Robert Mugabe: Zimbabwe has taught the West about human rights

From a speech made by the President of Zimbabwe at the opening of parliament in Harare
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The Independent Online

This neo-colonial dependence syndrome has been our repeated ruin. Traditional business enterprises that have shaped and defined our thrust are, in the majority of cases, unambitious subsidiaries of major companies in South Africa, Britain and America, caught in a time warp and hopelessly hide-bound. Consequently, enormous possibilities presented by burgeoning Third World economic regions doing much better than the much vaunted, yet risky and even declining West, have escaped us.

This neo-colonial dependence syndrome has been our repeated ruin. Traditional business enterprises that have shaped and defined our thrust are, in the majority of cases, unambitious subsidiaries of major companies in South Africa, Britain and America, caught in a time warp and hopelessly hide-bound. Consequently, enormous possibilities presented by burgeoning Third World economic regions doing much better than the much vaunted, yet risky and even declining West, have escaped us.

Happily, we have not gone too far down this path. We have halted the policy of blind privatisation, and the expectation is that our parastatals, once reformed and commercialised, and properly re-oriented, will be the cutting edge of our economic policy.

In the wider international arena, my government remains committed to meaningful collaboration with all peace-loving countries and peoples of the world, based on mutual respect and sovereign equality.

We nonetheless remain patently opposed to the current mutant strain of imperialists who have arrogated to themselves the role of patrons of democracy and human rights, which they shamelessly trample upon in their pursuit of bloated self-interest.

Those who only yesterday were our colonialists and for decades trampled upon our own rights as Zimbabweans have no human rights or democracy lessons to impart to us when we taught them these values through a protracted armed liberation struggle that cost us thousands of lives.

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