Useful Notes: Equatorial Guinea
A small country in the Atlantic coast of Africa. It was originally a Portuguese colony, until it was given to Spain in exchange of Spanish territory in America. That’s right, people in Equatorial Guinea speak Spanish. That turns them almost into outcasts in the continent. In their defense, though, they also speak French. Eventually, the country declared independence in 1968 and elected their president, and that’s when things went south. Their first president was some loon called Francisco Macías Nguema, who can be compared to Pol Pot with his obsession with anti-intellectual movements and unpredictable behaviors. He ran a one-party government, prohibited fishing, installed a cult of personality around him, stole all the money he could, banned private education, gave himself all the political power and ordered the execution of people with Mary Hopkins’ music as background. He was eventually deposed in a coup in 1979 by the actual president, Teodoro Obiang (Macias' nephew). He’s no saint at all, but compared to his predecessor, the Equatoguineans probably would have accepted anything. As for Macías, he was put on trial and summarily executed. However, just like in other cases, this became a Full-Circle Revolution, since Obiang has installed his own cult of personality, censorship of the press and repression, to the point the country has achieved a lousy reputation abroad. In spite of having oil deposits, the country is rather poor. Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the leaders’ kleptomaniac ways. Especially considering Obiang is filthy rich. Recently the country has joined the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which happened only when Portugal accepted their entrance after making a lot of protests. The reason why the country is accepted is almost entirely due to oil (of which has plenty to export) and other economic benefits. The most famous Equatoguinean, besides the two infamous aforementioned, is the swimmer Eric Moussambani who left the others competitors at the 2000 Summer Olympics literally watching his splashing. By the way, the country is not on the Equator. It is close to it, though. Oh, and it has Pygmies.
- A God Am I: Nguema changed the national motto at one point to "There is no other God than Macias Nguema."
- Obiang's pulled the same act; state radio claimed he was a god in permanent contact with The Almighty.
- Ax-Crazy: Nguema
- Evil Versus Evil: Insane, oppressive fuck vs. not-so insane, but still oppressive fuck? Take your pick!
- Our Presidents Are Different: Nguema is President Evil / President Lunatic. Obiang is President Corrupt.
- Persecuted Intellectuals: To the point where the word itself was banned.
- Place Worse Than Death: Black Beach Prison, which during Nguema's tenure acquired the nickname "Africa's Auschwitz". Things have not improved under his nephew. Disease is rampant, inmates are routinely tortured, and foreign prisoners tend to die quickly or even "disappear". See the linked Daily Mail article above for more (they called it the cruelest jail on the planet).
Equatorial Guinea and Equatoguineans in fiction:
- An episode of Yes, Minister took place in Buranda, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
- The book and film The Dogs of War also take place in a carbon-copy of the country.
- The island of Bioko appears a lot in The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Referred to as "Fernando Poo", a revolution there is very nearly the flashpoint for World War III.
- Has a small but pivotal role in the Science Fiction novel Limit, taking place in 2025.
The green, white and red stripes symbolizes the jungles, peace, and Equatorial Guinea's struggle for independence, respectively. At the hoist side is the blue triangle of the Atlantic Ocean. At the center is the coat-of-arms, showing a shield containing a silk cotton tree, the colonial symbol of Río Muni, as the mainland was then called; above it are six stars, symbolizing Río Muni and the islands of Bioko (site of the capital Malabo), Annobón, Corisco, Elobey Chico and Elobey Grande; and below is a scroll which reads "Unidade, Paz, Justicia", Portuguese for "Unity, Peace, Justice".