In a Country Far Away by Alex Beech

Por Venezuela Real - 27 de Mayo, 2006, 20:18, Categoría: Prensa Internacional

Alex Beech

Milanzuelans had more than enough to eat and drink. Surrounded by other  European countries, Milanzuelans often traveled to Rome and Paris to shop for their luxury goods. Europeans called them the  "give me twos" because many Milanzuelans often purchased two of everything.  There were also poor Milanzuelans, because the wealth derived from their magical liquid - called  The Golden Fuel - wasn't evenly distributed. That disturbed many Milanzuelans.

Over time, Milanzuela's rich grew richer, its poor grew poorer, and its thriving middle class disappeared, as the cost of  living ate away at their savings.

Even though Milanzuelans had enjoyed a peaceful  democracy for decades, Milanzuelans blamed their president. They didn't understand how this humble man could possess luxurious homes in Cannes and Marbella.

As the social conditions deteriorated, some in the  military began to rumble. Nobody paid attention, since Milanzuela's military  was considered the most democratic in Europe, viewing itself at the service of democracy, and not of politics. Milanzuela's military model was studied throughout the world.
However, the rumblings grew louder, until one day, an army captain led an uprising against the Milanzuelan president.  Milanzuelans watched in horror as young soldiers perished. Some Milanzuelans, tired  of the inefficient government, celebrated. But the country mourned when they saw t blood and the many lost lives. When the uprising was quelched, the cap;

While imprisoned, the captain read books and met his future was also visited by his present wife, as well as by some of the country's academics. In the silence of his cell, he planned a future presidency. If blood had failed, his only recourse was elections.

The day finally came when a new president, his Godfather, pardoned the captain. Now that he was free, he could pursue the presidency with all his resources, and that's exactly what he did. He campaigned, often sleeping in the back of a van. Since Milanzuelans were desperate for change, but too lazy to vote, a small segment of Milanzuelans elected him with an overwhelming majority. Winning was the happiest day of his life.

At first, Milanzuelans were happy with their president, and their European neighbors celebrated with them. Change was as palpable as the seasons which visited the Alps. If other European countries could pick themselves up from ruin, so could the Milanzuelans.

Since the captain was anxious to achieve h he gave himself extraordinary powers. In one fell swoop, he passed fifty new laws under a  measure called the Enabling Law. In any other European country, some Milanzuelans said, a president wouldn't be allowed to pass fifty laws in one fell swoop. Where was the legislative system? Where was the judicial system? But their concerns were drowned by the engines of change.

The captain president also decided to change the constitution, and a constituent assembly was formed. To fill the assse who agreed with him, the captain president devised a campaign called "The Captain's Keys" He then rhymed themes of his supportg, which many Milanzuelans sang. When they voted, they hummed the names, remembering each one. Thus the ay pase caps always leak the tapes to the media. Members of the European press, except Le Monde, were concerned. After all, the European press often protested the actions of European governments. The conflict between the media and the government was the crux of a healthy democracy! But their complaints were drowned by the engines of change.

Thus, the captain president once again met with his ruling party lawmakers, and a law was designed to curb the media's freedom. At this brainstorming session, one lawmaker joked that the television networks should be forced to run cartoons. Another lawmaker saould be forced to air nature shows. Eventually, a law was passed which threatened any media outlet which incited violence. The law was so nebulous that many media outlets started censoring themselves. When journalist associations  around the world expressed concern, their voices were drowned out by the engin.

As he gained more power, the captain president eliminlitical enemies. To gain friends in Europe, he began to sell The Golden Fuel at favorable prices, so that voices questioning his  governmen;down. As more and more governments purchased The Golden Fuel at bargain rates, many started to consider the captain a saint. To increase his profile, the captain launched a series of high  profile social programs in his country, making sure that many photos were taken in the process. He also opened "information offices" in capitals throughout the world, to "educate"  the world about "what was taking place" in Milanzuela. Eventunbsp;supported the captain.

The final triumph came during a meeting with a group of entrepreneurs, who  convinced the captain president that they could create voting technologysp;that would ensure his victory for ages to come. Immediately, his government became a shareholder in their company, and their  promise came true. He won the two successive elections.

The machines also recorded how each Milanzuelan voted, so now he had the names of gle Milanzuelan who voted against  him. Armed with this "list", he ordered mass firings from the public sector. Europeans were outraged, but they didn't say anything. When members of his government were questioned, they simply said, "nobody who voted against the president deserves to work for the government. When the listsan eye sore for the government, the captain declared: Retire the  list. It has served its purpose. This time, it was Milanzuelans who complained, but their screams were drowned out by the engines of change.

As the years passed, Mlanzuelans stopped voting, so   that the legislative system fell into the captain's grip.bsp;as well as The Court of International Opinion, the captain preside no one dared to say it to his face, many called him His Majesty. When someone would note that poverty was still rampant, the international information offices would issue fancy press releases stating  that his government had eradicated poverty. When dissidents were imprisoned, the Information Ministry would immediately claim that they were "terrorists" When writers characterized the captain as a "dictator", they were labeled Scotland Yard operatives. Some were imprisoned.

Finally the day came, when everyone was silent.


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