Agustín Velloso


Follow super-secret agent 86 Maxwell Smart in Mission Equatorial Guinea


Following a trip to Madrid’s archives, Agustín Velloso uncovers the history of Spain’s relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the 1960s and the secret backing given to Moise Tshombe’s ‘subversive activities’, his use of Spanish state resources and institutions and ‘the support of the press and other fascist entities of the time’.


Spain’s willingness to allow an exiled Moise Tshombe entry into the country and to turn a blind eye to his criminal record may well have changed the course of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) history, writes Agustín Velloso.


Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo may be welcome among the world’s most powerful people, who work for his favour behind the scenes in return for lucrative trade deals, but he is less favourably viewed by human rights defenders, development agencies and the citizens of his country. Agustín Velloso looks at Obiang’s controversial effort to obtain wider global respect and appreciation through the creation of an international prize in partnership with UNESCO.

Bikya Masr

Two Somali 'pirates' captured after they attacked a Spanish fishing boat are likely to spend a long time behind bars, Agustín Velloso Santisteban writes in this week’s Pambazuka News, given that they are also poor, black and Muslim. Highlighting the struggle for survival and hardships so many Somalis face, Santisteban suggests that there are other more dangerous ‘pirates’ out there that ought to be pursued and brought to book for far worse crimes.


August 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s coup d’état against Macias Nguema, but it is not an occasion that many in Equatorial Guinea will be celebrating, writes Agustín Velloso. Yet for all his unpopularity, Obiang has won election after election with more than 95 per cent of the vote. Velloso shares with Pambazuka News Obiang’s strategy for playing ‘the democratic game’ in front of the international community. the people of Equatorial Guinea continue to die from AIDS and other diseases, Agustin Velloso highlights the fact that the elite in power receive their medical care abroad. Spain, one of the country's more important trading partners, turns a blind eye to Equatorial Guinea's corrupt health-care industry. more

At the end of October 2007 in Madrid, Spanish President Zapatero promised 0.7% of GDP towards development aid during some workshops promoted by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and presided over by Queen Sofía. As he did so, a boy we can call Miguel, ill with AIDS in Equatorial Guinea, was dying in his mother's arms in the hospital of Malabo the country's capital. His doctors administered an extract from tree bark instead of the internationally recognized more

Agustin Velloso advices those interested in plotting a coup in Equatorial Guinea "to choose one's travel companions for a coup d'état with care."

Starting April 1st, 2008, Lufthansa offers 295 seats, three times a week, in a superb Airbus for anyone wanting to travel from Frankfurt to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea's capital city. It now seems incredible that in the 90's only Iberia flew to Malabo, from Madrid on Sunday morning, and back the same evening with a group of civil servants, a more

Equatorial Guinea produces a barrel of oil per person per day. In 2005, it had a budget of US$2 billion" more than sufficient to raise the standard of living of it’s 400,000 citizens. The country also has aid links: with school students in the United States, and church schools and small municipalities in Spain. Agustin Vellos argues that the so-called 'development cooperation' between Spain and Equatorial Guinea is nothing more than political rhetoric that supports the corrupt practices of more