When dictators meet II
Boys and girls, please say hello to Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, a one-time Spanish colony in west Africa.
That’s him in the photograph above, arriving in Havana earlier today to join the other heads of State, assorted dictators and tinpot autocrats attending the Summit of the Non Aligned Movement. Under the auspices of that most durable of all dictators, Fidel Castro.
In power since 1979, when he overthrew his equally bloodthirsty uncle, Obiang Nguema is in the habit of rounding up anyone who steps out of line and cutting off their ears as an example. As you do.
He thinks he has a divine right to lead his people. Like all dictators do.
In fact, an aide to the president told a local radio station a few years ago that Obiang Nguema was “in permanent contact with God”, as you can read in this BBC report.
"He can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to Hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, who gives him this strength," the presidential aide announced.
According to the BBC, Obiang Nguema won the last two presidential elections – held in 1998 and 2002 - with over 98 per cent of the vote.
Over the years, he has put members of his family in senior positions within the government, reportedly grooming his son, Teodorin, to eventually take over the oil rich country.
And like other dictators we could name, Obiang Nguema believes that he does not have to give explanations to anyone about anything. Ever.
When the BBC asked him before the 2002 election why so much public oil money had apparently disappeared, he replied that this was a “State secret” and in any case, “he did not have to tell anyone where it had gone”.
Needless to say, Obiang Nguema will feel right at home in Castro’s personal fiefdom.