We did manage to get home yesterday despite the blizzard. I didn't really belive it was going to work until Northwest atually put us on a plane. (David's son Geoff, who was supposed to fly home from California yesterday, is geting in tonight.) There were a few difficult moments in the airport, mostly having to do with Elizabeth being two. For example, just as we were trying to board the plane, Elzabeth threw her body to the ground in typical toddler fashion and said "No, mamma! Don't make me get on the plane!" I struggled with her all the way down the jetway. But once we entered the plane, she realized she had an audience. She smiled and waved and said hi to each passanger in first class as we walked past, charming them all.
Further to the subject of Mark Thatcher, London's Sunday Times has an article providing further details on the plans for the Equatorial Guinea coup:
THE FAILED coup attempt involving Sir Mark Thatcher was to have made Equatorial Guinea a private colony run for the benefit of the British plotters, leaked documents reveal.
The papers, passed to The Sunday Times by South African intelligence sources, reveal that the plotters had created a trading company to control the oil-rich West African state.
The Bight of Benin Company (BBC), named after the bay on the state’s coastline, was to have grabbed control of the country’s economy, its oil reserves, army and police.
The company would have controlled the country as a private fiefdom, modelled on the British East India Company, which ran vast swathes of India before it formally became part of the empire.
After executing the coup, the company planned to make Severo Moto, the exiled opposition leader, its own frontman, bound by contract to cede power to BBC.
The plotters then planned to use the state’s intelligence services to gather “damaging information” on Moto and his family in case he stepped out of line.
All this I more or less expected, not because I knew about any documentation, but because this seemed to be the obvious way for the coup plotters to proceed. But the specifics are really interesting:
The documents reveal the scale of the plotters’ greed and the lengths they were prepared to go to to ensure Moto remained beholden to them.
They reveal how BBC was to have “sole right to have physical or other access” to Moto once he became president. It would be the only company that could “make agreements or contracts” with the new regime. It would in effect be the government, controlling the armed forces, intelligence services, palace guard and customs.
Crucially, it would also take over the state oil company, and Moto would hand over economic planning to the plotters. They would use their military muscle to seize the country’s wealth, although they acknowledged the need to create jobs and welfare programmes to silence possible opposition.
[This is the same article as the one in The Australian which Jan links to in the comments on the previous post.]
(This guy has comically misread the article.)