Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Other Black Spring (Part 5)

Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe share an intense displeasure with Western countries. They both accuse the West of being antagonistic and at fault for worldwide poverty. Yet, their accusations of the West are not unfounded, they have good reasons to be angered.

This month's latest report from the anti-poverty organization Oxfam has clearly shown that "trade and investment agreements between rich and poor countries threatens to deny developing countries a favorable foothold in the global economy." The report targets the US and EU for unfair trading practices where "[t]he worst of the agreements strip developing countries of the capacity to effectively govern their economies and to protect their poorest people. "

Like Castro and the US, Zimbabwe shares a hostile relationship with Britain and the EU. Relations intensely deteriorated in 2002 when Britain pushed for targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies after EU election observers where evicted from the southern African nation. Mugabe fired back at the 2002 Earth Summit declaring: "We don't mind having sanctions banning us from Europe. We are not Europeans... Blair, keep your England. Let us keep our Zimbabwe."

The acts by Britain against Zimbabwe, similar to the acts of the US against Cuba, send the same message: threats from the industrialized Western society (and former colonial masters).

But, this shared unstable relationship between developing countries and the West does not justify any abuse of power and violation of human rights from either side.

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