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Archive for the tag “Joseph-Desire Mobutu”

Pat Robertson’s Deception: Operation Blessing, which was a Blood Diamond Enterprise!

If it wasn’t for the reporting of Anna Massoglia at OpenSecrets.Org and her investigation into Maria Butina. She wouldn’t have opened my eyes about the dark side of Pat Robertson. This is an unlikely story, but in our crazy-world of Presidential Candidates becoming Teleevangelist and also conflict diamond exporter. That is clearly, the memo I got today, that Robertson was not only doing business in the midst of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo or Zaire, but also promoting the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. Which a very rare thing.

I started to look for documentation of the exploits of Robertson, how he maneuvered from various of sources. Because, there had to be more to it. There has to be a drive for exploitation, the drive of greed and also the ambition for someone to associate themselves with a dictator. That is evident here, as there god sources from credible people. When the likes of Reno in African Studies Quarterly and Chaitkin in EIR has published stories on you. You know, there are something behind the claims.

What is topping the whole scheme off, is how the Teleevangelist used his position to create his “700 Club” with funding from conflict minerals, which again was a ploy in itself as that was supposed to be humanitarian aid for the conflict ridden area. Therefore, he lied about the funding of his religious fundraiser, he lied about the humanitarian aid and was a war-profiteer. That shows the sinister part of all. That you can make a combo of all these ills at the same time.

From Reliefweb.int:

Observers of the Zairean scene have long held that Mr. Robertson was a close confidant of Mr. Mobutu and a great supporter of the Mobutu dictatorship, in the main, because he allegedly was using the proceeds from his mining operation to finance much of his “700 Club” religious operation” (Marek Enterprise – ‘ Zaire Watch News Briefs 28 Apr 1997’).

What Robertson did do:

Mobutu’s relationship with 1988 U.S. presidential candidate and evangelist Pat Robertson revealed a more innovative private diplomacy that reached beyond conventional public relations firm or lobbyist efforts. Mobutu recruited Robertson to his quest to secure a U.S. visa. More importantly, Robertson brought to Zaire his African Development Company (ADC), active in diamond, timber, gold, and power generation businesses. This commercial venture operated alongside Robertson’s Operation Blessing, billed as a humanitarian relief effort for Rwandan refugees in eastern Zaire. Operation Blessing included more obviously commercial ventures as well, running a 50,000 acre farm near Kinshasa. Robertson justified the profit-seeking nature of his religious venture as part of his efforts to generate cash for relief work” (Reno, 1997).

What his pilots claim:

During 1994 and 1995, Operation Blessing cargo planes carried equipment and supplies for the river-dredging of diamonds, on behalf of the African Development Company. Robertson, the sole owner, had chartered that company in 1992. It suspended operations in October 1995. Before then, chief pilot Hinkle had quit in disgust at Robertson’s fraud and deception. Hinkle told EIR that he flew about 40 missions for the Robertson organization, headquartered in Goma, Zaire. Hinkle set up the cargo-flying operation and hired others, including pilot Tahir Brohi. Hinkle told of his flights from N’jili airport near Kinshasa, and from N’dolo, around 15 miles away, to Tshikapa, some 200 miles into the interior” (…) “Tahir Brohi, who flew for Robertson from November 1994 through September 1995, told EIR that he made “one or two flights a week.” The majority of these, he said, were related to the diamond dredging. One of Brohi’s flight bases was the Zaire port city of Matadi on the Congo River” (Chaitkin, 1997).

I’m disgusted at the hypocrisy, again that someone uses their religious background to deceive people to give to your “700 Club” and also to a made-believe “Operation Blessing”, while using both as a front for a conflict mineral business called African Development Company (ADC) is beyond disgraceful and should be indicted and sentenced for. This is fraud, this is deception at the highest level. There is nothing else to it.

That Pat Robertson has used his position, has used his ability to not only support and be a lobbyist at one point for a terrible dictator. But also, used his relationship with him to earn money on diamond exploitation and extractions, also using the front as a Humanitarian Operation, when it really was all Commercial is really insulting. While flagging for peace, he was funneling the war with new means, as he helped the dictator to export minerals. That is the reality of it all.

The Teleevangelist used his time and efforts to exploit Zaire, today’s Democratic Republic of Congo. He used his connections and tried even to get a visa for Mobutu. That says a lot about him, that his integrity and his belief can be bought.

You know it isn’t a joke, when Mary Dejevsky reported: “One possible channel, improbable though it sounds, may have been the television evangelist, Pat Robertson, who made a number of trips to rebel-held areas in private planes, ostensibly to see about his mineral interests” (Dejevsky, 1997).

With this all mind, this isn’t just a mare fad of a story. It is a story about greed, opportunities and lies. How someone, who you thought should spread the message of hope and care, are instead involved in sinister trade and acts, where he supported one of the worst dictatorships of his time.

Still, for many this story has forgotten and needs to be reminded of it. Because the reality stings and shows a mere reflection of who Robertson is. A greedy man, who in the hunt for wealth, apparently even trade with blood diamonds or conflict minerals to earn a living. That says something about him. Peace.

Reference:

Anton Chaitkin – ‘‘Diamond’ Pat’s mining scam’, EIR Volume 24, Number 46, November 14, 1997

Mary Dejevsky – ‘US pretends it has a sound grip on Zaire diplomacy’ 10.05.1997, link: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-pretends-it-has-a-sound-grip-on-zaire-diplomacy-1260624.html

William Reno – ‘Sovereignty and Personal Rule in Zaire’ – African Studies Quarterly | Volume 1, Issue 3 | 1997

Botswana: “Refusal by Some Leaders to Hand Over Power” (26.02.2018)

RDC: Communique du Comite Laic De Coordination (25.02.2018)

RDC: Moise Katumbi – “Declaration de soutien a l’appel du Comite laic pour la marche du 25 fevier 2018” (23.02.2018)

RDC: G7 Communique (22.02.2018)

DRC: A Report published today says Getler’s Mineral Royalties daily is the double of Messi’s salary!

Again, the investor and mineral licensing powerhouse in the Democratic Republic Congo, Dan Gertler is even more under fire after the revelations of his illicit trade during the recent years. Now, the formula and the amount of cash he gets from the foreign mineral extraction companies are paying for their passage to him. This as the deals between Getler and Kinshasa authorities are left in the dark. Whatever deal they have, certainly Getler is earning fortunes without doing more, than being connected to the Joseph Kabila government.

This report shows important facts and also bring certainties of the assumed fortunes made by Gertler, even as he is sanctioned and his corporations. Clearly, the mineral extraction is profitable in the midst of insecurity and civilian despair in the republic. While the businesses and the affiliates are eating, the public are fleeing militias and the army itself. The state is not serving the public, but the companies and the persons who has secret deals with the government. It is vicious and the international community let them, even as it is sanctioned, the acts are still appearing and has the ability to earn on it.

Based on a number of assumptions, Resource Matters estimates the royalties to the Gertler-affiliated companies can be expected to amount to about $110 million for 2018 and nearly $100 million for 2019. This means that Gertler risks losing about $270,000 in revenue from Glencore’s operations per day. That is nearly twice as much as the world’s best paid soccer player, Lionel Messi, makes at Barcelona” (Resource Matters, P: 6, 2018).

Glencore therefore has to balance the risk of increased pressure in Congo versus the risk of ending up on the U.S. sanctions list. This means that the royalty payments constitute a significant risk, whether they stop or continue. Investors should be able to know how Glencore will deal with this going forward. U.K anti-corruption organization Global Witness has repeatedly lamented the opacity of Glencore’s royalty payments to Gertler’s companies and called for better disclosure” (Resource Matters, P: 8, 2018).

This conclusion was somewhat hasty. Gertler’s gold companies do not explicitly feature on the sanctions list, but that in itself does not matter. Under the U.S. Treasury’s so-called 50%-rule, any company owned at least 50% by a sanctioned entity is considered, per se, sanctioned because it is deemed to be “blocked property” of the sanctioned person. Both Moku Goldmines and Société Minière de Moku-Beverendi are at least 50% owned by Fleurette, a sanctioned entity, and should be considered sanctioned, too. In addition, the fact that no payments are made to Gertler does not shield Randgold from the risk of being sanctioned. The U.S. Treasury could qualify Randgold’s exploration activities at Moku-Beverendi as ‘material support’ to a sanctioned entity and impose sanctions on Randgold” (Resource Matters, P: 9, 2018).

Gertler might be in hot-water and the Kabila government might have decisions to make concerning their alliance. Still, the trades and contracts has been made, if the Kabila government suspend and revoke it, they might have to pay a settlement. While wait for a new company or middle-man to secure a grand deal for the licensing. We can question if the loyalty will be there, as long as the sanctions might hit the companies who works with Gertler. Because, they do not want to lose the profitable and secure delivery of the cobalt and other minerals in the Republic.

Surely, Getler don’t want to miss his winning ways and his double earnings of Messi. He want it and doesn’t care about how. Getler just continue to score and get contracts, which makes his giant fortune. It is by the blessing of his connections in Kinshasa. Peace.

Reference:

Resource Matters – ‘The Global Magnitsky – Effect How will U.S. sanctions against Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler affect the DR Congo’s extractive sector?” (February 2018).

RDC: Lucha – “Mise au point au sujet des allegations de soutien a la CENI et sur les manifestations de ces 23 et 25 fevier 2018” (21.02.2018)

RDC: Communique de la Coordonnatrice Humanitaire en Republique Democratique du Congo suite a la Mort de Deux Travailleurs Humanitaires au Nord-Kivu (19.02.2018)

RDC – CENCO: “Declaration de la Conference Episcopale Nationale du Congo – A l’issue de l’Assemblee Pleniere Extraordinaire du 15 au 17 Fevier 2018” (17.02.2018)

World Food Programme Broadens Operation to Stem Severe Hunger in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai Region (16.02.2018)

Assessments showed that 3.2 million people, a quarter of the region’s population of mostly subsistence farmers, were desperately short of Food.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, February 16, 2018 -In the face of escalating violence, daunting logistical challenges and insufficient funding, the United Nations World Food Programme is energizing two key elements of its emergency operation to prevent famine in war-ravaged Kasai: cash distributions to the most vulnerable and specialist support to check acute malnutrition in women and young children.

Since the launch last week of the cash initiative – a cost-efficient alternative to in-kind support that allows beneficiaries to buy what they want in recovering local markets – 38,000 people have received the equivalent of US$15 each for a month, enough to meet their basic food needs. The intention is to more than double that reach in the coming weeks.

Recent airlifts from France of Plumpy’Sup, a micronutrient-rich ready-to-use supplementary food, have enabled a significant scale-up of WFP’s nutrition interventions in Kasai: 56,000 malnourished children treated in January, up from 21,000 in the final quarter of last year. The number is to grow by 20,000 a month, to 140,000 in June.

“The nutrition and cash programmes are life-saving, and must quickly expand”, said Claude Jibidar, WFP’s Representative in DRC. “We’re not doing nearly as much as we could in Kasai because the obstacles are huge. But unless we collectively rise to the challenges, many more people, including the weakest women and children, will die”.

WFP launched its assistance programme following the eruption of brutal political and ethnic violence in mid-2016 that claimed countless lives, razed entire villages and forced hundreds of thousands of families from their homes. Assessments showed that 3.2 million people, a quarter of the region’s population of mostly subsistence farmers, were desperately short of food.

Without a prior presence in Kasai, between September and December last year WFP achieved a tenfold increase in the number of people receiving food rations, to 400,000. But lagging donations forced a heavy reliance on scarce internal funds, and a halving of those rations – of cereal, beans, vegetable oil and salt – in November.

Continued funding constraints, an upsurge in fighting between pro- and anti-government forces and a rapid, rainy season deterioration of the already poor road network saw the number receiving half-rations drop to 130,000 in January.

“That reversal has to be corrected, and quickly”, said Jibidar. “We’ve shown we have capacity to deliver, but to reach sufficient scale we need the fighting to stop and donors to step up”.

Limited funding is also a major challenge in the eastern DRC provinces of Tanganyika and South Kivu, where WFP is scaling up to meet the needs of growing conflict-displaced populations as part of a broad push by UN agencies and NGOs.

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