The US Justice Department's $30 million settlement deal with the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea's president, announced on October 10, marks the end of a decade-long US effort to pursue Teodoro ("Teodorín") Nguema Obiang Mangue for corruption and money-laundering.
Quietly, the Obama administration is building up a vast array of military resources in West Africa, and specifically in Portuguese-speaking Lusophone countries. Just why has the Obama administration invested so much time and effort in this corner of the globe?
Equatorial Guinea has emerged as one of Africa's largest oil producers, skyrocketing to its current position as the most wealthy per capita country in Africa. Despite those statistics, World Bank estimates that some 78 percent of Guineans live beneath the national poverty line.
Out of 296 applicants, not one Tea Party organization was denied non-profit status. Admittedly, some had to wait. And that's what the major charges boil down to: the IRS making things difficult. Imagine that. An inconvenient interaction with the government.
There are lots of reasons why China invests in authoritarian regimes. And if any of the world's toughest dictators passes away in 2013, we may be able to see how much China's financial investments pay off in political influence.
Rare is the Congressional bill whose upsides so lopsidedly outweigh its downsides. With one piece of legislation, Congress can make significant inroads to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal arms deals, corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion.
A celebrity endorsement, whether explicit or implicit, emboldens dictators in their denial of fundamental freedoms to their people. They must pay a price. And those who endorse them with their presence, like Iglesias, should be called out for their disgraceful conduct.
Congress and the president should act now to stop corrupt dictators and other criminals from using the privilege of limited liability to hide their identities and launder dirty money in the U.S. financial system.
Francisco Macias Nguema may not be as notorious as Joseph Stalin, but the people of Equatorial Guinea know him to be just as devastating. After 33 years and a litany of human rights violations, Obiang has grown more conscious of his international reputation.
United States policy towards Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, the dictator/president of Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, is a perfect case study in the hypocrisy of Western leaders when it comes to African strongmen.