President José Eduardo dos Santos, whose party will no doubt win Friday’s election, has ruled Angola for 33 years. He once declared that democracy and human rights “do not fill up bellies.” But he has not even given ordinary Angolans bread as a substitute for freedom.
In 2002, after emerging from nearly three decades of civil war, Angola’s government began an ambitious national reconstruction program carried out and financed by China. As the state’s coffers filled with oil wealth, there was general optimism that millions of impoverished Angolans would share in the peace dividends. But hope was short-lived.
Mr. dos Santos hasn’t relied on Angolan workers for national reconstruction, which would create jobs and spur the economy.… Seguir leyendo »
The convictions of Pierre Falcone, Arcadi Gaydamak, ex-president’s son Jean-Christophe Mitterrand and Charles Pasqua in a French court for arms trafficking to Angola have exposed the impunity with which arms traffickers supplied weapons to Angola during its 27-year civil war.
In an effort to stem the conflict, the United Nations imposed an arms embargo on both the government and the rebels. Both parties contravened the international decision during the second (1992-94) and third (1998-2002) periods of the civil war. The Angolan government employed primarily the services of Pierre Falcone and Gaydamak to procure the arms, while the main arms dealer supplying Unita rebels was the infamous Ukrainian Victor Bout, who is currently sitting in jail in Thailand.… Seguir leyendo »