September 6, 2019

NO ONE HATES JUST MEXICANS:

Robert Mugabe, Strongman Who Cried, 'Zimbabwe Is Mine,' Dies at 95 (Alan Cowell, Sept. 6, 2019, NY Times)

Robert Mugabe, the first prime minister and later president of independent Zimbabwe, who traded the mantle of liberator for the armor of a tyrant and presided over the decline of one of Africa's most prosperous lands, died on Friday in Singapore, where he had been receiving medical care. [...]

[A]t a time when the election of President Trump had stirred consternation among America's European and NATO allies, the usually anti-Western Mr. Mugabe surprised them when, speaking of Mr. Trump, he urged global leaders to "give him time."

He also endorsed one of Mr. Trump's core electoral promises.

"Well, America for America, America for Americans -- on that we agree," Mr. Mugabe said, reprising one of his oldest slogans: "Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans." [...]

Starting around 2000, Mr. Mugabe's lieutenants sent squads of young men to invade hundreds of white-owned farms and chase away their owners. The campaign took a huge toll.

Over two years, nearly all of the country's white-owned land had been redistributed to about 300,000 black families, among them 50,000 aspiring black commercial farmers and many of Mr. Mugabe's loyalists. By late 2002, only about 600 of the country's 4,500 white farmers had kept parts of their land.

The violent agricultural revolution had come with a heavy price: The economy was collapsing as farmland fell into disuse and peasant farmers struggled to grow crops without fertilizer, irrigation, farm equipment, money or seeds. Food shortages, at first ascribed to drought, only worsened as farmers were forced to stop farming. When food aid arrived, people who had opposed Mr. Mugabe said government officials had denied them handouts to punish them.

As his nation's misery came to infect the rest of southern Africa, Mr. Mugabe offered other African leaders a quandary: How could they oppose his policies or pressure him toward change without being seen by their own followers as traitors to the anticolonial cause?

Posted by at September 6, 2019 7:05 PM

  

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