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AP: Speaking of stories that haven't gotten out... your book deals with the Cold War and its role in Third World debt.

NH: That story isn't known by that many people, no. It is fascinating and shocking that during the Cold War Africa was used as a pawn by the superpowers. The US, China and Russia used loans and aid in Africa to get countries on their side. Cold War strategies really drove decisions on who to bankroll. They propped up corrupt dictators like Mobutu in Zaire [now the Democratic Republic of Congo], who chartered the Concorde for shopping sprees. The world knew he was corrupt; people were saying "He'll never pay back these loans" -- but still he received half of the US loans to Africa in the 70s. The US wanted Zaire as a base for their covert activities in Angola. The countries were bankrolled to help geopolitical interests, and that would always be not a great situation, but it's particularly unacceptable as the Congolese people are among the poorest in the world.



full interview here.
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