Dear Edward Snowden:
Hi. Adrian Bono here. Journalist and longtime fan.
In light of the recent statements made by Russian president Vladimir Putin, in which he said that you’re still undecided about where to spend the rest of your miserable life, may I borrow five minutes of your time and try to talk you into seeking asylum in Argentina?
I have to be honest with you. There’s somewhat of a betting game going on in the newsroom in which we’re trying to guess which nation you will be choosing as your final destination. Most people—cowards as they are—played it safe and said Ecuador because it’s the obvious choice. Others (the crazy ones) suggested the micronation of Freetown Christiania, located inside Copenhagen and a place you probably have never heard of even though it does exist.
However, I went for something more middle-of-the-road and picked Argentina. And after you’ve read the five bullet points I put together for you below, I’m sure you will agree with me. So indulge me, OK?
Also, I got 50 bucks saying you’ll be coming here so you better not screw me, Snowden. I mean it.
Here are the five reasons why should pick Argentina as your final destination:
WE HATE THE U.S.: Haven’t you heard? Until recently, at least 40% of the country hated the U.S. Maybe it was the whole betrayal thing, which goes back to the Monroe Doctrine and the naïveté of the “America for Americans” slogan. It was America for Americans until one day it wasn’t anymore and those apple pie dreams just evaporated into thin air. Or maybe it was the whole School of the Americas thing, with all that torture training and whatnot. Oh and supporting puppet dictatorships all over South America in order to prevent the advance of communism. Or the neoliberal policies of the 90s. You get the gist of it. But despair not, my fugitive friend. Many may hate the U.S. here but we also love the U.S. Confused? Don’t worry, we all are. The truth is we all dream of having a big Manhattan apartment and working alongside Michael Douglas on Wall Street. We are also a society divided between those who think Ross had the right to cheat on Rachel because they were on a break, and those who think he was a cheating son of a bitch. We idolize Miami, communicate in English and save in dollars. Even our politicians, who are always fast to denounce the immoral practices of your capitalist comrades, hop on a plane and succumb to a shopping spree on Lincoln Road. The problem is that cannot be said out loud because, as “undeniably pro-American” vice-president Amado Boudou told US ambassador Vilma Martínez once during a private meeting, admitting such a travesty will always cost an Argentine politician a large portion of their political capital (by the way, thanks for that gem, Wikileaks). So why not come to our country? You can eat at McDonald’s, sip a latte at Starbucks and grab a bite at Subway. You’ll feel right at home. Just one thing though: no Apple store here. I know. Outrageous, but I guess you’ll manage to survive.
- WE LOVE A GOOD REBEL: Adopting this country as yours could very well be your ticket to enter the Argentine Hall of
Fame of Revolutionary Icons. Evita is there, Che Guevara is there, Maradona is there. Basically anyone who has ever romanticized “fucking this system” or challenging the status quo is there. You don’t really need to do much—in fact, you’ve already done enough. You just need to show up here and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll build monuments in your honor and shape your life story so it fits the narrative of a tormented soul who in the end died for our sins to save us from eternal damnation. Why do you think our feelings for Lionel Messi are not even remotely close to the fervent passion we display every time we see Maradona on the TV screen? Simple. Because he’s lukewarm. He doesn’t question stuff. He’s OK with everything, and such a stance is completely unacceptable. Maradona, however… man. Now, there’s a good revolutionary. Sure, he may have supported every single Argentine president since the return of democracy, no matter what their ideology, but at least he likes Cuba and hates the U.S. And that, my friend, is a ticket to revolution. Even the Pope is a rebel. Did you read the news yesterday? He was supposed to attend this super important concert and decided to bail a few minutes earlier because fuck you, Vatican people. And that’s why we love the Pope. So come on down here, you mischievous brat!
- IT WORKED FOR THE NAZIS: Oh, boy. I know this can be a touchy subject for many, but after World War II Argentina
became Little Reichland for many Hitler-lovers who fled the falling Nazi empire. Now, don’t be so fast to judge because the U.S. did the same thing (Operation Paperclip anyone?). The difference is that Uncle Sam put those Nazi scientists to work. Here they were just released out in the open so they could live their life in quiet solitude while reminiscing fondly of that time they were shooting at random people for fun. Many of them were caught, but surely most of them died of old age and are now burning in hell. Did you know there are even rumors that Hitler himself secretly moved here? There are books about it, and famous comedian Andrés Perciavalle swears he even met him in person (although he also swears he was healed by aliens once, so you may want to take all this with a grain of salt.) But I digress. The thing is that many Nazis lived a long, healthy life in the green hills of Córdoba and the snowy peaks of Bariloche. So if they, genocidal maniacs as they were, managed to survive in this mythical land undisturbed for decades, why not you? Think about it.
- THE WOMEN: I know, sounds douchy, doesn’t it? You are trying to save the world from the tyrannical rule of Big Brother
and here I am, thinking of girls. But there’s a reason for this, my good friend. You see, after you whistleblew (“whistleblowed”? Whatever.) yourself, many colleagues of mine around the globe began Pulitzer hunting and decided to focus on the tragic story of your (now ex) girlfriend, a pole dancing sexy beast left standing at the altar while you were playing James Bond. So now that the media obsession with your ex has passed, it is time for you to find a new Bond girl. And what better country to do that than here? If there’s one thing Argentina can be proud of is the beautiful women that roam these pampas. Blonde, brunette, albino, we have them all here. An exquisite mixture of European and indigenous genes has created a country with some of the most beautiful girls in the world. Hazelnut eyes, an olive complexion and a perfect smile, all combined with a preternatural sense of fashion and the curves of a Greek goddess (the only downside is the histeria component, but unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about that.) This country has created some unforgettable sex bombs such as Luisana Lopilato and that chick who married Matt Damon. In Argentina even the President is hot! So come on down and feast your eyes on the endless parade of beauties that this country has to offer! And if you’re feeling curious, the guys are kinda hot, too. Just saying.
- WE LOVE TO BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION: As a country, Argentina is an attention whore. The first thing we do every
morning after breakfast is open The New York Times website and search “Argentina” hoping to see something about us. ANYTHING. If there’s nothing it ruins our day. Especially since in the last couple of years the international media has been stroking our ego, courtesy of above-average human beings such as Lionel Messi, Queen Máxima and Pope Francis. Can you imagine how big we’d be if on top of that we managed to lay our hands on an international fugitive like you? My God, the press! I can already see the front pages, always infected with a pun or two in order to show that we don’t take our jobs too seriously. “Tango for one” or “Asado a la traitor,” are some of the headlines that come to mind. They always have to include a stereotype, you know how we journalists are. But hey, not that we’re complaining. Any press is good press. If having you here means some proactive entrepreneur will be making money with the Snowden in Buenos Aires tour, so be it. If the French get to have their own Da Vinci Code tour, we get to exploit you. I think it’s a fair trade, considering we’re antagonizing a large part of the western world because of you. So, you owe us.
And, you’re done. After such a comprehensive guide to our country there’s no reason for you not to move here.
But seriously, though. If you don’t come you owe me 50 bucks.