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Posts Tagged ‘Angola’

PR: Världens diktaturer spenderar alltmer pengar på politisk påverkan i Washington.

Och ju mer pengar diktaturer spenderar på att öka sitt inflytande bland lagstiftare och politiker desto svårare blir det för människorättsorganisationer att göra sin röst hörd.

Joshua Kurlantzick för Newsweek rapporterar:

The Republic of the Congo spent $1.5 million on lobbying and PR firms and other representation in the first half of 2009 alone […] Angola, one of the most corrupt nations in the world, spent more than $3 million in that period. Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the brutal dictator of African petrostate Equatorial Guinea, who took power more than three decades ago in a coup, has hired the law firm of former Bill Clinton aide Lanny Davis to lobby on his behalf, for the annual sum of $1 million. […] Chris Walker, of the NGO Freedom House, says this is all a reflection of the fact that “authoritarian regimes recognize there is a greater payoff in participating in and influencing the decision-making process, rather than sitting it out.” […]

Lobbying can turn down the pressure on authoritarian regimes. After years of intense lobbying, Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang managed to transform his image in Washington from a venal autocrat into a solid American ally and buddy of U.S. business. [T]he authoritarian regime in Kazakhstan won support for its chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe by hiring lobbyists to help quiet congressional critics of Kazakhstan’s human-rights record. Ethiopia’s lobbying, meanwhile, has helped to defuse charges that the government has turned increasingly authoritarian. In a memo sent to congressional offices, DLA Piper, representing Ethiopia, argued, “The terms ‘political prisoners’ and ‘prisoners of conscience’ are undefined and mischaracterize the situation in Ethiopia,” and should be removed from a bill that condemned the Ethiopian regime for detaining opposition activists. […]

Though there are rare exceptions, like the Tibetan government in exile, most human-rights activists in authoritarian countries cannot make the close connections in Washington, or come up with the funds needed to match the lobbying of leaders like Obiang. The result: while thugs get heard in Washington, the voices of their opponents remain silent.

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