March 12, 2013

"The Portuguese explorer, Fernão do Pó, seeking a route to India, is credited with having discovered the island of Bioko in 1471."

"He called it Formosa ('beautiful [isle]', a name later applied to Taiwan), but it quickly took on the name of its European discoverer, albeit spelt 'Fernando Po.' The islands of Fernando Po and Annobón were colonized by the Portuguese in 1474.... From 1827 to 1843, Britain established a base on the island to combat the slave trade."

In Equatorial Guinea, today's "History of" country.

11 comments:

edutcher said...

There was a Wonga Coup.

That must have been big.

ironrailsironweights said...

Snowless, obviously.

A person knowledgeable about African affairs recently described Equatorial Guinea as basically a narco-kleptocracy, a corrupt and violent ministate run by gangsters and drug lords.

Sounds wonderful.

ironrailsironweights said...

Whoops!

My prior comment referred to Guinea-Bissau, a completely different country than Equatorial Guinea.

E.G. is similarly snowless, however. One big difference is that it is an oil producer, although very few of the people share in the wealth.

F said...

EG also has good surfing. Not easy to get to the good beaches, though.

Alex said...

Papua/Guinea is some of cannibal paradise?

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

I knew a graduate student at the Unversity of Kentucky when I was there, in the late '70s-'81, who was from Equatorial Guinea. He spoke Spanish and was a Catholic. He said that Americans knew nothing about his country, and that Macias, their president, made Idi Amin look like a Boy Scout.

Toy

Craig said...

Po is the word for "sir" in Tagalog.

Mitch H. said...

Yeah, there's a ton of Guineas, and they're all over the map. This is the one that's a petrotyranny, blessed and cursed with a full serving of "the Devil's Excrement". And yeah, Lady Thatcher's idiot son got caught up in a really silly, chickenshit attempt to seize the country by mercenaries in 2004.

For some reason I thought that Equitorial Guinea was part of the Portuguese remnant empire, but according to this article, they traded it to the Spanish two centuries ago in exchange for a backcountry province on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. Says something about how much value the Portuguese placed on "Fernando Po" back in the day. It trundled along, bouncing back and forth between the British and the Spanish, until a very late (but not Portuguese-late) decolonization. *Then* somebody goes and finds oil. Sounds like it's a typically awful extractive economy, which is to say the money all goes alternatively to foreign skilled labor and experts and into the glorification of the despot and his family.

The per capita GDP suggests it *should* be a second-world country, or even better, but that's an artifact of an penniless small population and a handful of immensely rich thieves running everything.

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

The area is the center of "human trafficking" which of course means selling prisoners to be taken away and worked for a master's profit.

Watching the current NFL frenzy at auctioning off workers being purchased for a master's profit gives great insight into the way Masters love to do this. They are interested only in the health and the age of what they are buying.

The old clichés of the mean and unruly black man are back out in public too. The big issue is "Who wants a trouble maker in the lock-er room" is an often expressed masters' fears.

JackOfClubs said...

That's also where they tried to immanentize the eschaton.