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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:50 PM
Original message
Paraguayan jeers singing US ambassador
Source: Associated Press

Paraguayan jeers singing US ambassador
June 26th, 2008 @ 8:02pm

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) - U.S. Ambassador James Cason's singing isn't music to the ears of one Paraguayan senator.

Cason released a CD two weeks ago of himself singing Paraguayan folk songs in the local Guarani indigenous language.

Cason tells the newspaper ABC Color he recorded the CD titled "The Field of Promises" because his wife says he has a beautiful voice.

But opposition Sen. Domingo Laino begs to differ and has asked Paraguay's Congress to denounce the diplomat.



Read more: http://www.620ktar.com/?nid=46&sid=879824
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well it sounds like the Senator is just being anti-yanqui
The Ambassador just did something rather nice grass-roots diplomatics IMHO.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Want to see how the Miami Herald treats this story? You won't believe it!
U.S. diplomat now a music star in Paraguay
Until January, a career diplomat appeared to be readying for retirement in Miami. Now the U.S. ambassador to Paraguay is the country's most unusual singing sensation.

Posted on Tue, Jun. 24, 2008



BENJAMIN N. GEDAN / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD
U.S.Ambassador to Paraguay James C.Cason
is interviewed by a Paraguyan television
reporter at the Centro Cultural Paraguayo
Americano in Encarnacin, Paraguay, on
Saturday, June 14, 2008. Cason visited
the center to celebrate its grand opening
and promote his CD. The proceeds from CD
sales support scholarships for Paraguayans
to study English.

By BENJAMIN N. GEDAN
Special to The Miami Herald

BENJAMIN N. GEDAN / FOR THE MIAMI HERALD
U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay James C. Cason is interviewed by a Paraguyan television reporter at the Centro Cultural Paraguayo Americano in Encarnacin, Paraguay, on Saturday, June 14, 2008. Cason visited the center to celebrate its grand opening and promote his CD. The proceeds from CD sales support scholarships for Paraguayans to study English.

Audio | Listen to Cason's music

ENCARNACION, Paraguay -- Becoming famous in this poor and isolated nation would not seem like a huge challenge. But even here, U.S. Ambassador James C. Cason seemed an unlikely candidate for national celebrity.

That was before he learned the obscure Paraguayan Guaran language, recorded a music album of indigenous folk songs and sold 1,000 tickets to a concert in a downtown theater. Now, in the final year of his four-decade diplomatic career, Cason has suddenly become the toast of Paraguay, or at least the country's most unusual pop star.

''He's been on TV and in all the newspapers,'' said Nelson Viveros, 16, who traveled to meet the ambassador recently in Encarnacin, by the Argentina border. ``It's strange, but people love it.''

Until January, it appeared Cason, 63, would go quietly into retirement in Miami, whose Cuban-American community he knows and where he was considering running for office or seeking a job related to Latin America.

Paraguay is the last foreign service posting for the New Jersey native, following assignments in Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, Panama, Uruguay, Italy, Venezuela and Portugal. Before moving to the capital city of Asuncin in 2005, he spent three years as chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.

More:
http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/582020.html

Wouldn't know it's the same guy, would you?
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Glorfindel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well, at least the poor guy made the effort to sing in Guarani
n/t
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. He had a little help learning, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. From the Miami Herald:
He did not begin studying Guaran until his last month in Havana, hiring a Paraguayan medical student to tutor him for three hours a day. In Washington, awaiting Senate confirmation, the State Department located a replacement instructor, a Paraguayan who once taught Peace Corps volunteers.
http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/582020.html
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Caradoc Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Geez, I'm so old...
...I remember when an Ambassador posting was a serious and solemn appointment, where you didn't make waves and you showed a very high degree of taste, tact and discretion. In short, you avoided the limelight. This guy treats it like American Idol. I'm sure his heart was in the right place, but his brains were still at the airport waiting to pass through customs. I know there's a 'School of the Americas'...is there now a conservatory too?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Good for him.
Ambassadors should have some facility in the official languages of the countries' they're posted to.

Few people get to take Guarani in high school or college. I know my high school didn't teach it. People usual like that you've taken the trouble and time to learn some of their language--even if it's a commonly taught one, esp. if it's a rarely taught one.

In Brno and Prague, people were usually more friendly when I spoke Czech. Those that weren't usually had a reason for not wanting to: Sometimes personal, sometimes ideolgoical. They might have deeply resented being "dishonored" by having their favorite politicians not in power, for instance, or disliked all Americans because a previous exchange student went home and left behind a 2-month-old fetus that his sister took to term. The point: There's usually bad faith and ill will already in evidence.

In this guy, we see a politician politicking. Nothing more, nothing less. Unless, of course, he happens to also moonlight as a music critic.
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