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President Bush Criticizes Zimbabwe’s Mugabe on Eve of Africa Trip


President George W. Bush told VOA today that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has ruined that country

Washington, D.C., February 14, 2008 – U.S. President George W. Bush told Voice of America (VOA) today that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has ruined that country.

“Zimbabwe used to be a net exporter of food. Today it is a net importer of food,” said President Bush, denouncing Mugabe as a “discredited dictator” who has brought misery to his people. President Bush was asked by VOA about economic problems in Zimbabwe in his meeting with radio reporters on the eve of his second trip to Africa.

President Bush said that the United States will continue to support freedom in Zimbabwe, and expressed disappointment in South African President Thabo Mbeki as a broker in the political stand-off between the government and the Zimbabwean pro-democracy opposition forces.

Mr. Bush has proposed spending 30 million dollars over five years to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

The President is scheduled to leave Friday on a five-nation tour, which includes stops in Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia.

VOA’s radio interview with the President is available at http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-02-14-voa66.cfm.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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