It saddens and angers me that our government selectively castigates countries that commit major human rights abuses based on how much oil they supply us. Equatorial Guinea is one of the 10 worst countries in re: human rights abuses (read NYT article by clicking here). Money from oil goes directly to the family of the dictator of 30 years. On the other hand, I still drive, thereby indirectly supporting our oil policies.
Not surprising (an excerpt):
“You can have a debate about every one of the statistics,” Ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez said. The American presence here is discreet but vital, and Mr. Obiang professes great love for the United States. Chevron, Marathon Oil and Noble Energy have substantial interests in Equatorial Guinea, onshore and off, and American oil workers are easily spotted at the diminutive airport at the edge of town. The sea around Bioko Island, where Malabo, the capital, is located, is dotted with telltale flares from oil company installations.
The presence of M.P.R.I., the Virginia military security company led by the retired general Bantz M. Craddock, the former supreme allied commander in Europe, has raised eyebrows among human rights groups and local dissidents. The State Department vetoed the company’s work here because of Equatorial Guinea’s poor human rights record , but finally acceded under President Bush in 2005 amid promises of reform by Mr. Obiang’s government, according to Human Rights Watch.
1 year ago