How American governments and corporations colonised oil-rich states

What you need to know:

  • In his capacity as an “Economic Hit Man” for a large engineering firm based in Boston in the 1970s, John Perkins’s job was to convince countries with abundant natural resources in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to accept enormous loans for infrastructure projects and to get guarantees that the contracts for these projects went to well-connected US corporation
  • Perkins confesses that he was instrumental in convincing the Saudi royal family to agree to invest billions of dollars of the kingdom’s oil income in US securities and in urging it to allow the US Department of the Treasury to use the interest from those investments to hire American firms to build power and water systems, highways, ports and cities in Saudi Arabia
  • In exchange, the US guaranteed the royal family unconditional political and military support
  • It was a deal that ensured that the royal family ruled Saudi Arabia as long as the country had oil and beyond, thereby stemming any type of democratic governance that the Saudi population may have desired

Now that Kenya is set to enter the league of oil-producing nations, the country may want to examine a little more closely its relationship with foreign governments and companies seeking to extract oil and other natural resources from our land and shores.

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