General Daniel Velasquez (full name: Daniel Ortega Castro Noriega Pinochet Velasquez, aka Doug) was killed last week. Fittingly for a man who lived by violence, he was gunned down at 7 am, again at 11:30, and after a light lunch again at 2 pm. Finally, at 5 pm, after ordering pizza, he succumbed to a fresh attack.
Killed By Hollywood?
His death would appear to be timed appropriately just as Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy film The Dictator comes out, but that is just a coincidence. The General’s life was no joke. Far from it, there was pain (mostly self-inflicted but it still counts). And laughter too. But mostly pain. He liked to laugh at other people’s pain, but once out of power, he learned to have empathy for his many enemies and laugh at them too. He once told a joke. When no one laughed, he banned humour.
The former dictator of Taraguay (the lesser known of the Paraguay and Uruguay Latin American trilogy), the General was plotting his return to power. At the time of his assassinations, it is said he was yelling at a fern, but in fact he was acting out what he had hoped would be his triumphant coup d’etat. The fern was shot several times, an innocent bystander in the bloody acts of revenge. So far it is not co-operating with authorities investigating the assassination.
From Womb to Warlord
He was born in a vagina — that much is certain. But much of his past remains a mystery. Like other children he had hands, feet and giggled when someone farted. As he revealed to Brilliant or Stupid? in an exclusive interview recently, Mr Velasquez started training as a soldier while in pre-school. His first bomb may have been made with playdough, but his ambition and dedication were noted early on. His report card from that time states: “Danny enjoys nap time, finger paints and threatening people. He shows real enthusiasm for unilaterally occupying territory in the sandbox.”
Kidnapping English-speaking contract oil workers allowed him to learn English from native speakers. But those angry victims would often fool him with an incorrect translation that would embarrass the General. In 1998, while speaking before the UN he was laughed off the stage when he gave an incorrect translation for the word ‘reform’. He told the general assembly: “Due to hyper inflation, the Democratic Republic of Taraguay is undertaking immediate retards. We are fully committed to retards … Stop laughing or I will kill you all!” And he did.
Lord of the Lies
He was later re-elected 17 times in 4 elections with 99.999999% of the vote. Only he was allowed to vote. With each election win, he gained new titles and powers including: President, Commander in chief, Supreme Leader for Life, Ultimate chief of all, Carer of the Gold, Husband to all he commands, First Chief of the Order of the High and Mighty, and the unfortunate title ‘King of the ‘guays’.
The General’s tenure as leader of Taraguay was marked by farce and failure. Early on his regime commissioned to have the world’s largest portrait painted in his honour. The oil-on-canvas portrait that he claims was painted by Picasso stands 400 feet tall was expected to be entered into the Guinness Book of Records but they never returned his call.
He was convinced the CIA and other western agencies were poisoning his moustache. And when he learned the US was training dolphins to attack ships with torpedoes he decided to have Llamas trained to carry out grenade attacks. His Llama soldiers were victorious against Peruvians during border clashes, but the Peruvians quickly developed donkey snipers. A truce was declared soon after. Eventually, the last active Llama squad was disbanded and eaten. Veterans of the Llama-donkey conflict meet once a year in a field to eat grass and serve as a reminder of the horrors of war.
Taraguay’s geography as a land-locked country was a constant soar point and ultimately sealed his fate. Three times during his tenure he hired and fired the navy. The final straw was when Admiral Miguel Sanchez — a distant cousin and rising rap star — was ordered to sell the navy’s 14-foot battleship. He refused. Instead, he took his elite crew (12 men, 6 women, 2 llamas) on his fleet of two dinghys and rowed threw the capital’s ditches and canals. They moored at the presidential palace and after dodging underwater mines in the palace pool, they attacked with small arms fire and much shouting. General Daniel Velasquez fled on a helicopter that he had converted into a jeep because Taraguay had no pilots.
The Dementia Years
In his later years, he devoted his time to plotting revenge and giving dictators a voice in his Despot Cafe magazine. He yearned for the golden age of dictators and felt today’s leaders lacked charisma, panache and eccentricity. “All leaders must be strong but also confusing. Flip-flopping is a great way to leave your opposition bewildered. Sending-out mixed signals is never permitted. See what I did there? I thank you.”
General Daniel Velasquez (nee Carmenere) leaves behind several mistresses, proteges, suitcases, cologne, money, small arms and legs, gold hidden in a mattress, and family.