Cozying Up to another Dictator?

Published On July 5, 2011 | By Matt Gratz | Government, Human Rights

By Scott A Morgan Confused Eagle/Political Fail Blog

On June 9th the White House welcomed President Bongo Ondimba the President of Gabon. Officially the stated visit was to discuss matters of mutual concern due to the fact that at the time Gabon held the rotating Presidency of the UN Security Council. However after conducting a closer review of US-Gabonese relations show that there are some deep connections that borderline on criminal.

Situated at the Southern End of the Oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, the meeting between the two Presidents can be seen as having another agenda. That is that any reforms within Gabon will not be seen as a vital interest to the Obama Administration. This is now contrary to the Speech in Ghana when the President stated “ Gabon today is trapped in a predatory and corrupt system which steals Billions of Dollars in State Resources.” This was said in 2009.

The Bongo Family has been in charge of the Affairs of Gabon since 1968. In 2010 the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs issued a report on how certain leaders were bringing Suspect Funds into the United States.

The Allegations against the Bongo Family include:

Using a US lobbyist to bring over $18 Million into the U.S. Financial System to purchase Armored Cars and to obtain US approval to purchase C-130 Aircraft.

President Omar Bongo brought in $1 Million to support a Daughter who deposited the Cash in Several US Banks. These Banks include HSBC, Commerce and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank

In 2008 the US State Department Human Rights Report Entry on Gabon condemned the use of Torture, Imprisonment, and restrictions on free speech as well as Government Corruption.

The Report held that the Human Rights Record of Gabon remained poor. Some concerns at that time included the limited ability of citizens to change their government and harsh prison conditions. Gabon has been criticized for its attempts to circumvent the Kimberley Process as well for filing fraudulent Diamond Certificates as well.

Another reason for concern is the neighbor Cameroon. They will be holding Presidential Elections soon. Both Countries have a common border. So any potential problem that occurs during the Election Cycle could affect Gabon as well. And then what shall the image of the Administration be?

The Author Publishes Confused Eagle on the Internet. It can be found at

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About The Author

Matt Gratz
Matt Gratz founded Political Fail Blog in December of 2010. As a human rights activist, Matt has spent years in the bay area fighting for social justice in the streets. Follow PFB to keep up to date with his photos, videos & blogs! Follow me on twitter!

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