The US embassy in Harare has deleted a tweet praising the late dictator Robert Mugabe following strong criticism. The tweet, sent Friday, offered condolences to Mugabe’s family and talked about his “legacy in securing Zimbabwe’s independence.”
Mugabe spent the 1970s as the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union, a communist guerilla group supported by China. He was elected prime minister of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, in 1980. He quickly used his power to launch a campaign of genocide against the Ndebele people, a traditional rival of his own Shona tribe, before reducing the country to starvation through cronyism and economic mismanagement.
After the embassy’s tweet, TV host Tucker Carlson hammered “completely out of control” bureaucrats and the political mindset that could praise someone like Mugabe. He went on to say, “Robert Mugabe didn’t liberate his nation, he destroyed it, and only the US State Department doesn’t understand that.”
After the initial Tweet was deleted, it was replaced by this more “diplomatic” version:
Today we note the death of Robert Mugabe. While he led Zimbabwe to independence, his legacy was tarnished by human rights abuses & poor governance. We stand w/ the people of Zimbabwe in the hope of a free, more prosperous Zimbabwe led by a government accountable to its citizens. pic.twitter.com/2oSlE40dJG
— Tibor Nagy (@AsstSecStateAF) September 7, 2019
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