Friday, May 09, 2008

Bob Geldof vs. Angolan Politicians Pt. 2

Here's an article in English that sums up fairly well a lot of the brouhaha surrounding Bob Geldof's comments in Portugal that Angola is a country run by criminals. One thing I do agree with the anti-Geldof people about is that he should have been more specific in his target- who exactly are the criminals? (Besides airport SME agents.)

Where to begin?!

1. The Portuguese bank that held the event, the Banco do Espírito Santo (BES) is scrambling to disassocitate itself from the comment. The Grupo Espírito Santo, owner of BES, just happens to have huge investments in Angola. Oh, and President dos Santos'daughter is apparently a major shareholder or partner in Grupo Espírito Santo! Whoops!

2. In the meantime, Luis Mira Amaral, the president of a competitor bank of BES in Angola, Banco BIC, made sure it was known that he thought Geldof's comments were "totally irresponsible"and that he "did not know the Angolan reality." Again, I'm not totally convinced that Mr. Amaral knows Angolan reality either! He throws the war around as an excuse- I'm not sure that's an admirable excuse. In fact it makes it worse- politicians were stealing while a war was going on. How does that make it better? Anyway. He also offers this pearl of wisdom:
Há dois tipos de pessoas: os gestores que sabem do que falam e os artistas de
rock que serão competentes ná sua area, mas se calhar noutros áreas nao tem
competência nem o conhecimento para falar.
There are two types of people: managers who know what they are talking about and rock stars who might be competent in theirarea but in others don't have competence or knowledge [needed] in order to speak.

Really? Those are the two types of people in this world?!

3. At one point, the Portuguese press agency, Agenica Lusa, said that the Angolan ambassador to Portugual got up and left the conference at the moment the comments were made. Apparently they were wrong- the ambassador wasn't ever at the conference- so they issued an "apology" (in the words of the Angolan press agency Angop). So Angop publishes an article about the apology, taking up 5 paragraphs to explain how Agencia Lusa made sure to apologize. No infraction upon the image of Angola- no matter how small- shall go unpunished!

4. Another Portuguese businessman, Joe Bernardo, made statements in favor of "Angolans" and against Geldof. What I love about this article is that although they admit this guy has no ties to Angola whatsoever, he somehow has the authority to say that Geldof reveals his ignorance when it comes to Angola. Pot-kettle-black.

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