Malawi: De novo um Mutharika como Presidente

Opposition candidate Peter Mutharika has been declared the winner of Malawi's disputed presidential election.

The leader of the Democratic Progressive Party obtained 36.4% of the vote, the electoral commission announced.

A protester died earlier after police dispersed an angry crowd demanding a recount of last week's ballot.

Outgoing president Joyce Banda has alleged the vote was rigged.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had asked for a 30-day extension to declare the results so that a recount could be carried out.

However, the High Court refused to delay the release of results and ordered the commission to make its announcement on Friday.

"The law is clear, there is no extension," judge Kenyatta Nyirenda said.

Mr Mutharika is the brother of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, and had served as his foreign minister.

Hundreds of residents from the Ndirande township queue to vote in Blantyre, Malawi, 21 May 2014 More than seven million people were eligible to vote in the elections

Malawi Electoral Commission workers continue to work out the results of Malawi's elections at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre, 28 May 2014 The elections were chaotic and several irregularities were reported

File photo: Joyce Banda Mrs Banda tried to annul a vote she said was marred by rigging, but was overruled by the High Court

Former preacher Lazarus Chakwera came second with 27.8% of the vote. He represented the Malawi Congress Party, which governed from independence in 1964 until the first multi-party poll in 1994.

Mrs Banda, who came to power after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika two years ago, was third with 20.2% of the vote.

Her administration had been hit by a corruption scandal dubbed "cashgate", which led donors to cut aid.

Malawi is one the poorest nations in the world and is heavily dependent on aid, which provides 40% of the country's budget.
'Frustrated voters'
About 7.5 million people were eligible to vote in the elections, which was described as Malawi's closest-fought poll in 20 years.

The election was chaotic, with many polling stations opening up hours late and frustrated voters setting one polling station alight.

The electoral commission said that in 58 of more than 4,000 polling centres the official number of votes cast was more than that of registered voters.

Last week, Mrs Banda accused a party, which she did not name, of infiltrating and hacking the electronic system that transmits the results to the MEC's headquarters.

The MEC's chairman denied that its system had been hacked. BBC


Timor-Leste: Luta pela liberdade de expressão

On 6 May, Timor-Leste's Parliament passed a law which would severely restrict Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and of the press. More than three weeks later, they have not yet sent the law to President Taur Matan Ruak, who will have 30 days to sign or veto the law when he receives it.

On 29 May, La'o Hamutuk and other organizations urged the President to veto the law, "because it will harm democracy and human rights, restrict many people's rights to freedom of expression, and give power to a single group to issue a few licenses while limiting other people's rights to share information. We believe this violates Timor-Leste’s Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."

Their letter is online in Tetum or English translation, as well as information and analysis. The following is abridged from the letter:

Your Excellency, Mr President, with our respect,

On 6 May 2014, National Parliament approved a Media Law, after nearly three months of work. La’o Hamutuk participated in a Parliamentary hearing on 19 February, where we explained that the draft law could damage freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Since National Parliament has not repaired the basic flaw in this law, we would like to ask the President to use your powers to veto, as a symbolic and actual protection of democracy and the principles of independence. This Law will harm democracy and human rights, restrict many people’s freedom of expression, and give power to a single group to issue a few licenses while limiting other people’s rights to share information. We believe this violates Timor-Leste’s Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Free expression is a principle of democracy.

Freedom of expression is a universal principle of democratic nations, and laws must not limit the rights of any person to receive and distribute information. This principle is guaranteed by Articles 40 and 41 of Timor-Leste’s Constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Timor-Leste has ratified. Timor-Leste is legally obliged to follow them, and legislation must reflect their fundamental principles.

Article 2(a) of the proposed law defines “journalistic activities” as “seeking, collecting, selecting, analyzing and distributing information to the public, as text, words or images, through a media organ”, which Article 2(l) defines as “a person or corporation engaged in journalistic activity.” Article 2(i) says that a “journalist” is a professional whose principle activity is “journalism.” These self-referential definitions encompass a far broader range than commercial newspapers, radio and television stations.

In reality, many other people have a profession of distributing information, such as researchers, academics, civil society organizations, bloggers, freelance journalists and others. Therefore, this Article limits freedom to distribute information to professionals with credentials from the Press Council, which represents commercial media. In truth, the Press Council cannot limit people’s freedom of expression, as Articles 42, 43 and 44(b, c and d) in this Law would empower it to.

In addition, Article 12 cancels some people’s right to freedom of expression, rejecting the rights of anyone who is not an “adult citizen” to be a journalist.  This provision restricts students who want to cover news as well as student bloggers who publicize information. For example, students at Escola São Jose (Sanyos) write in Suara Timor-Lorosa’e, and coverage by students as Colegio Saó Miguel (CSM) is often on STL TV news. 

Not only “journalists” share information with the public.

Article 13.5 says that people who don't meet the law’s criteria cannot distribute information to the public. “Media organs” like www.aitaraklaran.blogspot.com, Buletin Fongtil, Buletin Haburas,  www.laohamutuk.org, www.haktl.org, www.timorhauniadoben.com , www.diakkalae.org , www.economia-tl.blogspot.com, Casa Producão Audiovisual (CPA) television programs, NGOs, World Bank and UN reports, Facebook writers and others have a fundamental right to distribute information to the public.

The law should protect the diversity of opinion.

A key function of the press is to circulate information and opinions from different perspectives, to help people understand various sides, rather than to give only one view.  Article 3.1(e)’s description of media’s function to “promote peace, social stability, harmony and national solidarity” could discourage dissemination of other points of view. Article 4(g)’s requirement that media “promote the public interest and democratic order” could be an excuse for repressing different opinions. These articles contradict Article 20.1(c) which says that a journalist has a duty to “defend the plurality of opinions, ensuring the ability of expression of different currents of opinion and respect for cultural, religious and ethnic diversity.” We hope that the latter point of view will prevail.

In addition, we are concerned about Article 23’s statement that a separate law will regulate non-profit media. Although we do not know what Parliament plans for that law to include, the current example is cause for concern. If the intention of Article 23 is to state that this Media Law does not apply to religious, community and non-profit media, it would be better to say that explicitly, that such publications do not need credentials from the Press Council.

Don't restrict the independence of the press.

Media organs should follow the Journalists’ Code of Ethics, which was developed by journalists and their employers, ensuring accuracy, diversity and freedom of the press. We appreciate that working journalists have voluntarily committed themselves to follow these principles. However, we are concerned when they become law through Article 21, enforced (and perhaps modified) by the Press Council, and applied more widely than their authors intended. This could open the way for media owners or Parliament to interfere in the independence of the media, and to limit other people’s right to free expression.

Furthermore, we are concerned that the Press Council with legal authority, funding and members chosen by political officials and commercial media, should not have the power (under Articles 43 and 44) to prevent anyone from exercising his or her freedom of expression. The State should respect journalists’ rights to create their own bodies, including journalist associations like AJTL and TLPU, to regulate their own members, but they cannot compel other people to follow their rules.

This Law denigrates Timor-Leste’s history.

Timor-Leste should not forget the history of our liberation struggle from 1974 to 1999. Many people in the resistance used media to share information to defend the rights and dignity of the people of this land. The Seara Bulletin and Radio Maubere helped liberate Timor-Leste from colonialism and occupation. José Ramos-Horta, Xanana Gusmão, Francisco Borja da Costa and others used these media to educate, inform and coordinate the struggle, even though they were not accredited by the Portuguese or Indonesian governments.

In addition, journalists from other countries, including Roger East, the Balibo Five, Sander Thoenes, Agus Mulyawan, Kamal Bamadhaj, Amy Goodman and Max Stahl made tremendous contributions through journalism free from geographic and political limitations.  Their reporting helped our diplomatic front advocate for Timor-Leste’s independence, supported others providing solidarity, assisted Maubere people to know what was happening here and exemplified the spirit of “A Luta Kontinua”.

The first nine of these foreign journalists gave their lives for Timor-Leste’s independence. If they had sought accreditation from Suharto’s “Dewan Pers”, Timor-Leste might still be under Indonesian rule.  Even today, foreign media serve a key role in keeping Timor-Leste in the world’s eyes.

Unfortunately, Article 25 of this Media Law requires visiting foreign reporters to get Press Council approval, and Article 12 bans non-citizens from working as journalists. These provisions negate reporters' contribution to ensure that a democratic state under rule of law which values human rights will stand strong in this beloved land Timor-Leste.

This proposed law reminds us of dictatorships everywhere who try hide the reality in their countries from the world, strangling people’s freedom of expression to preserve their power. Our experience with the Salazar and Suharto regimes should make Timor-Leste think twice.

Final words

Timor-Leste has been sovereign for more than a decade without a Media Law, and we have not had problems with non-accredited media.  Timorese people freely exercised our right to express their opinions and receive uncensored media information for the first time in nearly 500 years.

There is no urgency to enact a press law, especially a defective one which will reverse our society’s advances toward using social and other media to exchange ideas without limitation. We recognize that journalists’ capacity, misinformation and lack of experience sometimes make people unhappy with published articles, but state regulation is not the solution.

In closing, we believe that Timor-Leste can continue with the freedom of expression and the press defined in our Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, with the good intentions of our leaders, journalists, media owners and entire society.

Juvinal Dias, Celestino Gusmão, Charles Scheiner
La’o Hamutuk

This letter is also supported by:

From Timor-Leste:      
Arsenio Pereira, NGO Forum (FONGTIL)
Manuel Monteiro, Asosiasaun HAK
Carlos Florindo, ETADEP
Alex Tilman, www.diakkalae.com blog
Jenito Santana, Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI)
Nolasco Mendes, Mata Dalan Institute (MDI)
Marilia da Silva Alves, FOKUPERS
Filomena Fuca, Rede Feto
Apolinario Ximenes, FORAM
Feliciano da Costa Araujo, ISEAN-Hivos Program
Zenilton Zeneves, Luta Hamutuk
Maria do Rosario (Zizi) Pedruco, http://www.timorhauniandoben.com blog
Hugo Fernandes, Asosiasaun Jornalista Timor-Leste (AJTL)
Matias dos Santos, Timor-Leste Koligasaun ba Edukasaun (TLCE)
Max Stahl, CAMSTL
Susan Marx, The Asia Foundation
Madre Monica Yoko Nakumura, Escravas do Sagrado Coração de Jesus
Meagan Weymes, independent journalist
Rowena McNaughton, independent journalist
Nugroho Katjasungkana, Fortilos
From around the world: 
David Robie, Pacific Media Centre, regional
Shalmali Guttal, Focus on the Global South, regional
John M. Miller, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, USA
Maire Leadbeater, East Timor Independence Committee, NZ
Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL, UK
Jude Conway, Hunter East Timor Sisters, Australia
Gabriel Jonsson, Swedish East Timor Committee
Mikio Monju, Japan East Timor Coalition

We will add more signers, preferably representing organizations. Please write to info@laohamutuk.org.


Egipto: Al-Sisi eleito com mais de 96%

Former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has won an overwhelming victory in Egypt's presidential election, according to provisional results.

He gained over 96% of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted, state media say.

Turnout is expected to be around 45% despite a massive push to get more people to polling stations. Many groups boycotted the vote.

Mr Sisi deposed President Mohammed Morsi last July after mass protests.

He has overseen a bloody crackdown on Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement in which more than 1,400 people have been killed and 16,000 detained.

Democracy campaigner Nagy Kamel: "I don't believe these are real elections"

The Brotherhood said it would boycott the vote, as did many liberal and secular activist groups.

Hamdeen Sabahi, the only other candidate in the election, said earlier his team had recorded "violations" in the voting process.

However, he rejected calls from his supporters to withdraw from the elections, saying it was not in the interest of Egyptians.

Mr Sabahi secured only about 760,000 of the 24.7 million votes counted, and lost out in many regions to a high number of spoiled ballots, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reports.

Hundreds of Sisi supporters took to the streets of Cairo in the early hours of Thursday as results emerged, waving Egyptian flags, setting off fireworks and honking their car horns.

The military-backed authorities had extended voting to a third day in the hope of boosting turnout.

But reports suggested many polling stations were almost deserted on Wednesday.

People celebrate on the third day of voting in Egypt's presidential election, in Shubra El-Kheima near Cairo May 28 The former military chief's election victory was widely predicted after his opponents boycotted the vote

Polling station officials count ballots in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 28 Provisional results show a huge victory for Mr Sisi with most of the votes counted

Analysts say the low turnout damages Mr Sisi's authority before he takes office.

He had aimed to win 40 million of 54 million registered votes, to show that he had the support of the majority of Egypt. In the event, it appears about 25 million voted.

In comparison, turnout for the previous presidential election between Mohammed Morsi and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq was around 52%.  BBC


Bissau: As propostas matreiras de Nuno Nabiam

Nuno Gomes Nabiam, o candidato à Presidência da Guiné-Bissau apadrinhado por Kumba Ialá, nos meses que antecederam a morte deste, não aceitou facilmente ter ficado com menos de 40 por cento dos votos expressos. E vai daí começou a bradar que "quase metade dos eleitores" lhe confiou o seu voto, esquecendo que ficou bem mais de 20 pontos percentuais atrás do candidato do PAIGC, José Mário Vaz.
Fazendo finca-pé num projecto a que chama estranhamente "Guinendade positiva", Nuno Nabiam quer que os que votaram nele fiquem representados na governação do país, apesar de o PAIGC ter ganho tanto as legislativas como as presidenciais.
Pede, pois, uma quota-parte do Poder, já que não lho deram todo, como teria acontecido se acaso se tivessem cumprido os desígnios de Kumba Ialá e dos seus aliados nas Forças Armadas da Guiné-Bissau.
Esquecendo que haverá agora um Chefe de Estado, um Parlamento e um Governo a quem isso compete, Nuno Nabiam veio a público propor que se crie "um espaço, estrutura ou instituição" que supervisione o tão necessário programa de reforma dos sectores da defesa e da segurança.
Não é, porém, um espaço qualquer, nem dirigido por qualquer pessoa. Mas sim por ele próprio, Nuno Gomes Nabiam, líder do projecto "Guinendade positiva, paz, coesão social"; agora alçado a Vice-Presidente da República, cargo que por acaso até nem existe na Constituição, mas de que pelos vistos sente a falta.
O candidato claramente derrotado nas urnas quer ainda que o seu grupo, o tal da "Guinendade", essa palavra estranhíssima, horrorosa, dirija uma Agência ou Alta Autoridade para gerir os recursos naturais do país. Não vá o Estado presidido pelo PAIGC ficar com o petróleo, o ouro, a bauxite e tudo o mais que for possível extrair das terras e das águas da Guiné-Bissau..
Para além disso, deseja que não haja perseguição, revanchismo e retaliação de pessoas. Muito possivelmente a pensar nos seus amigos militares que há dois anos deram o golpe de estado que impediu o primeiro-ministro Carlos Gomes Júnior de ser eleito Presidente da República.
Ou seja, Nuno Gomes Nabiam não se contenta em ser um político qualquer, mesmo que isso signifique ser uma destacada personalidade da oposição ao Governo que vai ser formado pelo líder do PAIGC, Domingos Simões Pereira.
Quer ser alguém muito importante, se possível um vice-presidente, ou até mesmo um co-presidente, capaz de impedir o afastamento do general António Indjai da chefia do Estado-Maior General das Forças Armadas; e o afastamento de outros oficiais-generais que nos últimos anos têm interferido demasiado na governação da Guiné-Bissau.
Isto numa altura em que até mesmo instâncias internacionais já começam a sugerir que, de facto, se abrandem as queixas existentes contra o golpista Indjai, não vá ele irritar-se e mandar prender o Presidente eleito José Mário Vaz, como já fez com o Presidente interino Raimundo Pereira e com o primeiro-ministro Carlos Gomes Júnior.
Aguardemos. Aguardemos, pois ainda a procissão vai no adro. Daqui a dias começará a funcionar o Parlamento eleito, depois toma posse o Presidente e Domingos Simões Pereira, ao que tudo indica, forma Governo.
No entanto, enquanto aguardamos devemos abrir bem os olhos e estar muito atentos a todas as manobras de que é capaz Nuno Gomes Nabiam, uma espécie de advogado do que queria Kumba Ialá e do que António Indjai continua a querer.
A comunidade internacional não pode lavar as suas mãos de tudo o que acontece na Guiné-Bissau, dando-se por satisfeita só porque já se verificaram nesse território eleições presidenciais e legislativas. Eleições essas que, no contexto guineense, podem não passar de uma simples panaceia, como tão bem diz o sociólogo Carlos Lopes.
Lisboa, 24 de Maio de 2014   Jorge Heitor


Líbia: Entra em cena um novo Califa

Libyan forces loyal to Brigadier General Khalifah Haftar sense an imminent foreign military intervention in the escalating crisis in the country, which has intensified after he launched "Operation Dignity" to fight "terrorism" in Benghazi.
Clashes spread to the capital Tripoli when a number of official military units announced that they were joining Haftar's troops. In the meantime, the Libyan government and army, as well as the main political powers in the country, describe his moves as a coup attempt. America has moved 200 US Marines from Spain to Sicily due to concerns over events in Libya. They are part of the "Crisis Response Force" formed after the attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi in 2012.
Previous statements made by Haftar confirm that he has requested intervention by the Egyptian army in Libya. Meanwhile, the sacked ex-prime minister, Ali Zeidan, who supports "Operation Dignity", has jumped on the bandwagon. In a telephone call to "Libya for all the Free" television, Zeidan spoke about communicating with the international community and asking for help in order to "regain the state". He added that "the world will not stand by watching."
A spokesman for the tribes in Libya, Ali Mabrook, appealed to Egypt through a similar call to Egyptian TV. Calling for support against Islamists in Libya, he insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood in the country "cannot be removed without full Egyptian support".
Despite a denial by the US State Department of any recent communication with Brig. Gen. Haftar, fears are rising in Libya that foreign military intervention in the crisis might be imminent. This is in light of the continuing armed clashes between forces loyal to Haftar and troops under the command of the army's joint staff.
According to the representative of the Arab League Secretary General in Libya, "it would do no one any good to side by any party in the Libyan crisis." Nassir Al-Qudwah said that the reports talking about Egyptian intervention in the crisis are baseless and ruled out any possibility that Arab troops would be sent to Libya. "The Arab League can try and help Libya on security issues and help it rebuild the Libyan army but this has to be requested by the Libyans themselves," he insisted.
The US Marines in Sicily are there, he added, to help airlift American subjects from Libya should the crisis escalate further. However, Pentagon spokesperson Steve Warren said that the marines are part of "a contingency plan because we believe that the security situation in North Africa is deteriorating to a level that could pose a threat." The US Army is on alert, he added. There are known to be hundreds of US "diplomats and security personnel" in Libya.

Bob Kennedy ordenou o assassínio de Marilyn?

EXCLUSIVE - Bobby Kennedy ordered Marilyn Monroe's murder by lethal injection to prevent her from revealing her torrid affairs with RFK and JFK: New book sensationally claims to have finally solved the mystery surrounding her death

  • Investigative journalists Jay Margolis and Richard Buskin believe they they lay to rest any notion that Marilyn committed suicide, and reveal how they think the screen goddess really died
  • The Kennedy brothers were ‘passing her around like a football,' revealed brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, years after she died
  • Marilyn knew too much about the Kennedys and threatened to reveal everything
  • Bobby Kennedy did not act alone, the authors claim. Complicit in the murder was Lawford and Marilyn's shrink, who gave her the fatal dose of pentobarbitol
  • Before that, she was given an enema filled with broken-down Nembutals and seventeen chloral hydrates
  • When ambulance drivers found her in her Brentwood guest house, 'She was naked. She had no sheet, no blanket. There was no water glass. No alcohol…'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2630449/

Bissau: Paninhos quentes para António Indjai

O mandado de captura por tráfico de droga contra António Injai, líder militar da Guiné-Bissau, pode precisar de ser atenuado, como moeda de troca para impedi-lo de perturbar o país, defende uma analista da Chatham House.

"O mandado de captura norte-americano que recai sobre António Indjai pode precisar de ser atenuado, talvez mostrando através de canais diplomáticos que ele não será ativamente perseguido desde que permaneça em Bissau", refere Elisabete Azevedo-Harman num texto de análise publicado na terça-feira no portal do Instituto Real de Relações Internacionais britânico.

A investigadora em assuntos africanos defende que vai ter que ser "moldado um compromisso" para os militares guineenses se afastarem da esfera política e cortarem ligações com o crime organizado.

António Indjai é o chefe do Estado-Maior General das Forças Armadas e liderou os militares no último golpe de Estado, em 12 abril de 2012, e é também acusado pela justiça norte-americana de estar envolvido em tráfico de droga transatlântico.

O primeiro-ministro eleito, Domingos Simões Pereira e José Mário Vaz, o Presidente eleito, vão precisar de "um mandado nacional robusto, com suporte internacional e sub-regional, para fazerem a reforma no setor da segurança", defende a analista.

No plano partidário, apesar de ter ganho o parlamento com maioria absoluta e de ter conquistado a presidência, o Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) "precisa de evitar ser triunfalista".

De acordo com Elisabete Azevedo-Harman, "para lidar com os múltiplos desafios que herdou, o novo Governo precisa de ser inclusivo para recolher contributos de toda a sociedade", mas isso não quer dizer que tenha de haver "um acordo de partilha de poder".

Embora haja um "cansaço compreensível" por parte dos parceiros internacionais em ajudar a Guiné-Bissau depois de tantas "falsas partidas", a analista defende que há agora uma "oportunidade que não se pode perder" para desenvolver o país.

"A alternativa seria arriscar a frágil Guiné-Bissau a sujeitar-se a uma renovada entrada de crime organizado transnacional, ameaçando a paz regional e no resto do mundo", refere.

"A alta taxa de participação nas eleições representa um pedido inequívoco por uma nova oportunidade que a comunidade internacional não deve ignorar", conclui.

José Mário Vaz obteve 61,9 por cento dos votos na segunda volta das eleições presidenciais, realizada no domingo, enquanto o candidato Nuno Nabian recolheu 38,1 por cento, anunciou na terça-feira a Comissão Nacional de Eleições (CNE).

A taxa de participação foi de 78,2%. Na primeira volta a adesão dos eleitores tinha sido de 89,29% e nas legislativas, realizadas no mesmo dia, a taxa de participação foi de 88,57%.

O triste declínio do PASOK

A dispute between former PASOK leader George Papandreou and current party president Evangelos Venizelos flared up again on Monday when Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis took the side of the former prime minister, who refused to attend the founding congress of the Olive Tree alliance (ELIA) between the Socialists and other, smaller, center-left parties for the European Parliament elections.
Papandreou boycotted the event as he dismissed the Olive Tree initiative as detrimental to PASOK. Chrysochoidis, who also failed to attend the congress, supported Papandreou’s decision in an op-ed published in Ta Nea daily. The minister said that this move would consign PASOK to a poor showing on May 25.
“PASOK has not been able to overcome the weaknesses of its past,” he said. “It is unregrettably leader-centric, arrogantly didactic, lacking boldness in its actions and defeated before the war has even begun.”
Chrysochoidis also dismissed the parties with which PASOK is cooperating, including one led by the party’s ex-MP and former Health Minister Andreas Loverdos, as “incapable and unimportant.”
The minister’s comments were dismissed by PASOK members loyal to Venizelos. “He may have been reading the memorandum,” said Paris Koukoulopoulos of the minister’s absence. Chrysochoidis had famously claimed once that he did not read Greece’s first bailout agreement with the troika.
----          A aliança Oliveira, na qual o PASOK vai agora às europeias, não deverá conseguir mais de 6,5 por cento dos votos, uma vez que grande parte do eleitorado considera os socialistas responsáveis pelo descalabro que se verificou na Grécia, ao ponto de o país ter caído refém de uma Troika.


Lagarde poderá vir a substituir Durão Barroso

É uma aposta dos diplomatas europeus, ouvidos pelo Euroactiv, jornal online focado nos assuntos da União Europeia. A próxima presidente da Comissão Europeia pode mesmo ser Christine Lagarde, a atual diretora geral do Fundo Monetário Internacional.

A forma de eleger o responsável máximo pela Comissão Europeia merece algumas reflexões junto do governo de Angela Merkel. Há quem defenda uma alteração nessa eleição de forma a impedir o automatismo existente na escolha para o cargo, com base no resultado das eleições europeias. Merkel será uma das defensoras da ideia.  

Uma opção que vem sendo analisada nas questões europeias e de política internacional. Assim, e face à ausência de uma maioria expressiva nas Europeias, Lagarde pode, de facto, acabar por ser a escolhida por consenso, como aliás aconteceu já com o atual presidente da Comissão, Durão Barroso.



Moçambique experimenta vacina contra HIV

Moçambique e Tanzânia experimentam nova vacina contra HIV/SIDA
Até Dezembro de 2014, Moçambique e Tanzânia poderão ter uma nova vacina mais eficaz para a prevenção do HIV/SIDA, cujo ensaio está a ser desenvolvido pela European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partenership (EDCTP) desde 2011.
A escolha de Moçambique, em particular, deve-se ao facto de o país apresentar uma das maiores taxas de prevalência do HIV/SIDA a nível da África Subsaariana, estimada em cerca de 11,5% da população sexualmente activa, segundo o Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS).
"A maior parte das pessoas infectadas pelo HIV/SIDA não tem acesso às drogas anti-rotrovirais e por isso o desenvolvimento dessa nova vacina contra a doença é prioritário", indica o INS no seu documento sobre ciências de Saúde divulgado esta quinta-feira em Maputo.
O documento realça que desde 2011 Moçambique tem vindo a dedicar-se na realização de dois ensaios de vacinas contra o HIV/SIDA, nomeadamente, o TaMoVac-1 e o TaMoVac-2, cujo objectivo é avaliar a segurança e os níveis de resposta imunológica após a vacinação.
Refira-se que os resultados finais dos ensaios serão igualmente conhecidos nos finais do presente ano de 2014, segundo garantias do Departamento de Pesquisas do Instituto Nacional de Saúde.
Estados Unidos da América (EUA), Suécia, Reino Unido e Alemanha constituem o grupo de países responsáveis pelo financiamento daqueles dois ensaios.  Correio da Manhã, Maputo

A situação a que chegámos

(...) A situação a que chegámos não foi uma situação do acaso. A União Europeia financiou durante muitos anos Portugal para Portugal deixar de produzir; não foi só nas pescas, não foi só na agricultura, foi também na indústria, por ex. no têxtil. Nós fomos financiados para desmantelar o têxtil porque a Alemanha queria (a Alemanha e os outros países como a Alemanha) queriam que abríssemos os nossos mercados ao têxtil chinês basicamente porque ao abrir os mercados ao têxtil chinês eles exportavam os teares que produziam, para os chineses produzirem o têxtil que nós deixávamos de produzir.

E portanto, esta ideia de que em Portugal houve aqui um conjunto de pessoas que resolveram viver dos subsídios e de não trabalhar e que viveram acima das suas possibilidades é uma mentira inaceitável.

Nós orientámos os nossos investimentos públicos e privados em função das opções da União Europeia: em função dos fundos comunitários, em função dos subsídios que foram dados e em função do crédito que foi proporcionado. E portanto, houve um comportamento racional dos agentes económicos em função de uma política induzida pela União Europeia. Portanto não é aceitável agora dizer? podemos todos concluir e acho que devemos concluir que errámos, agora eu não aceito que esse erro seja um erro unilateral dos portugueses. Não, esse foi um erro do conjunto da União Europeia e a União Europeia fez essa opção porque a União Europeia entendeu que era altura de acabar com a sua própria indústria e ser simplesmente uma praça financeira. E é isso que estamos a pagar!

A ideia de que os portugueses são responsáveis pela crise, porque andaram a viver acima das suas possibilidades, é um enorme embuste. Esta mentira só é ultrapassada por uma outra. A de que não há alternativa à austeridade, apresentada como um castigo justo, face a hábitos de consumo exagerados. Colossais fraudes. Nem os portugueses merecem castigo, nem a austeridade é inevitável.

Quem viveu muito acima das suas possibilidades nas últimas décadas foi a classe política e os muitos que se alimentaram da enorme manjedoura que é o orçamento do estado. A administração central e local enxameou-se de milhares de "boys", criaram-se institutos inúteis, fundações fraudulentas e empresas municipais fantasma. A este regabofe juntou-se uma epidemia fatal que é a corrupção. Os exemplos sucederam-se. A Expo 98 transformou uma zona degradada numa nova cidade, gerou mais-valias urbanísticas milionárias, mas no final deu prejuízo. Foi ainda o Euro 2004, e a compra dos submarinos, com pagamento de luvas e corrupção provada, mas só na Alemanha. E foram as vigarices de Isaltino Morais. A que se juntam os casos de Duarte Lima, do BPN e do BPP, as parcerias público-privadas 16 e mais um rol interminável de crimes que depauperaram o erário público. Todos estes negócios e privilégios concedidos a um polvo que, com os seus tentáculos, se alimenta do dinheiro do povo têm responsáveis conhecidos. E têm como consequência os sacrifícios por que hoje passamos.

Enquanto isto, os portugueses têm vivido muito abaixo do nível médio do europeu, não acima das suas possibilidades. Não devemos pois, enquanto povo, ter remorsos pelo estado das contas públicas. Devemos antes exigir a eliminação dos privilégios que nos arruínam. Há que renegociar as parcerias público--privadas, rever os juros da dívida pública, extinguir organismos... Restaure-se um mínimo de seriedade e poupar-se-ão milhões. Sem penalizar os cidadãos.

Não é, assim, culpando e castigando o povo pelos erros da sua classe política que se resolve a crise. Resolve-se combatendo as suas causas, o regabofe e a corrupção. Esta sim, é a única alternativa séria à austeridade a que nos querem condenar e ao assalto fiscal que se anuncia."

 António Costa, no programa Quadratura do Círculo


A subida dos oceanos

A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.
Global warming caused by the human-driven release of greenhouse gases has helped to destabilize the ice sheet, though other factors may also be involved, the scientists said.
The rise of the sea is likely to continue to be relatively slow for the rest of the 21st century, the scientists added, but in the more distant future it may accelerate markedly, potentially throwing society into crisis.  Photographs: Rising Seas        
“This is really happening,” Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA’s programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research, said in an interview. “There’s nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow.”
Various measurements have captured the West Antarctic ice sheet changing very rapidly in the region where it flows into the Amundsen Sea. Credit Landsat
Two scientific papers released on Monday by the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters came to similar conclusions by different means. Both groups of scientists found that West Antarctic glaciers had retreated far enough to set off an inherent instability in the ice sheet, one that experts have feared for decades. NASA called a telephone news conference Monday to highlight the urgency of the findings.
The West Antarctic ice sheet sits in a bowl-shaped depression in the earth, with the base of the ice below sea level. Warm ocean water is causing the ice sitting along the rim of the bowl to thin and retreat. As the front edge of the ice pulls away from the rim and enters deeper water, it can retreat much faster than before.
In one of the new papers, a team led by Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the University of California, Irvine, used satellite and air measurements to document an accelerating retreat over the past several decades of six glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea region. And with updated mapping of the terrain beneath the ice sheet, the team was able to rule out the presence of any mountains or hills significant enough to slow the retreat.                    Consider Clashing Scientific and Societal Meanings of 'Collapse' When Reading Antarctic Ice News       
“Today we present observational evidence that a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat,” Dr. Rignot said in the NASA news conference. “It has passed the point of no return.”
South Pole
Those six glaciers alone could cause the ocean to rise four feet as they disappear, Dr. Rignot said, possibly within a couple of centuries. He added that their disappearance will most likely destabilize other sectors of the ice sheet, so the ultimate rise could be triple that.
A separate team led by Ian Joughin of the University of Washington studied one of the most important glaciers, Thwaites, using sophisticated computer modeling, coupled with recent measurements of the ice flow. That team also found that a slow-motion collapse had become inevitable. Even if the warm water now eating away at the ice were to dissipate, it would be “too little, too late to stabilize the ice sheet,” Dr. Joughin said. “There’s no stabilization mechanism.”


Timor-Leste está a completar 12 anos

"At the stroke of midnight on 20 May 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste became the first new nation of the 21st century. From that moment, those who fought for independence have faced a challenge even bigger than shaking off Indonesian occupation: running a country of their own. Beloved Land picks up the story where world attention left off."
In the book, Gordon Peake, a development specialist who was initially meant to spend only a few weeks in Dili and ended up staying for several years, tells an story about his time in Timor Leste, blending travelogue, history, and political analysis, providing a useful introduction to one of the least known countries in the world.
The author describes at length how Timorese politics is a complicated web of alliances, factions and family relationships that are very hard for outsiders to understand, yet his bafflement seems at times exaggerated - after all, isn't that the way politics works not only in developing countries, but all over the world? Equally, his descriptions of local traditions and superstitions sometimes strike the reader as a bit Western-centric.
The book is more interesting when Peake describes how the aid and "peace industry" overruns the country, sending in supposed experts who produce long reports of little of no use to the local government. He describes overpaid development specialists who speak neither Portuguese, Tetum nor Indonesian, yet seem confident to help the nascent state on such intricate matters such reforming the telecommunications sector. This points to larger questions about the international community's capacity to help a struggling nation build a functioning state. Although Peake does not engage in this discussion, his book suggests international organizations still have a long way to go to play a constructive role.
This matters greatly because Timor-Leste was born at the height of global nation-building euphoria, when many international observers seems confident about the UN's capacity to rebuild failed or new states. James Traub's article in Foreign Affairs in 2000 of Sergio Vieira de Mello in Timor Leste ("Inventing East Timor") best symbolizes this moment.
He writes that
the U.N. is fully aware of East Timor’s importance as a test case and has sent out a kind of A-team of international technocrats. Most of the top people in UNTAET speak four or five languages, have extensive experience in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cambodia, and elsewhere, and seem appropriately daunted and bemused by the magnitude of the burden they have been handed.
A few months later, Ruth Wedgewood wrote a critical reply to Traub, arguing that
The U.N. Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) building overlooking the harbor in Dili is also chockablock with p-5s, d-1s, and d-2s -- expensive senior staff -- who happen to lack any experience in providing basic government services.
She further writes that
Traub says that the U.N. is "fully aware of East Timor's importance as a test case and has sent out a kind of A-team of international technocrats" who "speak four or five languages." Right idea, wrong languages. Only a handful of U.N. staff speak Bahasa Indonesia (a Malay tongue) or Tetun, preventing them from communicating with 80 percent of East Timor's population.
Beyond the question of nation-building, Beloved Land is insightful when it describes the processes by opposing parties during the struggle for independence made peace and seem to go hold no grudges against each other, despite the human rights abuses committed. Peake finds the Timorese capacity to forgive and move on strange, and indeed it is nothing short of admirable and deeply pragmatic, for post-conflict societies are often too fragile to punish the guilty, as the perpetrators of violence are still too powerful and important to participate in the state-building process. In the same way, Timor Leste's visionary leader Ramos-Horta once remarked that his country had no interest in asking Indonesia to punish those involved in the 1999 mass killings in Timor Leste, for it could undermine Indonesian democracy, where former military leaders still hold considerable political power.
Peake's account is personal and his relaxed and self-deprecating style make Beloved Land and enjoyable read for those interested in Timor-Leste. In several instances, his editor could have done a better job reducing repetitiveness (for example, the reader learns several times about an episode during which a group of journalists was "killed in cold blood"), and in some passages could be shortened somewhat to improve the flow. Still, given the book's informal nature, these few flaws do not matter much, and the author achieves his main objective - to provide a vivid glimpse into the soul of one of the world's youngest nations and the challenges it faces.
 Oliver Stuenkel

Receia-se grande erupção vulcânica nos EUA

Millions of U.S. citizens could end up in Brazil, Australia, or Argentina if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it has been claimed.
South African news website Praag claims the African National Congress was offered $10 billion a year for 10 years if it would build temporary housing for Americans in case of an eruption as part of contingency plans being drawn up.
Bloggers and conspiracy theorists have spent weeks debating the plans since it was claimed video showed animals fleeing the area - even though park rangers said they were in fact scared by tourists.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2623684/Conspiracy-theories-claim-US-government-working-secret-evacuation-plan-case-Yellowstone-megavolcano-erupts.html#ixzz31gTOC9j4

MH370: Ao terceiro mês

IN THE absence of any firm evidence about the fate of missing flight MH370, the world's conspiracy theorists have weighed in with explanations of their own for the Malaysian Airlines plane's disappearance.
A poll conducted by CNN this week found that one in ten Americans believe that "space aliens, time travellers or beings from another dimension" were involved in the plane's disappearance. More prosaically, almost half believe that investigators are looking in the wrong place and the plane is "somewhere else far from the area where the search is taking place."
A lack of clarity from official has allowed rumours to flourish. Even the Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has accused his country's government of withholding "missing bits of information" about the investigation. He asked how a country with "one of the most sophisticated" radar systems in the world could simply lose track of an aeroplane.
The recent claim that investigators can't rule out the possibility that Flight MH370 landed rather than crashed after all only fuelled the debate: according to the CNN poll, 21 per cent of people believe that at least some people from the flight survived.
Far away from the scene of the search, on the internet's more excitable fringes, individuals have been working on theories of their own to plug the information gaps. Here are some of the best (and weirdest):
Alien abduction 
Five per cent of Americans surveyed by Reason.com believe that the plane was abducted by aliens. Some bloggers have pointed to a number of recent UFO sightings in Malaysia as evidence for extraterrestrial intervention. Alexandra Bruce, from Forbidden Knowledge TV, "proves" the involvement of aliens with her analysis of radar data. She claims that footage posted on YouTube shows the presence of something that "can only be termed a UFO" in the skies over Malaysia. Of course, that means something that is "unidentified" rather than aliens.
A 9/11-style false-flag hijack mission
No conspiracy is complete without Israeli involvement, and MH370 is no exception. According to this theory, Israeli agents planned to crash the Malaysia Airways plane into a building, as in the September 11 attacks, and then blame the atrocity on Iran. Proponents point to the quick identification of two Iranian nationals travelling on forged passports, and claims that CCTV images released of the pair had been doctored. More extravagantly, some have claimed that a Malaysia Airways Boeing 777 identical to the one that went missing “had been stored in a hangar in Tel Aviv since November 2013”
The Bermuda Triangle
Ok, so the plane didn't actually fly anywhere near Bermuda, but some people – including one Malaysian minister – pointed out that the area where MH370 vanished is on the exact opposite side of the globe to the Bermuda Triangle. Unfortunately those people are wrong; the exact opposite side of the globe is closer to the Caribbean than Bermuda, The Sunday Times notes.
High-tech hijacking
The disappearance of flight MH370 may be down to the world’s first cyber hijack, according to the Sunday Express. It says that hackers could have accessed the aircraft’s flight computer and reprogrammed the speed, altitude and direction. “It could then be landed or made to crash by remote control,” the paper suggests. It may be worth noting that the woman who came up with the theory “runs her own company training businesses and governments to counter terrorist attacks”
According to reports, 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor, a company that develops "cloaking" technology were onboard the MH370 when it went missing. Some, such as the writers of WorthyToShare.com, have speculated that the plane may have been turned invisible and landed somewhere, possibly at the US Air Force base in Diego Garcia.
A weapon of unimaginable power
Writing for NaturalNews.com, Mike Adams says that the plane's disappearance shows that "some entirely new, mysterious and powerful force is at work on our planet which can pluck airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind even a shred of evidence". If a weapon capable of making a plane disappear without trace does exist, then "whoever controls it already has the ability to dominate all of Earth's nations with a fearsome military weapon of unimaginable power", Adams writes. Quite concerning.
MH370 itself could be used as a weapon
Some people have expressed concern that the aeroplane may have been hijacked by terrorists and landed somewhere, to be used as a weapon at a later date. The proponents of the theory suggest that the plane could have been flown to a safe place, landed and camouflaged and may, at some point, be used to commit a 9/11-style atrocity. Former RAF navigator Sean Maffett told the BBC that in his view this would be very hard to do, but that the possibility cannot be ruled out. "We are now at stage where very, very difficult things have to be considered as all sensible options seem to have dropped off," he said.
Passengers deliberately killed
Another theory suggests that passengers may have been killed by decompression. If the 777 was deliberately flown to over 45,000 feet, the cabin could have depressurised. In such an event oxygen masks would deploy, but they would have supplied air for only another 12 to 15 minutes. Anyone in the cockpit would also have been killed, but supporters of the theory say that the pilots or hijackers could have smuggled their own oxygen supply onto the flight.
MH370 hid in shadow of another flight
Blogger Keith Ledgerwood argues that the MH370 may have hidden itself from radar detection by manoeuvring itself behind Singapore Airlines flight 68. "It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 through India and Afghanistan airspace. As MH370 was flying 'dark' without a transponder, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around, and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens", Ledgerwood wrote. Professor Hugh Griffiths, a radar expert at University College London, told the BBC that the theory was feasible, but estimates that to escape detection, the planes would have needed to have flown no more than 3,300 feet from one another. And even then military radar, which is more subtle, could possibly have detected one plane from the other.
What drives conspiracy theories? David Aaronovitch author of Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy in Shaping Modern History, told the Sunday Times: "Given that people can make conspiracy theories out of something that is fully explained, like the moon landings, it's not surprising that they will fill the void in a genuine mystery with conspiracy theories. Essentially these people can't face the thought of chaos. They can't face the role of accident and contingency in life; they have to attribute agency." · 

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/flight-mh370/58037/flight-mh370-conspiracy-theories-what-happened-missing-plane#ixzz31gRXmKHV


O número de loucos está a aumentar

New estimates suggest that dementia is going to be an even bigger global problem than previously thought.
A policy brief released Wednesday from Alzheimer's Disease International, a federation of advocacy and research organizations, estimates that 135 million people worldwide will be living with dementia by 2050. That revised prediction is 17% above previous ones, largely driven by increases in China and sub-Saharan Africa.
It says the number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2013 is estimated at 44 million (the 2010 estimate was 35 million), and that global numbers are expected to hit 76 million in 2030.
The report was released a week before a major dementia summit is scheduled to take place in London, called by the British prime minister and including representatives of eight of the world's biggest economies.
Participants intend to develop a shared strategy for addressing dementia research and care, said Matthew Baumgart, senior director of public policy for the Alzheimer's Association, an American advocacy group that will attend the summit.
"We're glad they're meeting," he said, but that will only be a beginning. "We hope they come up with a shared vision and commitment, but it's equally important that they follow through afterwards."
The revised estimates better reflect the burden that Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia will place on the world's economies and on families whose loved ones have lost their memories and their ability to function in the world, Baumgart said.
The report says Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia represent "a global epidemic — although cases are disproportionately concentrated in the world's richest and most demographically aged countries, already the clear majority (62%) of people with dementia live in low- and middle-income countries where access to social protection, services, support and care are very limited."
In China, better estimates have come to light in recent years, as data was digitized and translated into English, says Igor Rudan, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, who often works for the World Health Organization. "It's been like finding a huge gold mine that nobody knew existed," says Rudan, who co-wrote a June paper in the scientific journal The Lancet revising estimates of Chinese with dementia up to 9 million from 5 million.
Rates of dementia have remained relatively constant in China over the last two decades, according to Yu-Tzu Wu, a doctoral student in public health at the University of Cambridge who helped write another paper on the subject published in June in PLOS One. But rates are increasing in Japan and Korea, she said, suggesting that they will soon rise in China, too.
Researchers also realized that they had miscalculated the number of people with dementia In sub-Saharan Africa, Rudan said.
Previously, they had assumed that all cases of dementia would be among people over 65 — and since there were few in sub-Saharan Africa who lived that long, the rates of dementia were quite low. But, although dementia is rare among younger people, it does strike some early, Rudan said. Accounting for these people with early dementia pushed the numbers upward, he said.
As economies improve and HIV treatment has reduced deaths from AIDS and saved lives, more people in sub-Saharan Africa are living to an age when dementia is more common, Baumgart said, which is also likely to push numbers higher.
There is still some hope that a better understanding of what causes the disease and advances in treatment will be able to reduce the numbers of people who develop dementia, Baumgart and Rudan said.
But it may be that the human brain is just not designed to function well past age 85, when about 40% of people have dementia — a number that continues to rise with age, Rudan said.
"It seems to be our own biological limit," he said. "It will affect us all, and unless we figure out what to do about it, we are going to be in trouble."   USA Today


Bissau: As múltiplas tarefas pós-eleitorais

Guinea-Bissau’s army has a history of being overly involved in political affairs since the country achieved its independence from Portugal in 1974, as evidenced by cycles of coups, attempted coups, repression, and counter-coups. Divisions within the military sometimes follow ethnic lines, and certain factions have been accused of trafficking in drugs and arms. In April 2013, a complex sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration led to the indictment of two notorious drug kingpins: one was the former chief of Guinea-Bissau’s navy, Rear Admiral José Américo Bubo Na Tchuto, and the other was the head of the armed forces, General António Indjai.
Widespread corruption, chronic and severe poverty, a weak state, and personal rivalries between those who fought in the war of independence and those who did not further exacerbate the power struggles that have produced so much conflict in the past. These are, unsurprisingly, echoed in the political realm. In the lead up to the April elections, the biggest political rivalries are between the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and the main opposition party, the Party for Social Renewal (PRS). Despite a legal appeal to prevent the PAICG candidate, former Finance Minister Jose Mario Vaz, from contesting the election due to his suspected embezzlement of funds, the Supreme Court cleared the way for him to run earlier this month.
These power struggles may become even more pronounced in the weeks and months after the elections as the effects of the shift in political power become apparent. When leaders refuse to give up their power, for example, post-election violence often ensues.
So, what can be done? Make no mistake, this nation has much potential. It was one of the leading producers of cashews; it has a lush and scenic tropical coastline that would be attractive to tourists; and, most recently, it has been discovered that oil reserves off its shores are larger than first estimated. However, without proper governance in place, it will be impossible to meaningfully develop these resources so that the country can thrive economically. And, of course, good governance cannot be cultivated if the military and other powerful forces are meddling in the political realm.
An inexpensive and low-risk, yet potentially very impactful, investment could be made in holding an elite-level mediation process with key political and military figures. There are a number of different international and regional actors that are well-placed to convene such talks, including the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the African Union. The aim of these talks would be to promote increased cooperation for everyone’s benefit and to chart a path forward while not denying the need to reconcile past differences.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest and most difficult issues to deal with will be the need for security sector reform and ensuring that proper incentives and resources are in place in order for these reforms to occur. Not only does the military need to be reduced in size and professionalized, it also needs to be brought firmly under civilian control and oversight (the US State Department reports that authorities have failed to maintain effective control over the security forces and that they committed human rights abuses last year). Previous attempts at security sector reform have fallen short because these goals have not been met.
However, holding elite-level talks is easier said than done, and previous efforts have failed—even when they had the support of Guinea-Bissau’s president. So, the first step would be to create sufficient political will among all the key actors to ensure their active participation in the talks, and clearly this is no easy task.
A much more invasive and expensive course of action would be to establish a peacekeeping force in conjunction with undertaking extensive security sector reform that would see the army reduced in size and moved into the barracks. A UN force would likely be rejected by the Guinea-Bissau government, making an ECOWAS or AU peacekeeping mission a more promising option. This could improve the security situation while also reducing challenges related to drug trafficking, allowing a solid platform for statebuilding to emerge.
Of course, such an intervention doesn’t come without inherent risks and other difficulties. Aside from the matter of using a large enough peacekeeping force that has the support of the government and has been invited by them to intervene, there are questions related to defining a robust mandate for the mission and establishing clear exit plans. In order to maximize effectiveness, any future peacekeeping mission would ideally be very closely linked to state building, poverty reduction, and anti-corruption efforts. Such a mission might also help deter terrorists and other nefarious actors from using Guinea-Bissau as a staging and training ground.
However, the truth of the matter is that the international community seems to have very little interest in the country since it doesn’t hold much geopolitical importance at the moment. So, the first step (like in any other forgotten conflict) will be to secure increased international and regional attention and assistance. This requires international advocacy and lobbying, and currently no one is doing this, so Guinea-Bissau seems destined for more of the same misery for the foreseeable future.
Evan Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution at Nova Southeastern University. Global Observatory


Guiné Equatorial, um país corrupto

A entrada da Guiné Equatorial na CPLP tem gerado um interessante debate. A novidade é a entrada na discussão de António Martins da Cruz. Recorde-se os mais esquecidos que, depois de ter sido assessor diplomático de Cavaco Silva, Martins da Cruz foi ministro de Durão Barroso – cargo do qual não se pode dizer que tenha tido uma saída limpa.


Diz Martins da Cruz que não encontra “razões para que a Guiné Equatorial não seja aceite na CPLP”. A afirmação não provoca surpresa, acompanhando as declarações servis de Luís Amado e Rui Machete. Os argumentos alternam entre a negação da realidade e a admissão, essa sincera, de que as relações políticas entre Estados não devem ser submetidas ao critério da democracia. Em todo o caso, valerá a pena referir o que tenta esconder o trio Cruz-Amado-Machete sobre a ditadura de Teodoro Obiang.


A primeira ideia avançada por Martins da Cruz – à semelhança do que haviam dito Luís Amado e Rui Machete – é a de que a Guiné Equatorial regista uma evolução no que diz respeito aos direitos humanos. Diz o ex-ministro sobre a pena de morte: “a Guiné Equatorial declarou uma moratória, ou seja, embora não a tenha abolido, comprometeu-se a não a utilizar”. Trata-se da imagem perfeita da falácia científica: inventam-se os factos (a moratória) para comprovar a teoria (os progressos do regime). Acontece que, em rigor, a referida moratória não existe. A referência à abolição da pena de morte, incluída na resolução presidencial nº 426/2014, tem apenas um carácter temporário e não tem qualquer perspetiva de inclusão no quadro legal do país. Não tendo sido submetida a qualquer debate parlamentar, nem tão-pouco a consulta referendária, aplicar-se-á apenas às condenações já efetuadas.


Prova da artificialidade da medida é o facto de o discurso oficial contrariar a prática seguida no país nos últimos meses: em Fevereiro deste ano, Ana Lúcia Sá denunciou a “execução sumária sem direito a uma apelação” de nove ativistas políticos. Esta denúncia foi prontamente confirmada pela Amnistia Internacional, que refere que “os presos foram informados das suas iminentes execuções apenas 30 minutos antes de as mesmas acontecerem”. O compromisso com a abolição da pena de morte não tem outro valor que não o da palavra de Teodoro Obiang. Ou seja, não tem valor algum.


As sucessivas violações dos direitos humanos devem ser vistas à luz da realidade social e política do país. Teodoro Obiang lidera o país desde 1979. Não é que o facto impressione Martins da Cruz, que, numa entrevista recente, teceu simpáticos elogios a José Eduardo dos Santos. A longevidade do regime é a imagem da sua elite dirigente: a acumulação da família Obiang contrasta com a miséria de um país em que a esperança média de vida à nascença é de 51 anos. Os dados do Fundo Monetário Internacional (2011) referem que a Guiné Equatorial tem o 45º PIB nominal per capita mais elevado do mundo. Contudo, o relatório anual da Human Righs Watch refere que o país “tem de longe a maior diferença de todos os países entre o seu produto per capita e o seu nível de desenvolvimento humano”.


O Índice de Percepção sobre a Corrupção de 2013, da Transparência Internacional, coloca a Guiné Equatorial no 163º lugar no ranking dos 177 países mais corruptos do mundo. O próprio filho do presidente, Teodorin Obiang, indicado como o seu provável sucessor, tem um mandato de captura válido em Portugal e, em 2011, os tribunais norte-americanos decretaram a apreensão dos bens de luxo adquiridos (num valor superior a 70 milhões de euros).


Cada um destes dados, ainda que ignorado pelos defensores do regime, é uma machadada no espírito dos documentos fundacionais da CPLP. Os princípios orientadores da organização assumem “o primado da paz, da democracia, do estado de direito, dos direitos humanos e da justiça social” (artigo 5º dos Estatutos da CPLP). Martins da Cruz, que certamente conhece como poucos estes documentos, esqueceu-se de referir que estes princípios devem ser interpretados como critérios excludentes da entrada de novos membros. É pena.


Sem argumentos que sustentem a evolução positiva do país, restaria ao trio Cruz-Amado-Machete o argumento da língua portuguesa. É ponto assente, e por ninguém desmentido, que a língua portuguesa não é falada na Guiné Equatorial. E, ao contrário do que refere Martins da Cruz, “o problema da língua portuguesa” não ficou resolvido “com a visita, há uns meses, do Secretário de Estado da Cooperação”. Não deixa, aliás, de ser estranho que o ex-ministro refira que nesta visita “se deu o pontapé de saída para que o português começasse a ser estudado ao nível liceal e universitário”. É que já o segundo governo de José Sócrates se tinha predisposto a assinar protocolos de cooperação para o ensino do português no país. Sinal das contradições do discurso, esta afirmação deixa a dúvida: esses programas nunca saíram do papel ou tratava-se apenas de uma estratégia para legitimar a proposta de entrada na CPLP? Talvez Luís Amado, à época ministro da tutela, lhe possa soprar a resposta.


Por último, Martins da Cruz tenta ainda argumentar que o território “já foi uma colónia portuguesa”. O facto, que por si não justifica coisa alguma, é igualmente absurdo: a presença portuguesa na Guiné Equatorial circunscreveu-se fundamentalmente às ilhas de Fernando Pó e Ano Bom (e, como o próprio reconhece, terminou com o Tratado de Madrid, em 1753). Assim, fica apenas uma vaga referência à lusofonia como marca de um sentimento pós-colonial mal disfarçado – sentimento esse que Miguel Vale de Almeida em boa hora classificou como “complexo colonial português”.


Se é certo que a Guiné Equatorial não respeita os direitos humanos e não é um país de língua portuguesa, o que move, afinal, os defensores da sua entrada na CPLP? Serão várias as motivações, dependendo dos interesses nos recursos de um dos maiores produtores de petróleo e gás do continente africano. O Jorge Costa, num artigo publicado neste espaço, refere a relação entre o capital guinéu-equatoriano e o BANIF. Soube-se entretanto que Luís Amado, que passou de ministro para chairman deste banco, foi convidado para ser vice-presidente da Cimeira de Díli – na qual será decidida a entrada da Guiné Equatorial da CPLP. Certo é que, no caso destes três responsáveis políticos, que passaram pelos vários governos, a expressão “negócios estrangeiros” está longe de estar desadequada.

Publicado por João Curvêlo