AFP Analysts were hard at work yesterday, trying to figure out what the root causes of the crisis in Madagascar might be. Citing poverty, shrinking freedoms, the prospect of the Daewoo land deal going through, and the loss of democracy, they take it back to 1972. Doesn’t it go farther back? Perhaps these coups have all continued to take place, not because they are ‘institutionalized’, as one analyst notes, but because they are ingrained and encouraged by the colonial, and then neocolonial power (yes, I’m asserting that France still has a considerable amount of sway in the government–and lately the United States and others as well) and the greed of the fortunate few who continue to rise, widening the gap between the rich and the poor. It is also the huge influx of aid organizations, and the loans of the World Bank and IMF and EU (think about where the money for public works is going–schools and roads or interest payments?).
If you read many of the articles below, you’ll see a trend. Madagascar’s credit rating is going down. Multinational corporations are reconsidering the climate, they may be thinking that the country is unsafe for their “investments”. Again, we see the country reduced to natural resources and commodities; the monetary value of these things is inherently nil. Until the superpowers decide they need them.
Here are some updates for this morning:
Reuters UK FACTBOX
Country credit rating down on Bloomberg
The president, speaking shortly after the mayor’s rally Saturday, said: “I remain the president of this country.
“We managed the crisis in Madagascar.”
International Herald Tribune
A note on that last one. There were political rallies in the capital, as well as Tamatave and Ft. Dauphin today. My best friend, who lives in Ambatofinandrahana, has sent me text messages about how frightened she is, how people are hoarding food and oil and prices are shooting up. It doesn’t seem like the crisis has been averted, and now the African Union is threatening to put down the opposition because it’s unconstitutional? I’m not saying I’m rooting for either side, but can’t we look at the things that have been done to the people of Madagascar over the past 2 administrations and find a heck of a lot that’s unconstitutional? That being said, I don’t think anyone sees a solution yet.