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February 27, 2004

It Passes as Humor

On the same day that I read this:

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, under fire at home and abroad for his intimidation of domestic opponents, was feted as a "warrior of freedom" on Thursday by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

The 80-year-old African leader, who is barred from traveling to the European Union by EU sanctions, was warmly received by left-winger Chavez after he arrived in Caracas to attend a two-day summit of developing nations.

I also read this:

”We are the only country in the world not at war whose economy is shrinking at an alarming rate. Inflation is running at 620 percent. Eighty percent of our people live in poverty,” says Tendai Biti of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Gibson Sibanda, Deputy President of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) adds that 70 percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed. ”The manufacturing sector has shrunk by 40 percent...The situation is very grim,” he told IPS.

Sibanda, along with his colleagues, is in South Africa to draw attention to the plight of Zimbabwe. They are, yet again, calling for pressure to be brought on the government of President Robert Mugabe, which has presided over a political and economic crisis in the country. Since the start of 2000, the country has witnessed two elections that were dogged by violence and allegations of vote rigging.

Of course, Chavez's statement that Mugabe "always will be a true warrior of freedom" was interpreted incorrectly. What he really said was that Mugabe "always will be a hero of despots and tyrants everywhere, a beacon to those who would hold onto their power through ruthless exploitation of their people, their lands, and the continuation of racist tribal policies designed to shatter unity in the nation for the betterment of the dictator."

Of course, I'm not a very good interpreter. Your milage may vary.

Posted by zombyboy at February 27, 2004 10:44 AM

Excellent site. I was recently in East Africa and miss it a great deal- your site brings it all instantly back. I used to have similiar discussions with my friends that are being posted on this site. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Kevin at March 4, 2004 05:41 PM
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