest paid free workers on Earth. And we pride ourselves on that. Right Pedro? In fact, I give you not only my guarantee, Pedro here can also vouch for the superbness of our business climate. There exists not a grain of doubt in Pedro’s eyes as he shivers with the overwhelming honour of representing his country in a foreign affair, no matter how small. This is also quite clearly another Pedro than from before. I ask:
-Your majesty, are all your subjects called Pedro? Caudillo gives another boyish grin, shrugs, and leans back in his chair.
Before we can ask our next question we notice loud snores coming from the place of the King. His eyes have shut and he has fallen into a light afternoon siesta. A servant informs us that the visiting hours are over and that we had better get back to our lodgings, he whispers: "The king is always very angry when he is hungover señor, you do not want to be around when he wakes."
We take note at the slanderous nature of the palace staff and leave a message to our generous host about this.