The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea issues the following response to the statement made by U.S. Department of State spokesperson, Mr. Phillip J. Crowley in an article published on December 30 in The New York Times. In this article, Mr. Crowley made reference to the President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s treatment of human rights in Equatorial Guinea.
The Government of Equatorial Guinea would like to express to Mr. Crowley and to the media that our President has always maintained his firm support to defend human rights in our country, from August 3, 1979, day of the Coup for Freedom, in which he himself led the historic rebellion that ended precisely the true genocide that had plagued our State, while in the face of total passivity from the international community.
Likewise, we would also like to remind the spokesman of the U.S. State Department and the international media that since the discovery of oil in 1996, the Government of President Obiang has been committed and works continuously to create initiatives that are facilitating the radical development of our country and the human rights of its population. For this reason, the oil resources have been used in the reconstruction of our State, creating all of our basic infrastructure – nonexistent until now – and the establishment of training programs in health, democratization, judicial reform, etc. which for decades international institutions have collaborated in, such as the United Nations, UNDO, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc., including representatives of the diplomatic delegations in Equatorial Guinea, such as the members of the United States Embassy themselves. Many American companies have also participated in many ways in the development of Equatorial Guinea.
In the same manner, the Equatorial Guinean Government wishes to express that there have also been many efforts to improve the comprehension of our country’s development and our evolution regarding human rights. The recent statement made by the State Department spokesman does not take into account any of this progress and is similar to those who frequently criticize the democratic process and the evolution of human rights that is taking place in the country, ignoring the positive aspects obtained in the last few decades. Among those accomplishments, include the management, good governance and economic transparency with which the Government is administering oil resources and utilizing them to carry out the transformation of our State.
Because of all of this, the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea invites Mr. Phillip J. Crowley, member of the United States Government, representatives of other democratic institutions of the United States, as well as other independent observers to visit our country. This way, they can see the evident proof of these transformations and form an opinion about Equatorial Guinea after seeing in situ the true, absolute and impressive development that is being experienced at present in our country.
Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism and Spokesperson of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea