Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ten Most Censored Countries

Even I didn't know Equatorial Guinea was a dictatorship, and I actually pay a lot of attention to this stuff. And guess who else is on the list: my old bete noir, Belarus. I've been saying it and saying it. Yet more proof that I know, sadly, what I'm talking about.

If you're curious, the United States didn't make it. I should hope not, since it's my meal ticket we're talking about. Although I have noticed the company cutting out my references to "delicious watermelons" and "sweet molasses-candied yams" and "fresh, clear Georgia moonshine" in my stories about Army land encroachment buffer programs, which I certainly think is censorship. They don't feed us! Ever! What else are we going to end up thinking about all day?

Quick Update: I did a little checking on this Equatorial Guinea situation, and sure enough, it's a one-man system that has the good fortune to have discovered oil. That's how you get decades of human rights abuses -- an economy that gets free money from the outside world and doesn't have to develop a middle class. (That's what we have in Saudi Arabia, for instance.)

The country's official Web site has this to say: "The Equatorial Guinea government is composed of representatives from 9 different political parties and several minority ethnic groups." When they're trumpeting their pluralism so gamely, you know something's amiss. Namely: "The Government did not prosecute any members of the security forces considered responsible for unlawful killings in previous years, nor is it likely to do so." You'd be surprised how easy that was to find.


Blogger charvakan said...

Of course you know what you're talking about. No one ever doubted it. Except your boasting about your beer pong prowess--now that's just bull.

Equitorial Guinea is just one of the many places I learned about by listening to NPR during my commute. I think it's fantastic reporting. When possible, they interview residents with a translator.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Lapp said...

May I ask what they reported? I never heard a peep about Equatorial Guinea in my life.

1:56 AM  
Blogger charvakan said...

They mostly talked to people who were trying to improve the health of the residents, and spent a lot of time on how thoroughly corrupt and autocratic Obiang was. They also discussed its relations with the US, and the oil.

12:06 PM  

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