There is no country in the world called San Escobar.

But in the age of "fake news" let's just imagine for a moment a "fake country" called San Escobar.

Think of it as "a small country located between Mexico and Guatemala with 200,000 citizens, with several main cities, including Esperal Bay, Santo Subito, and with several major exports including tomatoes and wine," says Ewa Lalik, a technology blogger in Warsaw, Poland.

On Thursday, the place even got some quality promotion on C-SPAN, when the regular broadcast was suddenly interrupted by Russian television's RT, airing a segment about San Escobar.

Here's the moment Russia Today took over the C-SPAN1 feed. Unclear what happened. RT aired for about ten minutes before C-SPAN1 came back.

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 12, 2017

Turns out, San Escobar is a nonexistent place that was inadvertently invented by Poland's top diplomat.

Here’s what happened: Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski was in New York this week to lobby for a temporary Polish seat on the United Nations Security Council. After some meetings, he told reporters that he'd discussed the proposal with officials from nearly 20 countries — including, as he put it, "with countries such as Belize or San Escobar.''

Oops. It was a diplomatic slip that the foreign minister later blamed on jet lag. "Unfortunately after 22 hours in planes and several connecting flights you can make a slip of the tongue,'' Waszczykowski said. He added that he was thinking of St. Kitts and Nevis, a Caribbean country whose Spanish name, San Cristóbal y Nieves, may have popped into his head.

The Twitterati quickly jumped on the gaffe with all sorts of jokes under the hashtag #SanEscobar. The result is that, on the internet at least, San Escobar's nationhood is shaping up very nicely.

The flag of the imaginary republic of San Escobar. 

Wikimedia Commons

BREAKING: #SanEscobar releases new banknote in honour of El Comandante

— Exen (Exen) January 12, 2017

A map of San Escobar.

Wikimedia Commons

@rpdsanescobar Of course there is #SanEscobar ! Everyone can find it on the map!

— Ryszard Mikke (@rmikke) January 11, 2017

User-created online encyclopedia entries at Wikipedia now include the story of San Escobar.

Wikipedia screenshot

After talks with FM #Waszczykowski the People's Democratic Republic of #SanEscobar fully supports Poland's candidacy to the Security Council

— San Escobar (@rpdsanescobar) January 10, 2017

That's enough, Britain! @eucopresident Please throw the UK out of the EU immediately. Thanks!

— San Escobar (@rpdsanescobar) January 11, 2017

UK press calls #SanEscobar "non-existent" again. These acts of our former imperial overlords will not be tolerated!

— San Escobar (@rpdsanescobar) January 11, 2017


From PRI's The World ©2016 PRI