Michelle Obama said it:
‘The blood of Africa runs through my veins’
Then Obama said it:
‘The blood of Africa runs through our family’
Gee, that’s great. Exactly why one might be proud of it is a good question.
For all his blather about human rights, Barack Obama celebrated the monsters of Africa at the White House.
Obama’s monsters ball: How the White House opened its doors to some of Africa’s most evil dictators and homophobes and turned blind eye to their human rights record. Leaders were invited to the White House for the first ever US Africa summit. Included were dictators and despots with shocking human rights records. Obama’s speech barely acknowledged the oppression rife across Africa.
President Barack Obama drew the diplomatic line somewhere at the first ever U.S-Africa summit at the White House this week by not inviting Zimbabwe’s brutal dictator Robert Mugabe.
But the guest list still included several other African leaders with only slightly better human rights records.
The White House promoted the summit as the largest-ever gathering of African leaders in the United States, with more than 50 countries represented.
The red carpet was rolled out for Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who shot or jailed virtually all his political opponents, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh, who threatened to ‘cut off the head’ of any homosexuals in the country and for Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has the dubious honor of ranking 19th on author David Wallechinsky’s 2006 list of the world’s 20 worst living dictators.
Many of the leaders were later photographed in the White House, posing for individual portraits with Obama and the First Lady.
The President’s opening speech avoided the prickly issues of homophobia and torture and instead sought out similarities between the two continents.
He opened with: ‘I stand before you as the president of the United States, a proud American. I also stand before you as the son of a man from Africa’.
Before going on to say: ‘Our faith traditions remind us of the inherent dignity of every human being and that our work as nations must be rooted in empathy and compassion for each other, as brothers and as sisters.’
Here we run the rule over nine of the most controversial leaders who enjoyed the lavish affair.
Among the honorees:
Paul Biya has the dubious honour of ranking nineteenth on author David Wallechinsky’s 2006 list of the world’s 20 worst living dictators. The Cameroon’s grip on his country’s presidency has remained tight since he came to power in 1983 and there have been widespread allegations of fraud and voting consistencies in every election cycle. In fact, Mr Wallechinsky claims in the Huffington Post Biya is credited with the innovative election fraud tactic of paying for a set of international observers to certify his elections as legitimate.
There are lots more.
Goodluck Jonathan, president of Nigeria, signed harsh anti-gay laws this year. They criminalise gay relationships, being involved in gay societies and organizations and gay marriages. Violation of this law can result in up to 14 years in prison, with dozens of homosexuals already jailed. Jonathan also sparked major controversy over his decision in 2012 to end fuel subsidies. He is also accused of pardoning corrupt politicians.
Pictured outside the White House waving and grinning with his wife President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea is Africa’s longest serving dictator after seizing power from his uncle and mentor (who used to hang regime critics from the capital’s street lights) in 1979.
Since then he has won the yearly elections with 99% of the vote. Taking the lead from his uncle, he has since had shot or jailed virtually all political opponents and ruled the country with an iron fist. Despite running one of sub-Saharas biggest oil-producing countries and amassing a personal wealth in excess of an estimated $600million, he’s far from generous with his riches.
The average income of his citizens is $2 a day, few live beyond 53 and 20 per cent of children die before they reach five years of age. Last year the country ranked 163 out of 177 on Transparency International. There is no freedom of the press, the country’s one television station is government-run and clean water is scarce. In 2011, the United States’ Department of Justice made moves to seize more than $70 million in assets from President Obiang’s son, Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue.
Obama bombed Muammar Gaddafi to hell because of his abuse of human rights.
President Barack Obama hailed Muammar Gaddafi’s death on Thursday as a warning to authoritarian leaders across the Middle East that iron-fisted rule “inevitably comes to an end,” and as vindication for his cautious strategy toward Libya.
Obama joined U.S. politicians and ordinary Americans in welcoming the demise of Gaddafi, who was for decades regarded as a nemesis of American presidents, and also claimed some of the credit for the Libyan strongman’s downfall.
Golly, I wonder what the difference is now. I can’t put my finger on it.