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POLITICS The U.S. president's visit to Africa attracted attention not only by its duration (almost two weeks) and the gigantic size of his party (approximately 800 people), but also by its apparent lack of logic. At present the United States is in excellent economic shape, and it has a firm hand in international relations. The world only remembers Africa in the event of a natural or national catastrophe. Let us see, however, what lies behind this trip. So, Mr. Clinton has visited Ghana, the motherland of Kofi Annan, the UN's new general secretary; and Uganda, the "pearl of Africa," a country that has successfully overcome the fallout from a civil war and emerged as one of the recognized leaders in Central Africa. On his way back he called at Senegal, one of the most influential countries of West Africa, the buttress of French influence on the continent. The aims of the visit are obvious: to consolidate the United States' influence in Africa, which has colossal deposits of mineral resources that will not at all be overlooked in the upcoming battle of civilizations in the 21st century. At the same time, to try to somewhat squeeze its allies, who traditionally dominate this continent - the British and the French. The United States will do this not only in the economic sphere but also in the military sphere - through the creation of African peacekeeping forces. There can be no doubt that the great number of those accompanying the president (a small "invading army"?) is not just a crowd of extras, but a meticulously selected team where everyone knows his role. Even so, his visit to South Africa was, of course, of special importance. There, Mr. Clinton spoke on the subject of democracy and human rights with deep feeling. This was highly appropriate, especially considering that the world has already started to forget that it was precisely the United States that most actively supported the apartheid regime for the longest period of time. Few people know ... Read more

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