Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice warmly welcomed President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea. His regime is known to be both repressive
and a consistent violator of Human rights. However, his family controls all of the oil in his small country and has recently made big contracts with
China. Equitorial Guinnea is the #3 oil producer in the Subsahara.
MALABO, EQUATORIAL GUINEA-It was what Washington insiders call a grip 'n' grin. A beaming President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea
shook hands with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who welcomed him warmly to Washington as a "good friend" of the United States. If Rice had any
qualms that April day, she didn't let them show. Obiang may head a corrupt and repressive regime, according to the State Department's own
human-rights reports, but Equatorial Guinea is a growing oil producer-now No. 3 in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and Angola-and an oil-needy
America can't afford to be too picky about choosing its petro pals.
But half a world away, in this nation's dusty, ramshackle capital, Rice's diplomatic pragmatism doesn't cut it for two political dissidents who
show their torture scars from their four years confined in the notorious Black Beach prison. "We are offended," one of them says. "For a Third
World country to call a dictator a good friend is one thing, but for the United States to do it is something else."
Equatorial Guinea is one of those places-and there are others, to be sure-where Washington chooses not to be preachy when the competition for oil
reserves is against countries such as China, unencumbered by concerns about human rights and corruption. And even Obiang's opponents seem resigned to
that reality. "There will be no democracy here because the president of Equatorial Guinea does not want to democratize the country," the dissident
asserts. "Equatorial Guinea's oil resources are in the hands of Obiang and his family. The people are living in a state of misery."
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More evidence of why we NEED an alternative fuel. Its like having to deal with the mob back during prohibition. We shout about rights and democracy
yet we welcome warmly leaders of countries that our own state department has listed as a cruel Dictatorship.
How far is this government, both parties, going to go before they realise that we have to find a better way. It may be more expensive profits wont be
as high, and you know how that will affect? The rich, not you, not me, not anyone we know more than likely. And yet, that is what stands in the way of
dedicating the millions that are given to oil companies in royalties to research into alternative fuel and energy sources.
I would like to be disgusted with this but I honestly have become desensitized by this current administration, they have no decency and no moral or
ethical guidelines. We need a change in America.
[edit on 20-9-2006 by Elsenorpompom]