Friday, September 11, 2009


In the previous Blog I refer to the US invasion of Panama - Operation Just Cause.
Those interested can find the entries made during my travels in Archives for 2006-07-08 and 2006-07-16
My experience of Hispanic America was quite wide.
I reported what people said.
That much of what was said was critical of the US is hurtful to many US citizens.
As is criticism of Britain hurtful, however justified, to this Old Brit Blimp.
I have listened to an immense amount of anti-British criticism!
I may well listen to much more while traveling through India this winter.
I will strive to report truthfully.


I am sad that you should think me anti-US. There are many facets of the US that I admire and of which I am envious, the Supreme Court being an example and one of the world's great institutions. However US foreign policy, particularly as regard Hispanic America, has been ill-informed and often disastrous both for the peoples and for the US.
In general, when traveling, I report the beliefs of the people - what they tell me. I try not to inject my own opinions. This is difficult in countries I know well - such as Guatemala. However of Panama I knew almost nothing prior to my recent journeys, certainly almost nothing of the US invasion. Thus I was surprised at finding it so prominent in Panamanian conversation. In reporting these conversations I wrote that I had no idea of the truth. I do know what many Panamanians believe to be the truth.
Finally it is important to differentiate between attitudes to the people of the US who are generally popular and with US Government policy which is usually unpopular. No one doubts the kindness and generosity of the average US citizen - I, least of all. My adopted daughter is a US citizen by birth and by residence. I visit her often and through her have a wide and close and treasured friendship with an extended family.
Ride safe,


Mr. Gandolfi: I enjoyed your book, which I read promptly after you so promptly sent it.
You are truly an inspiration to those of us who are slightly "long-in-the-tooth," but still dreaming of unknown horizons and unrealized adventures. But I would have enjoyed much more if not for your formulaic anti-USism..... which intrudes on nearly every page. Your wife was right to worry about you writing a polemic. To blame us for all the world's ills is intellectually anemic, and unworthy of the extreme talents you possess. I had to say that, of course.... makes me sick at heart to know you believe that way. Other than that, thank you for your book and for your inspiration....