Posts Tagged ‘borders’

Call him what he likes to be called. (Well, not the marching-in-shiny-boots kind, of course! But quite honorable still.)


Hugo Chávez just triggered some alarm when he announced there will be no Venezuelan oil for European countries using the newly adopted European Union migration directive that says that immigrants considered as illegal can be jailed for up to eighteen months and face a re-entry ban of up to five years. European leaders are saying he just misunderstood the thing:

“Spain’s prime minister said Madrid was prepared to explain the new law “so that the EU’s relationship with all Latin American countries remains positive.” “Maybe we need to explain exactly to the president of Venezuela what this directive (EU law) consists of,” Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said at a two-day EU summit. “There have been many interpretations of this directive… that have nothing to do with what it really is,” he said.” (from “EU says Chavez misunderstood migration law”, Reuters, June 20 2008)

It’s a misunderstanding. Ok. So a little good explanation will do. Explanations are always great:

“Zapatero referred to Chávez’s words at the European Council in Brussels. “We will for sure provide an explanation,” said Zapatero, who has heard “many interpretations” of the law approved by the EU Parliament. “It might be appropriate to explain to Venezuela’s President the meaning of this directive,” because “we hear sometimes interpretations that have not much to do with reality,” said Zapatero.” (from “España explicará la directiva europea sobre inmigración a los países latinoamericanos”, El País, June 20 2008)

Super. There is nothing like a good little explanation. Agreed. But why don’t you guys give that fancy explanation straight away?

Let us guess. And, meanwhile, we will spend some time wondering about this an other new cool ways of using oil.

In the morning of Thursday April 17, 2008, at the Gare du Nord in Paris, passengers were boarding into the 8:25am Thalys train to Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. No border control to pass, since all countries involved are all happy members of the European Community, and their border control policy fall into the Schengen Agreement. But still, some vigilant agents from the customs authority were there to stop and interrogate passengers that look suspicious. Poor agents, torn by the difficulties of their almost impossible semiotic venture. Who shall they pick for interrogation? On the grounds of what? Is there something in a person’s face that should tell something meaningful about faulty behavior? Or should their drop any criteria altogether and put the fate of their vital task into the hands of blind randomness? Well, no. They found the solution to their epistemic quarrel in less than a second: pick the Negro.