Pandemic of Lies: The Exile
After Manuel Cruz moves from the United States to the South American Republic of Banador, he thinks he is going to live in paradise. Instead, he finds himself hiding out in a hut at the edge of a marsh, after leaving behind his wife, children, and haciendas. Somebody wants Manuel dead, and he thinks it is a diabolical political genius—the president of Banador. President Alejandro has an insatiable thirst for power. In just two years, he has seized control of nearly every major branch of the government and two television stations that pepper the airwaves with self-indulgent propaganda—all without a coup d’état. At one time, Manuel was not only President Alejandro’s good friend, but also his presidential advisor. But when Alejandro makes a covert state visit to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro, Manuel takes revenge. Soon Alejandro’s wife and their children are leaving Banador for Europe; she wants a divorce, and Alejandro wants nothing more than for Manuel to disappear forever. In a last attempt to save his life, Manuel helps Alejandro’s political opponent defeat his former friend in the upcoming presidential election—but as turmoil continues to swirl around him, he wonders if he will ever be able to trust anyone again.
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