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The writer Juan Tomas Avila starts a hunger strike

J. NARANJO

11/02/2011

The Equatorial Guinean writer, Juan Tomas Avila Laurel has started today a hunger strike "until God provides, or things clarify themselves" to denounce the “dictatorship that is eating our soul "of Teodoro Obiang. He has announced it through a public letter to the president of the Spanish Parliament, Jose Bono, who is visiting Equatorial Guinea.

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Juan Tomas Avila Laurel (Malabo, 1966), novelist, poet, playwright and essayist, one of the most promising young writers of Equatorial Guinea, was the former editor of the magazine El Patio, published by the Guinean Hispanic Cultural Centre in Malabo. He also has a blog, whose last entry harshly criticized Obiang's appointment as president of the African Union. In his letter to Bono he asks the Spanish politician that "since he believes so much in the moral standing of President Obiang,” to "make all efforts to constitute a transitional government in Guinea." 

Avila argues that Obiang and his family should return all the money they have made in these 32 years of dictatorship, which "would be used to build schools and train teachers and professors and to take those thousands of young people kidnapped by poverty out of the Guinean army and give them education and training. And we would educate Guinean children in a rich country like this one."

A few months ago GuinGuinBali interviewed Avila and he told us about the fear in Equatorial Guinea.

Below, we reproduce the full letter of Juan Tomas Avila to Jose Bono

"LETTER TO JOSE BONO MARTINEZ, PRESIDENT OF THE SPANISH PARLIAMENT
EXCELLENCY MR. JOSE BONO MARTINEZ:

Since you believe so much in the moral standing of President Obiang, who has been in power since 1979, we ask you whole-heartedly to do the necessary efforts and pressures to establish in Guinea a transitional government without any of those who have held high offices in these 32 years.

This, as you may believe, is not a political demand, but a social and moral one. We can no longer live under a dictatorship that eats our soul.

Mr Bono, all we want is for you to get Obiang, his son Teodorin, the First Lady Constancia, the brothers and cousins, generals and colonels who support this unqualified power to seek asylum in a safe country. We believe that with the third of the money saved abroad by one of them, they will live up to the rest of their days. The remaining money will be returned to the country. Ask the governments of the countries involved in this massive evasion of money to work and have faith in our requests, both in the allocation of a minimum to the First Family so they will be able to live and in returning the rest of the money to the country.

We don't ask them to be judged, because, until now, that is not a demand made by any organization. How could they request that if they are legitimated with your gestures. And it would not make sense to demand it afterwards: it would be a greater hypocrisy.

With the money recovered, Mr. Bono, would be used to build schools and train teachers and professors and to take those thousands of young people kidnapped by poverty out of the Guinean army and give them education and training. And we would educate Guinean children in a rich country like this one.

With this money and what remains of it, we will institute justice and fight impunity. We will train judges and strengthen our judicial system. With this money, Mr. Bono, we will cultivate our lands, we will fill our pantries and fight against environmental degradation. In short, we will buy what is indispensable for a minimally decent life.

With an agenda as human as possible, we will have a dignified life in Guinea, because we believe that there are resources to achieve this.

This is not a government agenda, Mr. Bono, but if you let wise people do what they can and want to do, what will be say about Guinea will be of mutual benefit to Spain and to all Guinean who live here and in many regions and provinces of Spain hoping a miracle that will not happen if we and you don't do what you must, taking advantage of your visit.

It is not fair to leave my life in your hands, Mr. Bono, but I have to admit that you have a lot to do with what will happen with it.

Malabo, February 11, 2011


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