Pizza and free speech go perfect together

May 31, 2018

Editor’s note: This column originally appeared in the May 20 edition of The Cuenca Dispatch.

Friends or ours, Dan and Narcy Jaramillo, had to recently shut down their restaurant, Tutto Matto Pizza, due to a health emergency. It was sudden; in fact Codie and I went to eat at their place the evening it began and were shocked to see them closed.  We talked to Narcy’s mom, but she wasn’t really sure what the issue was (or maybe was unsure whether or not to tell us).  Anyway, the good news is that things are okay now and Dan and Narcy are planning to reopen on June 23.

You may or may not know Dan and Narcy or Tutto Matto Pizza.  I will say this, if you don’t you should.  If you haven’t had Dan’s pizzas then you are missing out.  He has worked in the restaurant industry his entire life and has been making pizzas for over 25 years.  He knows what a true New York-style pizza should taste like and he has a passion about how he does it.

I’ve never taken to this column to write about another restaurant, since I run one of my own.  Maybe I was just waiting for a very good reason to send people somewhere else to eat other than our place!  Well, now is as good a reason as any.  I’m asking everyone who trusts my opinion of food to stop by and visit Dan and Narcy on June 23rd (or 24th or 25th, or whatever!).  Closing a business for a month hurts any owner and restaurants have such small margins it hurts them even more.

So, please, do Dan and Narcy, and YOURSELF, a favor and visit them as soon as they reopen.  You will be so happy you did.  The food is great.  The owners are great.  That’s all you need to know.  They are located on Ave. Solano, just south of ItalDeli (or Alfonso Moreno Mora), on the same side of the street.

Okay, so what else comes to mind this week….

Well, selfishly I was pleased to see that President Moreno is now taking action on eliminating Supercom, the “media policing agency” that was basically the prior government’s way of silencing the media.  The President said on Monday that, “Freedom of expression is a right that should not be the object of control or surveillance, but of protection by the state.  As the law is now written, its primary objective is to control the media, not to protect free speech, and we will change this.”

We will have to see how this plays out, but it is nice to know that we can soon say what we feel about the politics of the country without the fear of being shut down ( has been “warned” about this in the past).  Freedom of speech is important in any country that wants to advance, support its people and create a real sense of society. We don’t have to look any farther than Venezuela to see the truth to that.

As for those who will argue that we are only seeing fake news about how bad things are in Venezuela, I’ll remind our readers that our reported Karla Sanchez Arismendi is from there and was actually on the ground in Caracas reporting for us when all the protests broke out there last year (Vol. 1., Issue 43, May 5, 2017).  Not only was the press being silenced then, the entire internet and telecom system kept getting shut down.  Karla managed to get her story to us during a few minutes of time when the internet providers were fighting to restart their services.

Anyway, hopefully this is just one more issue that President Moreno promised during the campaign that does eventually get addressed.

Now, if we could just get the “slander” laws fixed, we might actually have people able to make negative comments about a vendor, restaurant, or service provider who has screwed them over without the fear of being sued.  Understand, the cases of expatriates being sued for making mildly negative comments online (at CHL and/or GringoPost) are NOT urban legend.  They have happened and will continue to happen until this part of the legal code is addressed.

That’s it for me this week.  I’ll close by once again asking you to think about visiting Tutto Matto Pizza and supporting Dan and Narcy as they reopen their wonderful restaurant on June 23.

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