President of the Equatorial Guinea Progress Party
ifty-three years ago, on 12 October 1968, Equatorial Guinea’s ties with Spain were severed. What could have been a story full of hope turned bitter and the handover was more catastrophic than could have been expected. The newly-appointed president, Francisco Macias, was not only ruthless towards the Spanish, but also towards the Guineans themselves. He exercised power more despotically than the worst Governor General in colonial times and plunged the people into a self-consuming spiral of decadence. Since then, a nightmare of complexes and ill-digested feelings of independence have made our country a strange place where the violent, the selfish and the illiterate rule over a simple, impoverished and helpless people who survive as best they can.
In all this nonsense, on the podium of the longest-lived and most outstanding satraps, we have the illustrious Teodoro Obiang Nguema. It is more difficult to do so badly and for so long than to do it moderately well. I am convinced that we have come across a true record holder in spreading misery.
Many of us were expelled never to return, others have adapted and even form part of the gang that holds power and enriches itself in a disgusting and scandalous way at the expense of general poverty. The vast majority survive and even see their sad living standars as normal. With the innocence of children, many think that they are not meant to enjoy the riches that the country treasures.
There have been too many years of bad government, of theft and of shameful episodes at all levels. Time is putting things in their place. 53 years of tyranny have left the country in tatters. No one has bothered to provide it with good infrastructures, educational centres and people prepared to take on the challenge of continuing a legacy of success. Quite the contrary. Everything remains to be done.
On 12 October we will demonstrate in the streets of Madrid far from an Equatorial Guinea that became independent from Spain, but also from the people. What should have been a dream has turned into a nightmare.
It is a symbolic date full of hope. We have the opportunity to change the course of history. As I always say, it is in our hands. If we are generous and see our country for what it is, it will give us what we need to make Equatorial Guinea a wonderful country where we can see new generations grow up. We do not have to be the puppets of any power, nor the heirs of the bullies who for so many years have mistreated our Nation. We must shed our complexes and embrace the future with the commitment to build a much better country than the one we have.
We are part of an international community, the Hispanic community, which opens up many possibilities for us. Our culture is so unique that we will not go unnoticed. We have everything to build the best country to live in.
I would like this rally to be one of hope. I am convinced that we are going to do well. We have to have confidence in our potential as a people. It will not be easy, but it is possible. We are going to work to change things for the better. We have a great country and we are a good people. The experience of all that we have lived through, our history, must serve us to know at least what we must not repeat.
Many have tried and we all dream of a friendly, just and prosperous society. The dream can come true if we commit ourselves to serving our people, if we rid ourselves of the vices and ways of those who have governed us until now. Let us banish envy, theft, corruption and violence to reach our goal. Let us meet in the streets to enjoy what unites us. We will look each other in the eye knowing that we have a job ahead of us that we must do together. This 12 October we have an appointment and we will be there in front of the Spanish Congress of Deputies. They will listen to us and they will understand us. Our voice will reach Equatorial Guinea because we are with our people. We want to put an end to these sordid times that have brought us so much torment. We are going back to make up for lost time together. The future is there, it can be touched.
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