Potential Hot Spots: July 20, 2003


Coup leader Major Pereira is known locally as "Cobo" ('the stud'), having fathered 10 children by several women by the time he was 48. Pereira was trained in Angola, Cuba, Russia and Portugal, but has not impressed journalists with his leadership skills during past interviews. 

Unlike other African coups, which are usually bloodbaths footnoted with savagery, Sao Tome's little revolt was characterized by a few hundred AK rounds fired off and no casualties. That's because the bulk of Sao Tome's armed forces aren't just another band of stoned murderers in uniform, which reflects the island nation society's laid-back nature. The former Portuguese colony only spends $1 million a year on it's military and a US diplomat in the region revealed that the Pentagon had started funding English lessons for Sao Tome's army. The main military barracks doesn't even have running water. - Adam Geibel 


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