Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Banana Country Swims Ashore

This morning Panama was made a temporary member of the security council of the United Nations. This morning I'm also listening to my "Una Decada," the one fabulous CD I own by Panamanian salsero Ruben Blades, an inspiring mix of salsa and son with rustic touches of accordian and violin arrangements made for a Broadway stage. (Today, Ruben, a passionate nationalist who once ran for president, is serving back home as the Minister of Tourism.) The lyrics to songs like "Caminando" and "Prohibido Olvidar" on Ruben's album and the U.N. milestone made me think about about Panama's century long struggle to step out of the U.S.'s backyard and establish a strong new nation, free of militarism and corruption. Sure, the U.N. seat is little more than symbolic, and there's a long way to go. Still, I think shout of comraderie and congrats are in order for Panama!

Prohibieron ir a la escuela
E ir a la universidad
Prohibieron el derecho a queja
Prohibieron el preguntar
Hoy te suguiero mi hermano
Pa' que no vuelva pasar
Prohibido olvidar
Prohibido olvidar

Forbidden from going to school
Forbidden from going to college
Forbidden the right to complain
Forbidden the right to ask
Today I assure you my brother
So that it never happens again
We're forbidden from forgetting
We're forbidden from forgetting