Robert Mugabe: Africa’s Hugo Chavez ?by Doug Mataconis
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s dictator, must be watching CNN or something, because he’s starting to take plays right out of Hugo Chavez’s playbook. Call this one the “taunt the West” play:
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe vowed on Friday to survive any Western attempt to dislodge him from power.
Mugabe said Britain and the United States would never overcome the support he enjoys in his ruling ZANU-PF party, which led the former Rhodesia to black majority rule in 1980.
“Nothing frightens me, not even little fellows like Bush and Blair. I have seen it all, I don’t fear any suffering or a struggle of any kind,” Mugabe, 83, said to cheers from ZANU-PF supporters at a meeting in Harare.
“I make a stand and stand on principle here where I was born, here where I grew up, here where I fought and here where I shall die,” Mugabe said, accusing the West of sponsoring the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to overthrow his government.
Sounds an awful lot like our buddy down in Caracas doesn’t it ?
In other news, though, it looks like pressure on Mugabe is increasing and that the people of Zimbabwe are reaching the point of being fed up enough to do something:
One of Zimbabwe’s top Roman Catholic clerics, Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, on Friday repeated his call for mass peaceful protests to end Mugabe’s 27-year rule.
Ncube, who has used his archbishop’s pulpit to become one of Mugabe’s most vocal and fearless domestic critics, on Friday said again he was ready to lead mass peaceful protests.
“This dictator must be brought down right now by the peoples’ power but not in a violent manner. If we can get 30,000 people together Mugabe will just come down,” Ncube told a news conference. “I would put myself on the line.”
Your eminenence, you just might have to.