By Santiago Gamboa, EL ESPECTADOR, May 28, 2021

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

I no longer know in which country the current President’s Palace is located, and that’s why I expressed some doubt in the title. Neverland is the Country of Never Never, that island imagined by J. M. Barrie in his book “Peter Pan and Wendy”, where the children never grow up, and where the actors are going to land, flying like hummingbirds. What is Barrie’s Neverland? The idea of perpetual childhood speaks to us of the denial of reality when it is frustrating or painful, as the adult world commonly is. The President’s Palace now could be a Creole and tropical version of that Neverland where all growth is halted (except for foreign debt), and where there is only one version of events, which is the one that comes from that social and political collective self-proclaimed “we, the decent people”. Because there are more of us “decent people”, as you so often hear these days of solitary cowboys in white shirts and white Toyotas, carrying a pistol. No only are there more of them: they have more money than the majority have, they have the highways to go to their weekend places (without those bothersome blockades). They have the Democratic Center version 2.0 of Zapateiro and, above all, they are in power and they manage the government treasury. That’s where the fanciful contracts that we’ve seen come from, like the ones that the Public Defender’s Office just created. (From what town? From Anapoima?)

Besides, we already knew that English is the official language of Neverland, but only the perfect, unaccented English of the self-proclaimed “decent people” in the country, and that’s why they went to a bilingual school ever since they were very young, and later on to Harvard or the like. The rest, the middle classes and the poor, or the twits at the French School or the Refous School that talk in broken English. “It’s easy to recognize them,” say the “decent people” in their clubs, making fun of them. Duque in his video showed us that his English is so high class that it allows him to say anything he wants, and he even thinks in English. And what is it that Iván is thinking about so much? What conclusions is he reaching in the language of Shakespeare and Barrie? Ah, his opinion on the crisis will be the subject of analysis in the political science departments: for him, the economy and even the vaccination process in Neverland are in danger, exclusively because of the black magic activities of Captain Garfío of the mountain ranges, Gustavo Petro, the employer of the demonstrators. Nothing more. The rest is a frame-up by international communism. And he adds, addressing his imaginary journalist: “Is that honorable?” A perfect idea, and unaccented.

And who is Iván’s Tinkerbell, the inspirational and protective pixie? In this Neverland of the savannas there is a Tinkerbell, and its name is Álvaro Uribe. His interference in politics, in spite of being a party in a pending criminal case, is more and more asphyxiating, even for Duque himself, and that is leading both of them into dark abysses in the opinion polls. Because in our history, which is sadder than that of Barrie, Uribe is more than his putative father, which means that there is a mixture of two complications: the one is Peter Pan, and the other one belongs to Telémachus. The question is, “how long will Duque be able to stay barricaded in his Land of Never Never, looking at the chaos from an ivory tower? The strategy of waiting and procrastinating will overturn, because the bill from the real Colombia in the streets is more overdue every day with his tiny concessions.

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