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Former Latin American Dictators to Monitor Run-Offs

(Panama City) A hand-picked junta comprised of retired South and Central American despots will be on hand to see that any and all 2004 election recounts are conducted on the up and up.

     Chosen by the Supreme Quart and approved by influential officials both major parties, the former Latin dictators will act only in an advisor mode. Their official function will be that of observers, although insiders in Washington and elsewhere suggest that years of expertise in the arena of vote rigging and intimidation will be increasingly visible as recounts are tallied.

     Opinions, expediency and a hands-on philosophy as to the political system in place will surely float to the top of the electoral puddle,” said one Congressional source who helped initiate the plan. “Frustration with the slow process could dictate conduct in back parlors and smokey rooms from New York to Buenos Aires.”

     Among the observers are the former bosses in Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Panama. Former leaders who are currently being courted by the State Department include security personnel and executive level counterparts from Paraguay, Guatemala, Peru. Bolivia and Guyana. All are former generals. The names of these powerful men have not been made completely public for fear of reprisals on the part of those “who would do harm to the democratic process”, according to unreliable  government sources.

     Although at first shocked by the development the American public has come to grips with the arrangement and gone back to sleep. Critics fear the Republicans, who most resemble Latin American dictators, will have an unfair advantage in the recounts.

     “We’re darn lucky to have men of this capacity here for our little election squabbles,” said one leading Republican senator who won a seat in 2000 by 3 votes and is currently embroiled in an even closer race this year.

     “We better get this campaign over with or I’ll never spend any time of the floor voting for archaic measures and manipulating my colleagues,” he laughed. “This year I spent 80% of my time campaigning and 20% serving in Congress. I can assure you that won’t happen if I get my party’s nod in 2008.”

     Certain “basic” amenities will be provided the former Latin strongmen during the run-offs. In addition to meal and hotel per diems each will be allowed to bring up to five body guards and several social secretaries. The presence of machine-gun toting military attaches and bullet-proof limousines will attest to a good faith gesture on the part of the United States.

     “We think that the inclusion of these “decorated election counselors” will provide the impetus to smooth and legitimate elections,” said another Congressional source, who demanded animosity. “Besides, they can only play golf for so many days in a row.”

     Infamous Latin dictators such as Manual Noriega, Generalissimo Raul Machete, Carlos Torres Bloode and Baby Doc Duvalier were not invited to the recount since they are in jail in Miami.

     While acting out the drama of the democratic process the former despots will stay with George W. Bush at either the White House or in the executive bunkhouse at his sprawling Crawford (Texas) ranch.

-Kashmir Horseshoe