San Escobar

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The fictitious flag of San Escobar used by hoaxsters[1]

San Escobar is a non-existent country, a blunder of Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski.[1][2]

On 10 January 2017, Waszczykowski told reporters that, in a bid for a non-permanent seat for Poland on the UN Security Council, he had meetings with officials from various countries, including some Caribbean nations, with some of them "perhaps for the first time in the history of our diplomacy. For example with countries such as San Escobar or Belize".[3][4][5][6]

Internet phenomenon[edit]

"Ambasada San EscoBAR", a beerhouse opened in August 2017 in Świdnica, Poland

A governmental spokeswoman said it had been a slip of the tongue for "San Cristóbal y Nieves", which is Spanish for Saint Kitts and Nevis.[4] News about San Escobar swept over numerous media outlets all over the world.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

As a result, the country gained a significant presence on the Internet, and was spontaneously given a fictitious identity on social media (Twitter, Facebook[13]), including a flag (blue, white, and green stripes, with a yellow 5-pointed star in a red triangle), photos and maps.[4] The Facebook page was created by Jarek Kubicki, a member of the Razem political party.[14] Within a day the hashtag #SanEscobar was tracked by over 2 million people and has become the most popular within the Polish segment of Twitter. San Escobar has also become a subject of numerous joke news, e.g. about an appointment of a military attaché and its nice ecology. A good deal of them play upon drug lord Pablo Escobar, popularized via the TV series Narcos.[5][7]

A Twitter account for 'República Popular Democrática de San Escobar' (@rpdsanescobar) was established, which quickly rose to prominence. It announced full support for Waszczykowski in his endeavor, and proceeded to issuing various news releases in Spanish and English, including a reproach towards Saint Kitts and Nevis: the correction of the Polish spokeswoman was interpreted as an attempt to foil Poland—San Escobar relations. San Escobar issues a newspaper, San Escobar Times (also on Twitter). San Escobar has also become a popular travel destination via El Niño Airlines. For a while the phrase "Maybe I better drop it all and fly to San Escobar?" has become very popular (Polish: „A może rzucić to wszystko i polecieć do San Escobar?”, a play with the Polish saying "A może rzucić to wszystko i wyjechać w Bieszczady"). Ticketing service Fru wrote that there are only one-way tickets to San Escobar.[7] Netflix (the creator of Narcos) also allegedly claimed it already has airline tickets to sell. For a while Wikipedia had a full-blown article about the country, including its population count, capital city (Santo Subito), and all.[7][15] Other accounts were soon created for political and other entities within San Escobar, like one for 'El Frente Comunista de San Escobar' (The Communist Front of San Escobar), which leads a guerrilla war against the fictional country's government.[16]

Waszczykowski quickly became a target of all kinds of derision.[7] For example, a newspaper published suggestions of other countries for Waszczykowski to consider, such as San Serriffe or various micronations.[17]

On January 20, 2017 Comedy Central Poland recorded an anthem of San Escobar sung by Eric Cartman, an animated South Park character.[18]

In 2017 Waszczykowski has won the Polskie Radio Program III listener's poll "Silver Lips [pl]" for the most surprising or funniest utterance by a Polish public person. While receiving the award, Waszczykowski commented: "I'd rather expect the note of recognition from the Geographical Society. It did not arrive."[19]

The phenomenon of San Escobar became a subject of a scholarly paper.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adam Taylor (11 January 2017). "San Escobar: How Poland's foreign minister helped create a fake country". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  2. ^ Associated Press (11 January 2017). "Polish FM Sparks Jokes With Mention of Nonexistent Country". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  3. ^ "San Escobar: Polish foreign minister's slip invents a country", BBC
  4. ^ a b c Polish minister mocked over meeting with fictional nation of San Escobar
  5. ^ a b "Waszczykowski wymyślił nowe państwo. "Spotkałem się z ministrem San Escobar""; Quote from Waszczykowski  : "Mamy okazję do prawie 20 spotkań z różnymi ministrami. Z niektórymi, jak np. na Karaibach, po raz pierwszy chyba w historii naszej dyplomacji. Na przykład z takimi krajami jak San Escobar albo Belize. Każdy z tych krajów to jest jeden głos w Zgromadzeniu Ogólnym ONZ"
  6. ^ "Netzreporter: #SanEscobar | Morgenmagazin". Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen (ARD) (in German). 2017-01-13. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  7. ^ a b c d e San Escobar jest już wszędzie. O "nowym sojuszniku Polski" mówią od Rosji po Wielką Brytanię, ("San Escobar is Everywhere Already. The 'New ally of Poland' is Spoken About from Russia to Great Britain "), Gazeta Wyborcza, January 11, 2017
  8. ^ (, Deutsche Welle. "Polens Außenminister sorgt mit erfundenem Land für Spott | Aktuell Europa | DW.COM | 12.01.2017". DW.COM. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  9. ^ "Polnischer Minister "erfindet" Karibik-Staat -". (in German). 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  10. ^ "Le ministre polonais des Affaires étrangères se félicite du soutien d'un pays… inexistant !". LCI (in French). Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  11. ^ Dupuis, Jordan. "La Pologne aurait discuté et échangé avec un pays... qui n'existe pas". Le Journal de Montréal. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  12. ^ "Fancy an exotic getaway to San Escobar?". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  13. ^ San Escobar Facebook page
  14. ^ "Nie jestem Kijowskim partii Razem". To on stoi za profilem państwa San Escobar
  15. ^ "San Escobar - co wiemy o nowym sojuszniku Polski, którego pozyskał minister Witold Waszczykowski?"
  16. ^ San Escobar: How Poland’s foreign minister helped create a fake country - Washington Post
  17. ^ "San Escobar przetarł drogę. Na spotkanie z ministrem Waszczykowskim czekają przedstawiciele innych nieistniejących państw",Gazeta Wyborcza January 11, 2017
  18. ^ Hymn San EscobarComedy Central Polska
  19. ^ " Triumf San Escobar. Rozdano "Srebrne Usta" za 2017 rok"
  20. ^ Ewa Badyda, Lucyna Warda-Radys. Santo Subito, Bimberro Grande i Pico de Waszczykowski (2017 m) – wykreowany w przestrzeni Internetu fikcyjny kraj San Escobar (wpływ kontekstu na strukturę pojęcia) [Santo Subito, Bimberro Grande and Pico de Waszczykowski (2017 m) – a fictional country of San Escobar created in the Internet space (the impact of the context on the concept’s structure)]. „Media, biznes, kultura. Dziennikarstwo i komunikacja społeczna”, p. 93–106, 2017. Uniwersytet Gdański. ISSN 2451-1986 (in Polish)

External links[edit]