Mugabe Blames West for Zimbabawe Economic Woes

This is positively obscene. After initiating land redistribution policies that everyone agrees has wrecked the Zimbabawe agricultural sector, President Robert Mugabe said in a speech at a conference to address the world food crisis that sanctions against him and his cronies have ruined the Zimbabwean economy:

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe defended land policies blamed for devastating his country's agricultural sector, asserting at a U.N. food summit Tuesday that the West was trying to cripple the nation's economy.

Mugabe's presence at a summit addressing high global food prices sparked protests from some world leaders. He is blamed for the economic collapse of a country once considered a regional breadbasket and Zimbabweans increasingly are unable to afford food and other essentials.

Zimbabwe is not subject to broad sanctions affecting ordinary citizens. Western sanctions are targeted instead at the president and several dozen close associates.

Mugabe nonetheless contended that his policies of redistributing land taken from large farmholders were "warmly welcomed by the vast majority of our people" and the sanctions aim to "cripple Zimbabwe's economy and thereby effect illegal regime change in our country.

"The United Kingdom has mobilized her friends and allies in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand to impose illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe," he said.

Several nations pledged not to even notice Mugabe at the conference - something they didn't do for President Ahmadinejad of Iran who complained that western countries subsidizing their farmers amounted to "profiteering" off of food.

Just goes to show Ahmadinejad doesn't understand economics any more than he understands the outside world.

An argument broke out over whether bio fuels contributes to the shortage of food:

The head of the Rome summit's U.S. delegation, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, insisted on Monday that biofuels will contribute only 2 or 3 percent to a predicted 43 percent rise in prices this year.

Figures by other international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, show that the increased demand for biofuels is contributing by 15-30 percent to food price increases, said Frederic Mousseau, a policy adviser at Oxfam, a British aid group.

"Food stocks are at their lowest in 25 years, so the market is very vulnerable to any policy changes," such as U.S. or European Union subsidizing biofuels or mandating greater use of this energy source, Mousseau said.


The difference between 2 or 3 percent and 15-30 percent is substantial. Who to believe? Check out the comments below as our erudite and expert commenters weigh in on this subject. I was most impressed with the quality of thinking after my last post on bio fuels and am looking forward to more of the same here.
This is positively obscene. After initiating land redistribution policies that everyone agrees has wrecked the Zimbabawe agricultural sector, President Robert Mugabe said in a speech at a conference to address the world food crisis that sanctions against him and his cronies have ruined the Zimbabwean economy:

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe defended land policies blamed for devastating his country's agricultural sector, asserting at a U.N. food summit Tuesday that the West was trying to cripple the nation's economy.

Mugabe's presence at a summit addressing high global food prices sparked protests from some world leaders. He is blamed for the economic collapse of a country once considered a regional breadbasket and Zimbabweans increasingly are unable to afford food and other essentials.

Zimbabwe is not subject to broad sanctions affecting ordinary citizens. Western sanctions are targeted instead at the president and several dozen close associates.

Mugabe nonetheless contended that his policies of redistributing land taken from large farmholders were "warmly welcomed by the vast majority of our people" and the sanctions aim to "cripple Zimbabwe's economy and thereby effect illegal regime change in our country.

"The United Kingdom has mobilized her friends and allies in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand to impose illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe," he said.

Several nations pledged not to even notice Mugabe at the conference - something they didn't do for President Ahmadinejad of Iran who complained that western countries subsidizing their farmers amounted to "profiteering" off of food.

Just goes to show Ahmadinejad doesn't understand economics any more than he understands the outside world.

An argument broke out over whether bio fuels contributes to the shortage of food:

The head of the Rome summit's U.S. delegation, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, insisted on Monday that biofuels will contribute only 2 or 3 percent to a predicted 43 percent rise in prices this year.

Figures by other international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, show that the increased demand for biofuels is contributing by 15-30 percent to food price increases, said Frederic Mousseau, a policy adviser at Oxfam, a British aid group.

"Food stocks are at their lowest in 25 years, so the market is very vulnerable to any policy changes," such as U.S. or European Union subsidizing biofuels or mandating greater use of this energy source, Mousseau said.


The difference between 2 or 3 percent and 15-30 percent is substantial. Who to believe? Check out the comments below as our erudite and expert commenters weigh in on this subject. I was most impressed with the quality of thinking after my last post on bio fuels and am looking forward to more of the same here.