June 5 – President's Day in Equatorial Guinea

Posted on June 5, 2016

The current president of Equatorial Guinea is Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and he was born on this date in 1942.

That's why today is celebrated as President's Day. I suppose that, when there is another president, the holiday will be moved to her or his birthday?!

In the United States, we celebrate President's Day on a day near the birthdays of two of our greatest presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Most of us do not celebrate the birthday of our “sitting president.” 

But our presidents don't tend to serve very long – generally only four to eight years – whereas Obiang has served as president of Equatorial Guinea for a long time:

He's been president ever since he ousted his uncle in a military coup in 1979!

That's 37 years!

Obiang is considered the longest-serving leader in Africa and the longest-serving president in the world!

You may be wondering what makes this guy, who took over originally by throwing out the old president (remember, it was his uncle) through brute power, and who has never left office since then, a “president.” Doesn't he sound more like a “dictator”?

Well, Obiang's uncle was really brutal. He was a REALLY bad leader. So most people would consider it a good thing that he was removed from office. And a few years after the overthrow, there was an election, and Obiang was elected to a seven-year term as president.

Since then he has won re-election four more times.

BUT...Sometimes there was nobody running against Obiang, and other elections were marred by claims of fraud and intimidation by international observers.

And although Obiang was at first considered more humane than his uncle, some people claim that he is becoming more and more brutal. Equatorial Guinea is considered one of the most corrupt and undemocratic nations in world.

And that's saying something!

Of course, there are wonderful things about the nation as well...

Beaches and wildlife...

Volcanos and waterfalls

Churches and bridges

Also on this date:

Apple II Day

Plan ahead:

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