Monday, August 25, 2008

El Arabito

The most mind-warping aspect of Venezuela today is the disconnect between government rhetoric and life in the streets. This country's leaders include some of the most eloquent opponents of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. Using the dollar costs those who hold the currency, as the money has crashed out over recent years, and it costs the world by propping up the U.S. economy, enabling the violent, destructive politicians to remain violent and destructive, less vulnerable to the economic effects of global approbation.

And if there is one audience you'd expect to be receptive to this message, it would be the country's Arab population. If there's a part of the world that has been screwed up by codependence on the dollar, it's the Middle East, where undemocratic governments have held power with U.S. aid in return for effectively dollarized economies. Aside from the unpleasantness of living in authoritarian police states like Saudi Arabia, there is the inflationary aspect of living in a place where most goods are bought in Euros but most income is in dollars. Currency exchange alone accounts for massive inflation in recent years.

But no. This dollar was far from alone. And it was on the floor at El Arabito, an Arab restaurant and bar in the Sabana Grande neighborhood, at about 2 in the morning, to reward a couple belly dancers who were more like strippers, going from table to table showing their hotness to the men and trying to get tips stuck in their bras and skirts.


Very, very odd.

PS: I know I said I wouldn't talk about politics or economics. This is a blog about tree frogs. I lied. I am going to write about various particularly Venezuelan mindfucks, too.

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