The Government of Equatorial Guinea responds to the erroneous news articles that were published in different international media on the participation of Equatorial Guinea in the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro. We attach the text of the article published by The Wall Street Journal.
The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea congratulates its sister Republic of Brazil for the good organization and the successful holding of the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, which, in this edition of 2015, has included a special homage to Africa and to our country, carried out by the Beija Flor Samba School.
Despite what was published by numerous international media, the initiative of paying this homage to Equatorial Guinea did not come from the Government of Equatorial Guinea, or from the Presidency of the Republic. It deals with an initiative that emerged from the Brazilian companies that operate in Equatorial Guinea, along with the school Beija Flor. An initiative that we supported.
To respond to the initiative, on its part, the Government of Equatorial Guinea, through the Ministry of Information, Press and Radio, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism supplied material for the show, as well as information on our country, its art and culture. Along with the Beija Flor Samba School, the National Ballet of Equatorial Guinea, Ceiba, also participated.
Some supposedly prestigious communications media reported that His Excellency, the Head of State, President of the Republic and Founding President of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea personally attended this carnival. This is completely false, since these days H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been carrying out his agenda in African and national matters. He has been in Yaounde (Cameroon) participating in the Extraordinary Meeting on Security of the ECCAS, in order to seek solutions to confront the danger of Boko Haram. A truly important and transcendental meeting for the security of Africa, on which few have reported because what interests some media is to maintain this colonial stereotype of an Africa with pandemics and wars, incapable of resolving its problems, needing aid for subsistence, and corruption. An Africa for which one must make decision and whose resources must be exploited.
In its need to promote the bad press against the institutions of Equatorial Guinea, as is usually done with African institutions, some front line agencies and international media, such as The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, have even disseminated a photograph of a component of a high Equatoguinean delegation in Rio de Janeiro, indicating that it dealt with the President of Equatorial Guinea (we attach the document). The person that is seen in this photo is the Honorable Jose Mba Obama, Vice Minister of the Government, with wide experience in Information and Culture, and not the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, with whom he does not even have a physical similarity.
Due to all of this series of informative nonsense, the Government of Equatorial Guinea requests, from all the media that have participated in this erroneous dissemination of news, the publication of an adequate contradiction of them, by virtue of complying with the right to respond, and the correction of errata, in the information media.
Furthermore, the Government of Equatorial Guinea wants to make a call once more so that when reporting on our country, it is done so with rigor and professionalism, since many of the reporters that write about us do not know the reality or the situation of our State, which for years has experienced a sociocultural situation of authentic development, which is mostly ignored, in favor of denigrating montages such as the one that we attach with this news article.
In the same way, the Government of Equatorial Guinea wishes to thank the Beija Flor Samba School for the homage paid to Africa and to Equatorial Guinea under the slogan: “Africa: happy, strong and full of color”. Precisely, Equatorial Guinea rejects being classified in the old stereotype of the African countries that exists, portraying them as poor and needing aid. We are part of a new Africa that participates in the international forums and that has its own voice. We are not perfect but we work to improve the lives of our citizens and our towns, as well as our continent.
Furthermore, Equatorial Guinea also feels proud of being able to participate, with its rhythms and colors, in an event such as the Carnival, a cultural milestone in whose origins exist numerous contributions of African culture. It is, also, a coming closer with the African diaspora that lives in South America.
Equatorial Guinea supports the Carnival of Rio with the same spirit with which it has committed itself in the celebrations of important multicultural events, such as the Summit of the African Union, the Africa-South America Summit (ASA) and the recent African Cup of Nations (CAN 2015), among others. And in the future, the Government of our Nation will continue supporting all the initiatives that contribute to bring people together. In the same way we encourage all the African Governments to support this type of initiatives.
Equatorial Guinea also feels enormous satisfaction for the excellent relations between our People and the brother People of Brazil.
Finally, we invite all those who write about Equatorial Guinea to travel to our country to verify what has been realized up to now, and what is going to continue to be done in our Nation, and not to take the easy way of saying what there is in a country called Equatorial Guinea. The lack of rigor of some reporters has managed to confuse Equatorial Guinea with other countries with a gentilic that partly coincides with it.
We want to congratulate the Beija Flor Samba School for its success in this carnival and we hope that our participation in this event finds its deserved echo and inspires other African countries to participate in the future, for an “Africa: happy, strong and full of color”.
Teobaldo Nchaso Matomba
Minister of Information, Press and Radio
Minister Spokesman of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office