Viewport width =
July 7, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Lesser Evil?

If I was to say the name Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to you, not only would I probably pronounce it wrong, but you would probably not have the faintest clue who I was talking about. Yet if I was to say Robert Gabriel Mugabe, images of starving children, hyper inflation and rigged elections would probably spring to mind.

However out of the two Mbasogo is clearly more cookoo. He has been the President of Equatorial Guiani for 29 years. Before that he was a fighter, a governor of a province and then   head of Black Beach Prison one of the most notorious hell holes on earth. Maybe this explains why he runs the country like a jail.

In mid 1979 he led a coup de tat against the President, his uncle President Macías who was executed a few weeks later by firing squad at Black Beach. He rewrote the constitution for a seven year presidential term and rule by decree. In the 1989 election he was the only candidate, in 1996 and again in 2002 the elections were unanimously declared by observers as fraudulent.

Equatorial Guinea is for all purposes a single party state with the ironically named Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea gaining 99 of the 100 seats in the legislature in the election  in May this year. Mugabe only won 85% of the popular vote in the presidential elections in Zimbabwe.

We don’t see the problems because as one author writes:

“Equatorial Guinea is a small country with a population of less than 1 million, its economy is expanding in an oil boom, and Obiang’s “victory” did not require the obvious and crude violence of Mugabe’s ongoing terror. But Obiang’s enforcers don’t need to club people on the streets. His would-be opponents are too frightened to openly demonstrate against him. His is the Switzerland of dictatorships-so effective at enforcing obedience that the spectacle of unrest is invisible.”

But where it really starts to get creepy is when he starts saying stuff like the president is a god who is “in permanent contact with the Almighty” and “can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell.” He is so in touch with god that two popes have invited him to the Vatican to have a three way (conversation) with god.

I might add that Mbasogo is rumoured to have consumed his uncle’s testicles after he was executed.

Mbasogo uses a PR company called Cassidy & Associates to clean up its international image… doesn’t this sound suspiciously like some other people a little bit closer to home.

What is that little something something that allows Mbasogo to get away with his reign of terror?… come on, you know what it is… OIL of course! The oil boom explains why Mbasogo can afford to cover his tracks , why inflation isn’t such a big issue, and why when he met with Condelleza Rice  in 2006 she called him a “good friend” (Remembering that New Zealand has also been called a “close friend” of the USA).

So oil… the major oil companies have flocked there but where has the money gone? Into Mbasogos personal bank accounts, into the pockets of Cassidy & Associates, into arms, and the repression of democracy, freedom and all those things that we hold dear.

Oil is the reason we don’t hear George Bush condemning Equatorial Guinea’s leader in the same way he recently denounced Mugabe at the G8 conference in Japan. The simple fact is that the US do not want to draw attention that they are “friends” with a dictator and that they rent the land that their embassy is on, from  a leader most would describe as Africa’s most brutal torturer.

So I ask you to spare a thought for the people of Equatorial Guinea who have languished – forgotten – by the West for too long. And hopefully the next time you protest, write about or discuss Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe you will also mention Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the people of Equatorial Guinea.


About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL / Comments RSS Feed

  1. T-Dizzle the Dicktata says:

    Nice work Jackson. Mbasogo is far more interesting than Mugabe.

    According to the Forbes’ Richest Dictators list Mbasogo is worth $600m.

    He does have one nice trait – he gives his victims free wheelchairs after he cripples them.

    And he really likes Spain. He’s created a little suburb called “Little Spain” where he keeps his bitches.

  2. Jackson Wood says:

    Ahhhhh whities are now on the brunt of the totalitarian dictatorship in EG… will the west sit up and take notice?

  3. Beachy McWhale says:

    Except that Simon Mann admitted to his part in the failed coup.

  4. The president OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO initiated the democratization since he acceded to highest office. This was an important moment to revamp the social and political life and the beginning of a new redistribution era.

    We remember that on the 3rd of August 1979 the cost of freedom entired the incumbent president, Infantry colonel Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO overthrowed the dictator MACIAS NGUEMA, this was then the start of democratization in Equatorial Guinea. The president Obiang, since before the Baule Conference preside over by French president at the time Francois Mitterand, who duly incited Africans to move to multipartism, has explained to Guinean and its elite the importance of pluralism, “I believe in the well gone of opposition” check and balances “i.e. constructive” He remembered to this effect.

    At the eve of the elections His Excellency Obiang Nguema invited political leaders and political party officers to discuss about the political situation of the country and come to a consensus. That proposal was joyfully welcomed by an important majority of political leanings. The special disposition by the head of state have been termed as his deliberate act to make such a way that people from different political tides should come together for a vast program to build up the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

    Beyond its etymology, the term democracy: The government by and for the people seems to be difficult to perceive because it looks like a deep blue sea because what we say is never achieved.

    This discrepancy in Africa presents many aspects with regard to each state, nation or people. African continent endows several democratic facts to the extent that there are parliamentary monarchies in the presidential regimes and others, essentially parliamentary. But it is good to know that each state should observe democratic effectiveness in relationship to its culture, its past and the aspiration of its population. Democracy is not a concept embedded in space and time but it improves as it is subject to change.

    The fight for human rights is a regular and permanent duty of Malabo’s authorities as well as the fight against illiteracy, infant mortality and endemic epidemics. Action towards promotion of human right affects national investors looking at the important potential of resources today.

    In the political arena, as viewed by the president, there is emergence of what we could term as “democratic trial” considered as what will help to improve gradually to reach a stage of a mature democracy founded upon peoples tides and western historical background and modern exigencies. By referendum on 15 august 1982 a new constitution is adopted and en 1986, the house of representatives voted for a multipartism and ask for the creation of a fit political set, the Democratic party of Equatorial Guinea founded by the head of state on 10 December 1986.

    The executive recognized the political parties Law in 1992 at the eve of the first parliamentary general elections in 1993. The 13 legalized political parties bend down to decision to the national coalition party in charge of defining and establish the rules of democracy.

    The council elections took place in 1995 and the presidential in 1996 with the involvement and participation of all political groupings of the opposition. That was then an opportunity for people to renew their thrust to president OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO with a full support of the [parties of the “presidential Majority” which are in the opposition like

    Social and Democratic Union (SDU)

    Liberal PARTY (LP)

    Democratic Liberal Convention (DLC)

    Social Democratic Party (SDP)

    National Democratic Union (NDU)

    The parliamentary general elections will take place in 1999 where the ruling party obtains 75 over 80 seats that comprise the national assembly when the opposition has the remaining 5 seats and this constitutes all the same a pluralist parliament.

    Meanwhile during municipalities in the year 2000 the ruling party gets the absolute majority in various electoral pools and share its seats with other political parties in certain vote centers in the national territory.

  5. Mr Smagoo says:


Recent posts

  1. VUW Halls Hiking Fees By 50–80% Next Year
  2. The Stats on Gender Disparities at VUW
  3. Issue 25 – Legacy
  4. Canta Wins Bid for Editorial Independence
  5. RA Speaks Out About Victoria University Hall Death
  6. VUW Hall Death: What We Know So Far
  8. New Normal
  9. Come In, The Door’s Open.
  10. Love in the Time of Face Tattoos

Editor's Pick

Uncomfortable places: skin.

:   Where are you from?  My list was always ready: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, puppy dogs’ tails, a little Spanish, maybe German, and—almost as an afterthought—half Samoan. An unwanted fraction.   But you don’t seem like a Samoan. I thought you were [inser

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required