Thursday, March 15, 2007

Zimbabwean fight for freedom

Zimbabwe is, as far as I remember, the country with the current highest inflation rates in the world. The prices of goods and services, thus, are soaring. As a result of such hyperinflation, the unemployment rates are dramatically increasing day by day, and the citizens are finding it harder to make a living in those conditions. And those are not the only problems suffered in that African nation, it also seems that the human rights record is lousy.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that the situation will improve any soon. Not as long as Robert Mugabe is in power (which, by the way, looks like it'll be for a long time still). This president has imposed an authoritarian rule in which, like any other dictatorship, no opposition to the president in turn is tolerated. Pretty much the same kind of policy utilized throughout history by many tyrants around the world: Idi Amin in Uganda, Muammar Gaddafi in Lybia, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in North Korea, Fidel Castro in Cuba, Saparmurad Niyazov in Turkmenistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and more recently Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, are just some of the many individuals who have instated regimes in which essential conditions to survive are to cult the leader's image, and to avoid any kind of criticism towards the ruler himself or his thoughts.
Still, in all those countries and epochs have existed brave people who don't feat to express their disagreement with the dictatorial regimes. Currently, there are brave men and women in Zimbabwe who have openly expressed their antagonism towards Mugabe's system. One of those people is Morgan Tsvangirai (picture above).
Maybe the biggest foe of Mugabe's rule, Tsvangirai has been tortured in several occasions, plus he has been recipient of various assassination attempts. He ran for the presidency of his country in 2002 representing the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a party created by himself. He lost the elections in a flawed process to the eyes of many, and manipulated to the eyes of many others.
Tsvangirai has been imprisoned in various opportunities in the recent years. His most recent arrest was on just this week, on March 11, just before participating in a prayer rally in Harare (the Zimbabwean capital). What followed his arrest was brutal: Tsvangirai was beaten by the police, causing him serious injuries in the skull, hands, and one eye. He also lost a great amount of blood. He entered the intensive care unit of a local hospital after the severe beating.
Tsvangirai wasn't the only person injured during the incident. Most of the protesters were beaten, and some of them were severely injured as well. All because of what? Because of participating of a rally to protest against Mugabe's policies that are sinking the country well below the line of poverty. But of course, any kind of demonstrations against Mugabe are banned.
This makes me think of the precarious situation of human rights in some countries all around the world. It's curious that some of the countries with the worst human right records are precisely developing countries. Is it that the rulers of such countries really don't realize that an important condition to progress is precisely the respect of the most elemental rights of the people? Or is it that they just prefer to keep the people oppressed, to remain in power for as much time as possible?
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe keeps sinking steadily. My respects to Mr. Tsvangirai.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home