Sunday, March 12, 2006

Condee, Call Me

Today's Chicago Tribune had a short piece about Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's recent meeting with Bolivia's President Evo Morales while in Chile for the inauguration of the new president there. During the meeting, Mr. Morales gave Secretary Rice a traditional Bolivian charango, which is a small stringed instrument. This particular instrument includes a back lacquered with coca leaves. The gesture is full of political overtomes because Mr. Morales was once the president of the coca growers union. The Trib describes Morales as having led a "sometimes violent" fight against U.S. efforts to eradicate his crops.

But, more relevant to me, the article quotes a State Department person as saying they need to check with Customs as to whether the thing is admissible (given that it is made of coca and all). I don't know the answer. But, I am pretty certain I know where to look and would charge a very reasonable fee for the advice.

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