The Guard Dog is pleased to announce an exclusive report connected to the four South American Presidents currently in the spotlight regarding the Edward Snowden affair.
These Presidents are Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Rafael Correa of Ecuador.
In review, Edward Snowden, ex-employee of Booz Allen Hamilton who blew the whistle on massive NSA spying throughout the globe, currently a fugitive at a Moscow airport, has been offered asylum by the above leaders, with the exception (so far) of Mr. Correa.
Good friends, the four presidents met this past weekend for relaxation and poker at The Dragonfly, a resort located somewhere near Caracas, Venezuela. Disguised as waiter an intrepid Guard Dog reporter (anonymous) filed the following account.
After dinner on the final evening the four Presidents gathered for a few hands of poker. While shuffling, Mr. Maduro was silent for some time in response to what appeared to be a humming sound from Mr. Correa.
"Really, what is that, Rafael? What are you humming? It sounds like that old Frank Sinatra song--"
"You've got me, under your thumb . . . " Rafael intoned smoothly, in an impressive baritone sound. "You've got me, deep in the heart of me . . ."
"He's singing about America, Madre de Dios." Mr. Ortega said. "He's been humming it all night,"
Mr. Morales joined in. "It's an obsession. Ever since he was forced to refuse asylum to Snowden because America threatened his trade deals, he can't get this song out of his mind."
"So deep in the heart, you're really a part of me . . ."
Mr. Correa continued his singing as though oblivious to surrounding commentary.
"But really, Rafael," Mr. Maduro was rapping on the table. "You must join us and offer asylum!"
It wasn't clear the others noticed this appeal.
"Wait!" Mr. Morales now entered the discourse. "Let me add something!" And with that he and Mr. Correa, in rich baritone duo, continued--
"I've tried so not to give in
I've said to myself this affair never will go so well
But why should I resist when, baby, I know damn well
I've got you under my skin?"
"Amigos, amigos," Mr. Maduro thumped the table. "We're playing cards! Look, I will bet on this fine looking eight of spades showing on the table."
"Not much, Nicolas. Like Snowden, hah? A hand with small cards."
Mr. Correa at this point folded with a heavy sigh. "I mean how many more are going to be coming to us, I ask you? Assange is now a transit bureau or something for whistleblowers. Advice and arrangements."
"And from inside the embassy in London, Rafael!" Mr. Ortega added. "I understand why you're so nervous."
"Nervous? Who's nervous?" Mr. Morales was smiling. "Did you have your plane re-routed and grounded and sniffed at lately?"
Both Rafael Correa and Evo Morales at this point burst out with more song--
"I'd sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of having you near
In spite of a warning voice that comes in the night
And repeats and repeats in my ear . . ."
"Nervous? Would Hugo have been nervous?" Mr. Maduro had folded with his eight of spades high, and the hand was won by Mr. Ortega with a one-eyed Jack.
"Ah, the Hugo!" Much murmuring from the four, plus shakings of heads and pounding on the table. "Yes, the Hugo, the Hugo Chavez. Now there was somebody to call a spade a spade and deal with the US monster!"
As the evening wore on, according to our busy waiter-reporter on the scene, Mr. Correa's singing had infected all these leaders. Playing around with the old Frank Sinatra ballad continued as they mused on Snowden and the United States, and their own position in the controversy.
At last the card game had mostly ceased, with all four leaders singing so boisterously other guests at The Dragonfly complained:
"Don't you know you fool I'm not just a bum
Use your mentality, wake up to reality
But each time that I do just the thought of you
Makes me stop before I 've begun
'Cause you've got me under your thumb . . . "