The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 April 2005

Sir Thatcher Denied US Visa

Victory For African Corruption
American Government Pleases Corrupt States

Sir Mark Thatcher
Sir Mark had been hoping to live in the US
(BBC--AP Photo)

In yet another story ignored by the American media, the son of former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher has been denied re-entry into the United States to rejoin his family after a plea bargain conviction in a South African court.

Sir Mark Thatcher was convicted of offenses related to a bungled, sloppy, attempted coup against the brutally repressive government in Equatorial Guinea (below is an especially kind assessment of Obiang that leaves out his repeated assertions that he speaks on behalf of God):


Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, has been ruled by President Obiang since he seized power from his uncle in a coup in 1979. His government has been accused of widespread human rights abuses and of ruthlessly suppressing political opposition.

Yet the discovery of oil several years ago has meant huge wealth and massive investment flowing into this poor country of just 500,000 people.

Not much of this has trickled down to ordinary people. The United States Senate is currently investigating the discovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in US bank accounts belonging to the family of President Obiang.

The private soldiers connected to the plot were taken into custody when their plane touched down in Zimbabwe.

But Sir Thatcher was never shown to be much more than friends with the some of the members of this group, made up of former Executive Outcomes members, a private army once involved in other efforts and partly based in South Africa.

While Thatcher has long been suspected of some involvement in the attempted removal of repressive regimes in Africa, it was difficult to tie him to this plot, except that he was listed as part owner of the plane used in the bungled attempt.

South Africa's increasingly corrupt government has been undergoing a campaign to please these brutal dictatorships by cracking down on local mercenary groups. The ANC, leading South Africa, has never met a murderous thug it wouldn't defend and support, so Thatcher's plea bargain was a smart way to avoid a more unpleasant outcome at trial.

His hope was to return to his family in Dallas, but the US government denied him a visa, most likely to placate these regimes, South Africa's in particular.

If Western governments took the necessary actions to destabilize and remove the Equatorial Guinean regime in the first place, there'd be no need for mercenary groups to exist. Thatcher's school friends are merely attempting to make up for this unacceptable level of inaction.

In the meantime, Thatcher should be allowed to return to Texas to be with his family. Ownership interest in a plane used in this way should not disqualify him from entering our country.

He's no threat to anyone in the United States and it's a slap in the face for his ailing mother, as well, after her heroic efforts working with President Reagan to defeat the Soviets.


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