Follow Up: Condi Hearts a Dictator

This is a follow up to yesterday's entry Condoleezza Rice condemns Iran - standing next to a Dictator!. I urge you to read if you haven't, yet.


Today, the story of Condoleezza Rice meeting with one of the world's most brutal dictators and calling him a friend all the while condemning Iran with him standing right next to her was not picked up by the mainstream media. Even though it happened right in front of their lenses. Here's a Reuters photo (I didn't post it here because I didn't know how and because it's copyrighted).


However, the story is slowly finding its way through the blogosphere. Liberal Oasis has a good story with further info on it which was picked up by Crooks and Liars. More below the fold.

allAfrica.com actually had a report on the visit though it was in no way critical. But it had an interesting quote and some more info:


USAID April 11 entered into a unique memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Equatorial Guinea to establish a social development fund in the country, implementing projects in the areas of health, education, women's affairs and the environment.


Using only its own government revenues, Equatorial Guinea is contributing $15 million to USAID to provide technical assistance to support implementation of the fund, according to a USAID press release.


Those funds, according to USAID, "will be instrumental in fostering transparency and accountability in the design, implementation and evaluation of social needs projects."


So, Obiang has at least the decency to use a very small slice of his oil fortune for his people. The "transparency and accountability" part is just laughable, though.


Let's see what USAID Administrator Randall Tobias has to say:


"Equatorial Guinea's decision to use government revenues for social development needs," he said, "demonstrates visionary leadership and the potential of true transformation. This kind of agreement," he told his audience, "can serve as a model for future partnerships around the world, and USAID graciously accepts these resources."


Good Lord. "Visionary leadership"? "True transformation"? But the worst part is clearly "a model for future partnerships". What audacity!


Other blogs picking up this story:


Flogging the Simian

Daily Irrelevant

Opinio Juris


The latter also has a nice picture of Condi and the Dictator.


Now, some trivia:


Which son of a former famous, conservative Head of Government was involved in an alleged coup attempt against Obiang?


No, not Ron Reagan.


It was Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former UK Primer Minister Margaret Thatcher. More on this here: Q&A: Equatorial Guinea 'coup plot':


Sir Mark Thatcher has pleaded guilty in South Africa to being negligent in investing in an aircraft said to have been used by people allegedly plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea.


Enough said.


Cross posted at Daily Kos.

Tags: africa, BBC World, Condoleezza Rice, Crooks and Liars, Equatorial Guinea, human rights, Iran, Liberal Oasis, mainstream media, Margaret Thatcher, Mark Thatcher, Oil, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (all tags)

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