Wide Angle: Once Upon a Coup TV - Guardian online -
109,254. Start with a coup attempt in a tiny West African nation. Add an unrepentant British mercenary help captive in on the world’s most brutal prisons. Throw in a dictator fearing western power are trying to undermine his iron-fisted rule, and beneath it all a spectacular under-water oil reserve. (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) Wide Angle: Once Upon a Coup, PBS 2009
109,255. There is another big player: China. (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid.
109,256. ‘Probably the biggest bonanza in the world at the time.’ (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid.
109,257. ‘Equatorial Guinea becomes the new Kuwait. (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid. Ken Silverstein
109,258. Obiang seems unfazed by criticism. (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid.
109,259. The mercenary was Simon Mann. Today he is serving a 34 year sentence. (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid.
109,261. ‘There were parties at the [Mark] Thatcher house.’ (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid. Mann
109,262. Mark Thatcher was arrested in South Africa. He was charged with financing the coup. (Coup & Equatorial Guinea) ibid.
109,260. In a continent infamous for repressive dictatorships, Equatorial Guinea is among the very worst. Its president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has been in power for 34 years, making him Africa’s longest serving dictator. The country is enormously wealthy, thanks to its vast oil reserves, but that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite.
Most Equatorial Guineans remain in crushing poverty, with little or no access to decent healthcare or education. Opposition to the status quo, meanwhile, is virtually non-existent: torture and intimidation of the government’s critics is common place, while any attempts to organise outside official government channels are crushed.
Tutu Alicante, executive director of EG, is that rarest of things: an Equatorial Guinean willing to publicly oppose his government. For his troubles, he has lived in exile since the age of 19 – nervous of what will happen to him and his family should he ever return. His organisation fights for democracy and against the human rights abuses of the Obiang regime – although most of the time, Alicante struggles to keep Equatorial Guinea on the international agenda. (Equatorial Guinea & Dictatorship) Guardian online article 11th July 2014, ‘Equatorial Guinea: One Man’s Fight Against Dictatorship’