La Nación / Arnoldo, the asphalt and the warehouse, the Bible and the water heater

  • By Josias Enciso Romero

Except for the remembered pastor Armín Ilhe, of the German Evangelical Congregation of Asunción and member of the Committee of Churches for Emergency Aid (CIPAE), no Protestant church was involved in any campaign to defend human rights during the brutal regime of Alfredo Stroessner. Less than less the Mennonites (not all Germans residing in Paraguay are Mennonites), who, on the contrary, worshiped the dictator. Many of its most prominent leaders entered the Palacio de López without going through the antechamber. They got great tax exemptions for imports, which allowed them to set up their businesses. Thus, some set up great empires that their children later expanded and became privileged prosperous. Until today. They literally adhered to what Jesus declared to the Pharisees when they asked him if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, whose image and inscription were on the Roman coins of that time. The well-known answer was: “Give then to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Therefore, they did not involve themselves in “earthly affairs”, but were ardent estronists. There was no Good Samaritan for those who fell under the boots of the despot. Until the dictatorship was overthrown by cannon fire and many saw the light and discovered their political “vocation”. Getting involved in political business was much more profitable than dedicating oneself to the “Father’s business”.

One of the most fanatical converts in politics –after abdicating his pastoral mission– is Arnoldo Wiens, with the basic ingredients of the mediocre: ambition without measures, audacity without limits and obsession with the gift of life. He previously did half-spoon commercial journalism, which he found his gold mine during the government of “Nicadrón” Duarte “Bruto”. He invoiced 20 million in Itaipú and, according to the memorists, 50 million in Yacyretá. Nor that it was Mike Wallace in his golden age of “60 minutes”. With the difference that, while the “right Wiens” of corruption invited “Pombero bota”, “Ñakyra pire”, “Ju’i pakova”, “Kururu alumbrado”, “Pepita la pistolera” and the best ranked among all, the popular “Ña Deló”, the late American journalist interviewed inconsequential figures such as Deng Xiaoping, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the Shah of Persia), Ayatollah Khomeini, Malcolm X, Yasser Arafat and Vladimir Putin. Pure insignificance. Later he already wanted to be president of the Republic, but he had to settle for the Senate. Then he was Minister of Public Works and Communications (MOPC), with another peerless pereri and his peer: Mario Abdo Benítez Jr. Far from gnashing his teeth (that awaits him later), he clung and clings to the tinkling inside the pockets. As a good apostate he decided to be a slave to riches.

My neighbor, Don Cecilio, told me that, since the beginning of the democratic transition, some evangelical pastors adopted the role of prophets. The most active “anointed” the best positioned in the polls as the next president of the Republic of Paraguay. So they went to the landline, building the image of “the Lord spoke to me” and “I only transmit his Word.” They did not care that the “anointed ones” live in the most filthy and despicable sin condemned by God. The real one. But for Christians, the Bible is a source of wisdom. Mark already warned us that “false Christs and false prophets will arise” to deceive even the chosen ones. In the city of Repatriación, department of Caaguazú (although the information does not clarify, we assume that in the “Pueblo de Dios” fold), an exalted presenter announced that “pasarela Wiens” will be anointed as “king of the Republic of Paraguay”. In the voice of someone in a trance, he added: “I am the alpha and the omega (actually it is the omega), the one who is, who was and who is to come, and the almighty. Although darkness covers the earth, as Isaiah 60 says, and darkness over the nations, over Paraguay, through your (Wiens) government our god will dawn.” The correct version: The major prophet Isaiah was referring to Israel: “But the LORD shall rise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you.” But our lively announcer reduced God’s chosen people to the level of the bland, bland, colorless and odorless Arnoldo, the popular “pan kesu”, surnamed “orange tree tea”. From somewhere, Mark the Evangelist lovingly reproaches the speaker: “Why does he talk like that? Blasphemies he says” (2:7). In other words, he was insulting the sacred.

Where our presenter made a barbaric mistake was in the “alpha and omega” thing. Perhaps he meant “the asphalt and the warehouse.” Or the thermos (Stanley) and the heater. Because in both areas he was already crowned as “his majesty of him”. With a rivetless saber in each hand. And giving the Bible the same use as old newspapers in the campaign. There is not a centimeter of road that in the last four years has not been paved with asphalt from Marito and Eldia. Because it pays more. His little mononuclear company today has more tentacles than the late Paul. And Mr. “walkway” is the warehouse where the proceeds are stored in various concepts until the moment of the “better distribution of wealth”, his new cliché. Only that the distribution of wealth is between mata-matakuete. His belly gives him away. These various concepts include directed bids, overbilling, inflated cost overruns, tithes and tolls. So, no one can doubt that Arnold is not going to be, but that he is already king. The king of asphalt and the cellar. And now that the end of the good life of the Persian cat is here, more than ever you have to steal “at full speed”.

In the voice of someone in a trance, he added: “I am the alpha and the omega (actually it is the omega), the one who is, who was and who is to come, and the almighty.”

Where our presenter made a barbaric mistake was in the “alpha and omega” thing. Perhaps he meant “the asphalt and the warehouse.”

La Nación / Arnoldo, the asphalt and the warehouse, the Bible and the water heater