Newest UN Tourism Ambassador Is ... Robert Mugabe?

Choice of Zimbabwean strongman doesn't go over well
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2012 3:54 PM CDT
Newest UN Tourism Ambassador Is ... Robert Mugabe?
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe delivers a speech in April.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The UN has anointed Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe one of its worldwide "leaders of tourism," reports the Guardian, and here's just one hint why it's a little weird: Mugabe himself can't travel the world freely, thanks to US and EU sanctions put in place over his land seizures and human rights record.

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One typical reaction to UN World Tourism Organization's decision, this from a British MP: "For a man who has destroyed his country's infrastructure and cynically engineered hunger to be an 'ambassador' for tourism is disgraceful—particularly as he has been personally responsible for the downward spiral of the economy and destroyed the hotel, travel, and tourism industry in the process." Oh, and gay tourists probably ought to steer clear of Zimbabwe, as Mugabe reaffirmed last week his contempt for homosexuality, notes AP. (Read more Robert Mugabe stories.)

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