Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oil and human rights

U.S. News and World Report just printed this story, "Dictator and Diplomat", about Equatorial Guinea. The President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, heads a "a corrupt and repressive regime...but Equatorial Guinea is a growing oil producer."

As I discussed in my opinion piece over at Blogcritics, we need to invest more in alternative energy solutions, so that people like Obiang cannot continue to reap the benefits of the oil sales for themselves while withholding revenue from their citizens' basic human needs. The United States and other countries who need to purchase oil should be pushing these leaders for some basic reforms in their countries as part of their price of doing business. Otherwise, we of the oil-demanding countries are merely allowing those leaders to continue the status quo which does little if nothing to improve human rights throughout the world.

Thomas Friedman discusses this eloquently here.

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