The Right's Latest Assault On Pizza: Trump 'Accidentally' Sanctioned Random Italian Restaurant
Alessandro Bazzoni is the owner of a restaurant in Verona, Italy. This man was just minding his own business, making pizza, trying to survive the COVID pandemic both literally and economically, when one day he went to the bank to find out that all of his accounts were blocked.
The reason they were blocked, it turns out, is that Bazzoni's company was mistakenly sanctioned by the US government. Because on Trump's last day, he sanctioned what he thought were a bunch of oil firms connected to Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela — some of which turned out to just be random businesses that had nothing to do with that at all. Like a pizza restaurant. And a graphic design firm in Sardinia, owned by a dude also named Alessandro Bazzoni. Because, apparently, there was a Venezuelan company owned by another guy named Alessandro Bazzoni.
Apparently the Trump administration was too daft to realize that there could be multiple guys out there name Alessandro Bazzoni.
Via The Guardian:
In 2019, Trump's government imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in an attempt to force the resignation of president Nicolás Maduro, who the US accused of corruption, human rights violations and rigging his 2018 re-election. On his last day in office, Trump sanctioned a network of oil firms and individuals tied to PDVSA. [...]
"When I heard that my current accounts had been blocked, I thought it was a joke," Bazzoni told Corriere della Sera. "These are already difficult times for us restaurant owners, the last thing I needed was to have my accounts blocked."
The restaurant owner claimed he didn't receive an apology. "But it's not a problem, the important thing is they removed my name from that list," he told Corriere. "I thank the new American government for the efficiency with which it intervened."
I checked Corriere del Veneto to see if that came across in Italian the way it does in English, and I assure you it does.
Now, it would be one thing if this were just one incident that could be blamed on incompetence alone — but this is part of a pattern. A pattern of pizza crime, which I have been steadfastly documenting lo these past few years.
For far too long, the Right has waged war on pizza, the greatest and most beloved culinary invention in the history of the world (you're welcome). Most famously, there was Pizzagate, a bizarre conspiracy theory rooted in the belief that there was just something suspicious about how much an Italian guy (John Podesta) talked about food, namely pizza. "No one could talk about food that much!" they thought, and then assumed must be code for something nefarious. Like child sex trafficking. Imagine how many headaches we could have saved over the years if any of the people spreading this nonsense had simply met an Italian person at any point in their lives.
We talk about food. A lot. Especially pizza, on account of how it is delicious.
This was not the only pizza crime. There is also Papa John, who didn't want to pay for his workers to have health insurance because it would cost 11 to 14 more cents per pizza, and who eventually had to step down from his position as CEO for being too racist. He also made very bad pizza that tastes like someone poured a bag of Domino's sugar on it, while cosplaying as an Italian person by calling himself "Papa John" and hoping no one would realize he is a German-American guy from Kentucky, which I maintain is just a super weird thing to do.
Further into their long-running assault on the food of my people: "Godfather's Pizza," the pizza chain owned by deceased Trump acolyte Herman Cain. Not only is it terrible — I had it at an airport once and it was grotesque — but the name is a little offensive, frankly.
I don't necessarily mind people thinking I can have them killed, because that kind of thing can come in handy, but "Get it! Godfather's Pizza! Because Italian people make pizza and do organized crime?!" is not an ideal look for a company founded by some very not-Italian people in Omaha, Nebraska.
I mean ...
The only Republican who is allowed to open a pizza restaurant, in my opinion, is Anthony Scaramucci, because at least it wouldn't be bad. Note that I did not say Rudy Giuliani, because that man has very strong doesn't get up from his seat just asks "where's the olive oil?" like he doesn't know where the olive oil is energy.
I realize that Republicans hate all that is good in the world, but these attacks on pizza, which is very delicious and has never hurt anyone (who wasn't lactose intolerant), must end.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse