George W. Bush went around the subject of the Romanian visas for the USA. He didn’t say anything actually
“I ate a delicious lunch and I advise all the Romanian journalists to try the Romanian ice-cream if they hadn’t done that yet”. Some might say a client paid to eat his lunch at a famous restaurant in Bucharest said these words, but these were the words of the US President, words meant to conclude the bilateral discussions with the Romanian President. This is the most important thing that George Bush remembered after the meeting that was supposed to clarify the relations between Romania and USA. However, George W. Bush went around the subject of the Romanian visas for the USA. He didn’t say anything actually. This moment reveals the way in which the American leader understands the relation with Romania.
As far as we know, a number of former communist states, members of the EU, still have to get visas in order to get in the USA. The Romanian citizen sees Romania as a strategic ally of the USA, the Romanian soldiers are appreciated by their American colleagues in Iraq and Afghanistan, because they sacrifice themselves. For him, the visa issue is very important. Due to the bureaucracy and to the typically American arrogance, the Romanian citizens who want to get to the USA have to survive several embarrassing steps. The US Embassy, which looks like a fortress guarded by American agents and Romanian riot police officers, is surrounded every day by aboriginals that form very long rows and wait their turn scared at the thought that there might be a certain detail that would stop them from leaving for the USA. They don’t leave there to stay, but to visit their relatives or the country. In order to solve the problem of the elimination of the visas, the European Union asked the USA to negotiate to Brussels directly. The Americans, who seem more and more decided to destroy the European Union unity, have decided to discuss with one country at a time, which didn’t solve the visa problem. After these negotiations, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Hungary obtained what they wanted in the first place.
Traian Basescu tells the Romanians that they are a strong ally of the USA, that America bursts into tears when the name of our little country is mentioned. However, the Romanians were stunned to see the Hungarians have their USA visas eliminated even though they didn’t help too much in democratizing the goat breeders in Afghanistan or the camel owners in Iraq.
In Neptun, during the press conference and after it, President George W. Bush spoke very nicely about Romania. He thanked the Romanians in the name of the Afghans because they sacrificed themselves on the battlefields in Afghanistan. He also thanked the Romanians for the “troops in Iraq”. Afterwards, he took care of Traian Basescu. His advisers told him that the leaders of little countries, like Traian Basescu, are dying for people to see them as friends of the most powerful men in the world. George W. Bush didn’t step back from praising Traian Basescu. He said he was “the leader in the Black Sea region”, which isn’t quite true since we have Turkey, Ukraine and, especially, Russia, in the same region. Since the wish to be named regional leader is too big for the Romanian leaders, Traian Basescui felt the need to look in the mirror in the Snow-White story. Afterwards, when he thought of the file that his advisers provided, the American President referred to Traian Basescu, the shipmaster. This was an opportunity to find out that George W. Bush came such a long way to find the meaning of the word shipmaster from an actual shipmaster. Whatever, I suppose there are a lot of you who know that the American presidents and governors have the habit of finding out the profession of their electors to be in order to flatter them with their interest.
If George W. Bush would have wanted to come to Romania with anything else than the colorful marbles of the praising words and of the gestures of Bucharestian starlet arriving in a train station at the periphery of the city, a decision regarding the elimination of visas would have been the greatest present for the Romanians. What if, instead of praising our actions and president, he would have announced he had come to Romania with the decision to eliminate the visas? We would have thought that the American President thinks of us as more than simple aboriginals from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean amazed by the fact that the visitor has four legs, the ones of the horse that he is riding.