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U.S. and E.U.: Hear me Say it Loud: “I am Ethiopian, Poor and Proud!”

December 2, 2020

By Alemayehu G. Mariam
December 2, 2020

Prof. Alemayhu G. Mariam

Author’s translation of PM Abiy Ahmed’s Remarks to the Ethiopian Parliament on November 29, 2020 [relevant portion translated begins at 2 hours, 33 minutes].

…This enemy did not fight only a land war against us…. They had started the diplomatic war in advance with their money. They were lobbying governments in various countries. They were lobbying the media [to get favorable coverage]. They opened up on us on all fronts. Then many of our friends said, “Go enter into negotiations.” We want negotiations. We hate war deeply. We begged the TPLF for peaceful resolution until they chopped us up (by attacking the Northern Command). As things got worse for them, they began asking for negotiations. In a situation like this, no country will negotiate. They told us to negotiate, but no country will negotiate with those that have attacked its defense forces. They would rather die first than negotiate.

But because we are poor, they insisted that we negotiate. My message to our friends is this: We know diplomacy. Ethiopia is a country that helped establish the United Nations and the African Union. You don’t need to teach Ethiopia diplomacy and multilateralism.  We are known for peace and negotiations. We have served as peacekeepers in Korea and in many parts of Africa. This will continue. What I want to tell our friends is, “If you want to be friends with us, you need to know who we are. Even though we are poor, we have long experience in statecraft. We had a government long before you even existed as a country. Before you stood up as a country.

We are not a people who confuse government and country. We want you to know this. Not today but even 100 years ago, a country with superior firepower tried to rule us. We told them we prefer death than to be ruled by them That is how Ethiopia remained a singularly independent nation. If you have forgotten this, you need to remember it now.

The existence of Ethiopia is our pride and honor. Do not expect an Ethiopian that will trade on Ethiopia’s existence. Doing so would be a mistake. Recognizing the fact we love peace and work for peace, you should understand our situation and work with us in the spirit of cooperation. We may be the poorest of the poor but there is no Ethiopian who will trade away his honor. But don’t blame us for this. It is our forefathers who passed this gene [of defiance] in our blood. You cannot do it any other way. Trying to scare us [by threatening to withhold aid] in pennies will not work in Ethiopia. The only option is to work cooperatively with Ethiopia. As long as there is an Ethiopian left, no one can do anything [to harm us]. Today or in the future. After we’re all gone, you can do whatever you want. It is necessary for our friends understand us when we try to ensure observance of the rule of law. It is necessary. This is my message for all of our well-intentioned friends. Ethiopia has a government that functions on the principle of the rule of law. It has a government accountable to the law. A government that respect is citizens. A government that aims to build a democracy that looks like Ethiopia…  Looks like us… So, forget your intrigues. It will not work in Ethiopia….

U.S. and E.U.: “Don’t need your handouts. Take your aid and shove it. Yes, I am Ethiopian, Poor and Damn Proud!”

Last September, I told “Lyin’ Sack Don” Trump to take his counterterrorism aid to Ethiopia and shove it!

I also promised him, “The people who came from “s**hole African countries” will kick the s**t out of him and dump him out of office on November 3, 2020!” 

We did our tiny part and now, well, “Ding dong! Lyin’ Sack Trump is gone!”

The European Union (EU) now has a “Motion for Resolution” written by lobbyists of the internationally registered terrorist group known as the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

In the Motion, the EU “demands federal authorities end the practice of arbitrarily arresting and targeting ethnic Tigrayans and Tigrinya speakers, and urges national and local authorities, media organizations, and the public to refrain from engaging in incitement to violence towards, discrimination of, or hostility against Tigreans.”

There are also indications Biden’s nominees, Anthony Blinken for Secretary of State Anthony and Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor, will likely seek to pressure Ethiopia to “negotiate”.

With whom? I don’t know. Certainly not with the TPLF terrorists.

There is no question the Shevil Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security Advisor, who literally laughed in the faces of Ethiopians as she declared the TPLF’s 100 percent electoral victory in 2015 is “democratic” will be gunning for Ethiopia and the government of PM Abiy Ahmed.

But of course, negotiations have been underway between the Ethiopian federal government and constitutionally authorized temporary governing body  for Tigray region.

There is no need for me to belabor the hypocrisy of the U.S. and EU.

From 1991 to 2018, the U.S. and E.U. turned a blind eye, deaf ears and muted lips as the TPLF killed, maimed and plundered Ethiopia.

When the TPLF declared it had won 99.6 percent of the seats in the Ethiopian parliament in 2010, they kept their mounts shut. No aid suspension. No threats of any action.

They did not demand the TPLF negotiate with opposition parties, or else.

In 2015, when the TPLF declared it had won 100 percent of the seats in parliament, the U.S. declared the election democratic.

They did not demand the TPLF negotiate with opposition parties, or else.

In 2005, when the TPLF massacred, maimed and jailed tens of thousands of Ethiopians, the U.S. and E.U. kept their mouths shut.

They did not demand the TPLF be brought before the bar of justice and be held accountable.

Today, they are shedding crocodile tears about human rights violations, internationalization of the conflict in northern Ethiopia and regional peace.

The ultimate weapons the U.S. and E.U. can use to break Ethiopia’s knees are cutoff of aid, cutoff of loans, cutoff of investments and imposition of sanctions.

Right now, they are using aid cutoff as a shot across the bow before they escalate.

Well, paraphrasing lyrics (and song) of Johnny Paycheck, I say to the U.S. and the E.U.:

“Take your aid and shove it!”

U.S and E.U.: Take your aid and shove it!
Ethiopians don’t need it no more
Your handouts of pennies made us your comprador
We watched our people
For nigh over fifty years
Drownin’ in a pool of blood and tears.

If you think you can buy our sovereignty
With your pittance of aid
Listen good to what I have said:
Take your aid and shove it!

We know diplomacy
We helped birth the U.N and A.U.
We were a nation long before you
Finally we mustered the guts to say
Take your doggone aid and shove it
Cause we don’t need it no more!

Ethiopia may need assistance in its poverty
But we’ll be damned to sell our sovereignty
For your doggone aid charity
So, take your aid and shove it!

Dig this U.S. and E.U.
And hear me say it loud!
I am Ethiopian, Poor and Proud!
Say it loud!
I am Ethiopian, Poor and Proud!
Say it loud!

Say it loud, “Take your aid and shove it!”
Say it loud, “I am Ethiopian, Poor and Proud!
Say it loud!
I am Ethiopian, Poor and Proud!


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