Yesterday (March 20), fresh from his Crimean trip, President Putin met with a bunch of African leaders in Moscow. I love this photo:
I am too ignorant to know who any of these people are (except for Putin), but I note that most of them are wearing nice suits and ties (well, a couple of robes or daishikis, but at least no green tee-shirts, thank goodness!) I particularly like the guy in the cowboy hat, whoever he is.
Truly Putin and his team of Doubles [little joke there] have been super-busy this week: First the Crimea and Mariupol road trips, then this African conference, and his big meeting with Xi. I don’t know where this guy gets the energy…
Anyhow, I have to admit that it warms the cockles of my heart to see Russia making such good friends in Africa. There is a lot of work to be done there, rebuilding the old ties that existed in Soviet times. And so many years wasted in the futile pursuit of Old Europe. Who turned out to be a painted puppet, a mechanical doll. Just like ETA Hoffmann’s dancing doll, Olympia, manipulated by the evil masterminds Coppélius and Spalanzani (=American Neo-Cons, in this analogy). As Hoffmann’s muse Nicklaus chides him: “What is the point in loving an inanimate object who does not have a soul?”
And YOU Get Free Wheat! And YOU Get Free Wheat!
As more news comes in about the conference, we learn that Putin has made a very generous offer to African nations worried about food insecurity. I don’t want to get into the so-called “Grain Deal” just now, it’s a topic for a whole post unto itself. (Stay tuned.) I’ll just say that the Westies tried to portray Ukraine as the Feeder of the World, and Russia as the bad guy trying to starve needy nations. While, in reality, it was the other way around: Ukraine and its Western sponsors were cynically using the grain deal to transfer weapons right under the eyes of gullible Russians, and then routing Ukrainian grain to Europe anyhow. I read that most of the grain went to feed European pigs. [Literally: pigs, not people.]
Hence, I think this is a very smart move on Putin’s part. In essence he has promised free wheat to gluten-tolerant but deserving African nations: “I would like to add the following,” Putin announced to the African leaders. “Should we be forced to cancel the [grain] deal after 60 days, then we promise to send the same amount of grain from Russia that was shipped in the previous period, and which was promised to especially needy African countries; and we will ship it for free. There will be no charge for the wheat.”
Putin went on to say that Russia also wanted to send them free fertilizer, but the West won’t let them: “You realize that a part of our frozen assets are in European countries. Including fertilizer. We already shipped one portion of this product, and are prepared to ship the next portion, without charge. Unfortunately, they are putting up obstacles to this.
“I wish to underscore, that our country fulfills all of its obligations in an honest manner, both regarding shipments of food, fertilizer, fuel, and other products that are critical for the nations of the [African] continent. In this way we contribute to their food and energy security.”
As a result of sanctions in 2014, Russia had to develop its own agriculture and actually displaced America as the world’s largest grain exporter. The IMF and World Bank had many coups and bad loans in Africa to force them to sell off their most profitable sectors of the economy and only grow export cash crops. All this so, the US could go to them later and say, “Your money or your life”, meaning sanctions against providing them food and energy. They really don’t want any alternatives like China and Russia coming in to give free things or interest free loans (Chinese at least have a good record of writing down the loans or forgiving them contrary to the debt trap meme) or actually develop industry and infrastructure, hence all the threat of new sanctions against African countries.
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The sanctions were a blessing in disguise!
very much so! the sanctions in this case basically function as protective tariffs, which all developed countries used to initially industrialize and protect their industries. America especially did this after their civil war because they realized Britain almost intervened due to their dependence on British manufacturing. Russia was too deep in the neoliberal mindset since the 90s but the sanctions have finally forced them to go back to reality which is great,
“sanctions in this case basically function as protective tariffs, which all developed countries used to initially industrialize and protect their industries. America especially did this”
Why when I say we entered a new “gilded-age” sans mercantilism
Mercantilism is what EVERY nation should use..not WTOism, gloabalism et al. Every trade agreement should be bilateral.
I have read that Russian farmers prayed daily that the sanctions would be maintained.
Still sanctions can be effective, look at Cuba or Iran….
I guess it goes to the meme, if you are given a lemon, then you should try to make lemonade.
If the West in six centuries continues to kill and steal in Africa, human solidarity must come from other places.
Although many in the north do not believe it, these blacks are also human beings and together with the indigenous people are the great victims of racism and greed of Western civilization.
Amen to that. Africa has a huge role to play in the future of humanity, with its immense resources, both people and minerals, etc.
Yeah, the US has ignored both Africa and South America…and the weird part is, we have an awful-lot of “Afro-Americans” and of that lot, exceedingly few identify, in any meaningful way, with the plight of their country of origin…pour que?
And yes, while American, I watch Ireland closely. Final comment; DC’s mistreatment of South America is just idiotic. Out of enlightened self-interest we should be making every effort to ennoble SA but, the only “experts” we have in DC seem to specialize in international impoverishment.
Most African-Americans whom I know personally, are completely apolitical and mostly buy into the “American” narrative. Or at least, that’s the way it seems to me. It’s a shame, but on the other hand, one shouldn’t expect them to identify with “Africa” per se, which is a continent full of hundreds of nations and tribes; and most African-Americans don’t really know where they came from anyhow, so they should not be expected to be patriots of some random African nation.
I also don’t think African Nationalism is a good thing per se. You do see some pan-African Nationalists running around, and they are generally right wing and sometimes racists, and often have some pretty peculiar ideas. Like that whole “melanism” thing which is ludicrous!
Never love something that can’t love you back.
I had Russian clients in the early 2000s who believed and told me that “at last Moscow will be another lovely and important European city again”. The party ran long into the night and about one small bottle of vodka was consumed per person. There was a steady supply of food (meatballs were especially good). I believed that I too was signing folk songs in Russian by the end of the evening. I was hung over and joined the meeting late the next morning. Everyone else was perky like the night before had not happened. Crazy making. When partying with Russians remain hydrated and be prepared for crushed dreams.
The Chordettes had a hit song in the 50s”Mr. Sandman” that may be an homage to E.T.A. Hoffmann.
We live in a dream and nothing is as it seems. I dreamed Janet Yellen visited Ze in Ukraine that must be a hallucination on my part.
I don’t know. Maybe Yellen did visit Ukraine, who knows? I had a dream last night that Zelensky turned into a mosquito, and I kept trying to swat him, but the little bugger kept getting away!
Great article on Africa. Very balanced analysis.
Thanks for the link. Agree, this is a good article by Trenin.
I am happy to see RT’s change in tone.
Guy in cowboy hat is the president of South Sudan and a vicious war criminal.
Oh dear! In that case, I retract my positive impression of his cowboy hat!
It was given to him by George W Shrub, so that’s another thing.
Despicable and despicabler!
As for the rest, I can recognise al Sisi of Egypt, Buhari of Nigeria (neither of them particularly savoury characters), and South Africa’s Ramaphosa for sure. I think a knew a couple more but I’m not 100% certain.
I’m not overly impressed by the South African government, whoever they are. Seems like they took over a nice country and turned it into a shambles….
The reason Putin could appear so quickly in so many places is because of the body doubles he uses — just like Saddam Hussein did. One of the Putins — I forget where I read this but think it was the Putinversion who appeared in Mariupol — had a limp. This might have been the real one, according to what I read, because limping is a sign of one of the many fatal illnesses that the tyrannical war criminal has. OTOH, it was possibly a FAKE Putin in Donbas because the real dictator is afraid to get near other humans. As demonstrated by all the photos of him sitting at a gigantic table where he’s dozens of metres away from the closest supplicant.
All these things I have learned from reading the comments (and sometimes from the actual posts) at a few of the Ukro-fan websites I scan in order to see what that side is thinking. It’s on the Internet, so it MUST be true! The disinformation monitors would have made it disappear if it was false, eh?
Zelensky has at least 1 double too. Polish TV showed a video where Zel’s double accidentally got into the same shot with him on camera.
They walk alike, talk alike, have the same face, beard, height and everything. Westie media claims it’s just a bodyguard. Well, the guy probably also doubles as a bodyguard.