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Bleeding Zambia Dry

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In the past decade the central African country of Zambia has exported
some $30 billion of copper yet remains so deeply in debt to western
banksters that it spends more in interest on Zambia?s debt that on
health and education combined.

Every month for the past ten years some $250 million of Zambian copper
has been sold to…Switzerland? And guess what, Switzerland which
doesn?t import any real, physical copper, is one of the biggest copper
buyers in the world. It?s all about the ?circle jerk?, an African
based company ?selling? it?s metal to its own sister company in
Switzerland for dirt cheap, the better to pay fewer taxes to African
governments.

Of the $250 million a month that Zambia?s copper ultimately sells for
the Zambian government may be getting between $8-10 million. But the
story doesn’t end there, for the government is contractually bound to
provide massive amounts of cheap electricity to the western owned
copper mines all the while much of Zambia remains in the dark,
literally or paying through the nose to make up for what is given away
to the mines.

The infrastructure in Zambia was almost entirely funded by the
government, which meant going deeply into debt to the International
Misery Fund (IMF). And when copper prices crashed in the past the IMF
was there for ?emergency assistance?, providing a glucose infusion in
one arm while taking whole blood from the other.

The result? Every year thousands of Zambian children die from
preventable causes such as malaria and water born diseases along side
a host of malnutrition related sicknesses. Never mind the
environmental damage and long term poisonings from the copper mines.

The Zambian people have grown so fed up that they elected a white
Zambian vice president to see if they could some how cut a better
deal, or at least get paid their legal due though even he has thrown
up his hands in helplessness and its still business as usual as in
bleeding Zambia dry.

Thomas C. Mountain is the most widely distributed independent
journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He
can be reached at thomascmountain_at_yahoo_dot_com_

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