cc: David H. Thorne Ambassador-Designate to the Italian Republic and the Republic of San Marino
cc: Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
cc: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Love is so powerful that it always wins.
Truth is so powerful that it always wins.
All it takes is Time.
Dear William Gill,
I am writing to you from my heart. We have never met, which I is why I am puzzled by what appears to be an adversarial attitude directed toward me by the US Consul Office in Milan. Prior to that, I had a good relationship with A. Daniel Weygandt, and was surprised to learn that he was no longer the Consul. After you called me Catherine "von Brauer" or "von Bauer," I told Megan Jones, the local Consul here in Venice, that I thought you had the wrong file! Megan Jones told me the Consul had no file on me. Therefore, I was even more surprised when I called the emergency number in Milan this past Friday because I could not access my personal possessions -- including my American passport -- and was told by a man who refused to give his name that: you were not in; that they were aware of who I was and of the problems I was having in Venice; that I should speak to my "many friends" and to the Italian police; and that there was nothing they could do to help.
Since you and I have not met, I researched you on the internet and discovered you are from Roanoke, and have a passion for reading. From the Roanoke Times, LOVE OF READING FUELS A DIPOMAT'S CAREER by Shannon Flowers, May 11, 2006:
"Gill's journey begins as a first-grader, when he traveled to faraway places in an imagination fueled by a love of reading instilled in him by his mother and later nurtured by his teachers at Huff Lane Elementary School in the early 1970s.
'I think books are important. I think not just what they represent, but what they can do for a person. It's traveling without moving, as the song goes...'"
To read the entire article, please click here:
UPDATE: January 19, 2014: This link works. There is one less "w" -- making it "ww" not "www": http://ww2.roanoke.com/columnists/flowers/wb/64622
Have you read my books, HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON and HARLEY'S NINTH? If you had, you would know that we are on the same side. I promote imagination, creativity and hope. I hold the same values dear that you expressed in the article. That is why I am becoming more convinced that there misinformation about me at the State Department.
I also researched the Ambassador-Designate, David H. Thorne, and read his testimony:
"If confirmed, I hope to harness this love for Italy with my pride in being a citizen of our great nation to promote American interests abroad. At this critical juncture in our foreign policy, President Obama has set a new tone for our engagement with other countries. In his recent speech in Cairo, the President emphasized the “need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.” If confirmed, I will take on that charge personally and work to convey an America that listens to and collaborates with our allies and friends around the world."
To read the entire piece, click here:
Again, these are the same values I hold in high esteem. As I am sure you are aware, I have been approached on more than one occasion because America wanted to have a stronger presence here in Venice. Foreigners have always been a solid part of the Venetian infrastructure. In every part of town, you will find ancient buildings that housed a cornucopia of foreigners, important ingredients in the magical mix of Venice. The United States, too, was welcomed in the past. In fact, the Venetians were the first government in the world to recognize the existence of the United States of America. News of the signing of the Declaration of Independence traveled so fast that it reached the ears of the Doge by mid-August, 1776 (if I had access to my notes that are locked inside my house, I could provide the exact date.:) The house of the explorer Giovanni Caboto, aka John Cabot, can be found down on Via Garibaldi... Venice has always had a very strong interest in the United States of America.
However, I have always maintained that Venice belongs to Venetians, and I am firmly against anything that interferes with that delicate infrastructure. Living, breathing Venetians are the soul of Venice. With all the bizarre experiences I have had recently, perhaps one could conclude that this attitude is not appreciated by certain powers-that-be. To be very clear: real or imagined, many locals feel that there is an organized effort underway to destroy the Venetian infrastructure. There is an effort to encourage mothers to have their babies born on the mainland, not in Venice. There has been a sudden increase in the trafficking of cocaine and heroin -- the young people have spoken to me about this with pain in their voices; they speak to me because I write for them. I could go on and on about the rapid changes taking place here in Venice; that is just the tip.
Rialto is the heart of Venice. My apartment is located right on the Grand Canal, right at the Rialto Bridge, right in the heart of Venice. Again, perhaps one could conclude that what seems to be a simple eviction for non-payment of rent is something else entirely -- especially when defamation of character and violence are involved. In any event, I believe I have at least four solid causes of action as to why the eviction is not legal -- one of which is that I have been a resident of Venice for more than ten years, and am entitled to certain rights, not renting as a tourist as stated in the Order, etc., etc.... and I did pay the rent:)
It would be a great thing if the United States of America and Venice could work together as a unit. I strongly believe in what our Founders fought and died for, and I know that many Venetians support those ideals, too. Again, what I am against is the interference with Venice's right to self-determination. Venetian voices are being silenced. Since I often speak on behalf of Venice, one might conclude that my voice is also being silenced...
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues with you, in person, here in Venice. Since I have been having extreme difficulty accessing the Internet, it is best to call my cell phone: +39-347-772-0453. My friends in the USA tell me that when they dial my number, they cannot get through -- another puzzle to solve.
All the best,
aka Catherine Ann Bauer
(The above photo of the Rialto Hotel was shot from my balcony since that is most definitely my Venetian flag -- the pole is the handle of my mop. I am using the photo without their permission as I would love to know how it got in the brochure of the Rialto Hotel, and up on their website without MY permission!)