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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:26 AM
Original message
Zimbabwe celebrates 24 years of freedom - from UK
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 10:27 AM by dArKeR
Harare - Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans on Sunday gathered in stadiums across the southern African country to mark 24 years of independence from Britain.

President Robert Mugabe, in power since independence, was due to deliver the keynote address at Harare's Chinese-built 60 000-seat National Sports Stadium.

The celebrations were preceded Saturday by a 12-hour muscial gala in the north-western resort town of Hwange.

Hosting an independence party for thousands of children on Saturday, Mugabe urged youths to defend the country's sovereignty from Western "interference."

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=68&art_id=qw108...

http://home.iprimus.com.au/korob/fdtcards/Africa.html
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. And twenty-four years of oppression by Mugabe.
Some people need to realize that many of these post-colonial leaders are certainly no better and sometimes worse than the oppressive colonials. Idi Amin comes to mind as do many others.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The reason the West liked Amin is the same reason they don't like Mugabe.
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 12:29 PM by AP
It's all about which direction the wealth of the nation flows. If it flows to Europe and North America, everyone likes them. If it recycles within the nation, everyone hates them.

It's the reason why Patrice Llumumba was murdered. It's the reason Congressman Dick Cheney refused to criticize South Africa for imprisoning Mandela. And it's the reason why public relations firms are getting paid millions of dollars to try to blur the distinctions between post-colonialism everywhere else in Africa and anti-neoliberalism in Zimbabwe.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Doesn't change the fact Mugabe murders people and oppresses his country.
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 12:39 PM by Zynx
I don't give a crap which way "the wealth flows". I do not tolerate tyrants.

I hated Amin and I hate Mugabe. The only reason those on the right supported Amin was because he was anti-communist and the only reason those on the left support Mugabe is because he's a Marxist. They are both thugs and murderers.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. The west LOVED Mugabe when he was a go-slow reformer who
engaged in a civil war for control of the government. They hated him when he accelarated land reform.

Why? Because land reform will bring about the day when Zimbabwe and other African nations build up economic, social and political power which means that less wealth flows to the west in easy profits, and it will bring about the day when those countries have democracies which don't need to engage in violent power struggles.

If you hate violence and oppression, you better care about which way the wealth flows, because that's what people are killing each other over.

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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Why do you assume that I support most of these things?
You automatically assume that I think like the rest of the west. I don't. I hate fascist tyrants just as I hate Marxist tyrants. Despots are unacceptable no matter what their aims are. Africa will never progress with a corrupt murderer like Robert Mugabe.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Actually, Zimbabwe is progressing in terms of land reform.
Was it Burundi which just said that they see the land reform program as a success and will try to copy it?

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:01 PM
Original message
By the way, I don't think Mugabe is a Marxist.
For example, Zimbabwe decided that it was wrong for three or four foreign banks to control the capital markets in Zimbabwe. Did they nationalize the banks? Nope. They changed the laws which encouraged SEVEN private Zimbabwean-owned banks to open and compete with the foreign banks.

That isn't Marxism.

You know who hated that reform? The World Bank which wanted to protect the profits of those foreign banks.

In my opinion, THAT'S Marxism, or at least it's acute fascism -- when the World Bank tells you that it's preferred banks are the only ones which should be allowed to operate! That certainly isn't democratic capitalism. That's privatization of the guaranteed profits in the hands of a very vew people at the cost of average citizens.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. Whatever. He leans to the extreme left at the very least.
I was attempting to make the point that many on the left support him simply because he leans left. If he leaned right and was doing similar things, he would be condemned by the left without question.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Opening seven private banks is extreme left?
Don't you see, all the anti-neoliberals want is for capitalism to work for their own citizens and not just western citizens. It isn't Marxism and it isn't fascism.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Land reform is not of concern to me.
That is not my problem. My problem is the murder, the rape, the violence, and the undemocratic actions pursued by Mugabe. That is not worth this land reform. That's like saying that Stalin needed the purges and the famine to industrialize Russia.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. The only reason the west loves to publish stories about murder, rape ...
...and violence in Zimbabwe an not in, say, Iraq, is because of land reform.

And I'm not yet clear on how that deligitimizes land reform or anti-neoliberalism.

In fact, I'm not at all sure how true many of those stories are.

JudyLynn has on occassion googled the names of authors of those newsreports and found connections to extreme right-wing organizations, and to controversies about lies in other stories by those authors.

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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. I have heard enough from other news outlets and humanitarian groups.
I have heard nothing to suggest that life in Zimbabwe is anything that I would consider remotely tolerable and plenty to suggest that the country is a complete authoritarian hellhole. When Mugabe finally dies, or is brutally murdered as I hope he and all dictators are, we will find the full extent of his tyranny and it will shock those who back him I'm sure.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Furthermore...
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 12:51 PM by AP
...the alternative to the current government in Zimbabwe is the same as the alternative in Venezuela, for example, and it's what Haiti just got.

It's a government which oppresses the poor to ensure that profits do flow out of the country.

It's a guarantee of a system in which people will have to be killed and oppressed in order to perpetuate, and it's a system which people will be willing to die for in order to destroy.

And it's a government which will delay the time when people will stop dying for wealth and power.

Land reform in Zimbabwe and anti-neoliberalism is bringing a close to those days much sooner than the alternative (eg, Haiti-style governemtn or the kind of dictatorship the anti-Chavez forces tried to bring about in April 2002).

It ain't pretty, but it wasn't pretty getting into colonialism and post-colonialism, and, all things considered, Zimbabwe has less tyranny in its anti-neoliberalism than countries like Hait and Nigeria have in perpetuating neo-liberalism.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Did I say that I support Nigeria? No.
Give me one good reason why I should support a murderous thug like Mugabe. You seem to support the bastard and I want you to tell me why.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. You should support anti-neoliberalism because it will bring about...
...faster end to tyrannical governments such as the ones in Haiti and Nigeria, and it will also bring about a faster end to the sorts of leaders who are required to transition OUT of neoliberalism.

If you don't like Chavez, Castro or Mugabe, then the best way to see them gone is to have an end to neo-liberalism.

The only reason they need to be heavy handed (Chavez actually isn't at all, but the other two are) is because they're fighting a fierce battle against neo-liberalism, which the neo-liberals don't want to lose. Don't like them? Well, then what you really want is for them to win, because if the lose, it just means the struggle against neo-liberalism continues (at it just did in Haiti, where they've just guaranteed themselves another 30 years of misery by taking a step backwards).
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Nobody has to engage in anti-democratic activity like Mugabe.
Tell me with a straight face that his anti-democratic actions are "necessary" to destroy "neo-liberalism". I will never support these left wing tyrants just the same as I opposed right-wing tyrants like Pinochet, Montt, Videla, and so on. The right-wing used to tell us that in order to oppose Communism, we needed guys like Pinochet. Now you are basically saying to oppose neo-liberalism, we need guys like Mugabe. That is bunk and nonsense. You have to be an ideological nutcase to ever believe you need an authoritarian tyrant for anything.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. If Mugabe lost to the MDC, or the Chavez coup worked, do you think the
result would be democracy?

The MDC campaigned AGAINST land reform. They wanted the status quo. They wanted to protect the large corporate farms and foreign capital. That's democracy? Imagine how much people would have been willing to fight against that? Imagine the levels of oppression that would have been required to perpetuate that inequality just as people were about to get a taste of justice?

A Chavez opposition leader was taped in telephone conversation saying that they'd need a good ten years of dictatorship to undo all Chavez's democratic reforms and get people back to where they were before Chavez.

That's what the battle over neo-liberalism is about.

And furthermore, I have never seen a quantification of Mugabe's badness. I know he's bad, but I myself tried to do a search of political oppression by Mugabe specifically in relation to land reform and I could only find 20 really well-documented examples of people murdered in situations that could be considered being related to land reform and the elections, and one was a single incident in which 10 people died in a shoot-out with a white farmer who had a little army of really well-armed fighters.

This was after the newspapers published story after story claiming people were being murdered for land (as if it was something you could shoot someone over, put and your pocket and walk away with).

So, what exactly is the level of tyranny about which you're complaining? I'm not saying it doesn't exist. I'd just like to know what it is we're talking about? Is it well-armed white farmers shooting at people protesting the land reform? Is it all the murders and oppression that occured in perpetuating inequality? What is it exactly?

In any event, compare 20 deaths related to land reform in Zimbabwe to Nigeria where something like 300 people died in one day of elections a couple months ago (IIRC).

Notice that the level of violence in getting out of neo-liberalism is much lower than the level of violence required in perpetuating it.

Any surprises there?

IIRC, in Venezuela, wasn't there one day in which the former neo-liberal government killed 1000 people in one day of breaking up protests. Whereas, since Chavez has been in power, maybe 30 people have been killed, almost all by anti-Chavez people (and they tried to frame the Chavez-supporters for those killings, of course).

You see, when the neo-liberals CONTROL the mechanisms of government (the police and the army) as they do in Nigeria and they did in Venezuela, the violence they cause is MUCH greater. Duh.

As I've said before, there WILL BE VIOLENCE when you battle against neoliberalis. As shown in Venezuela and Zimbabwe, there's just too much wealth at stake for the neo-liberals for them NOT to fight for it.

But your logic -- if ANY violence results -- is a recipe for the status quo. And it sort of serves the interests of the fascists. They start violence and say, see, the anti-fascists are delegitimzed. They even try to frame the anti-neolibereals for the violence they commit (for example, I have no doubt Tsvengerai was framed by western interests -- they wanted him to be executed by Mugabe in order to deligitimze Mugabe so they set him with a videotaping of an "admission" that he was thinking about having Mugabe assassinated...)

I think you have to ask yourself, would South Africa still be controlled by fascists according to your logic?
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Mugabe has killed a lot more than twenty people.
Yes, those are the only deaths linked to land reform, but that would be like saying that only a couple dozen people died as a direct result of the 1973 Chile coup. Zimbabwe is not exactly the most transparant country in the world so it is hard to get numbers on how many he has killed. You have to bear in mind there is a great deal that happens behind the scenes and then you have random killings from his bloated security forces. From anecdotal evidence, my guess is that the toll is massive.

Anyway, I don't believe our only options are military dictators or semi-democratic dictators in Zimbabwe or Venezuela. You automatically assume, for some reason, that I want some kind of right-wing thug in place in those countries. I certainly do not. I want real and true democracy with full freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression with open and fair elections. Mugabe does not have this or anything close to it. He has tyranny, fear, and oppression.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. I'm not saying the evidence doesn't exist, but what is your 'anecdotal'...
...evidence.

I know that Zimbabwe had a bloody civil war after indepenedence.

Who's surprised by that?

I know that the white farmers killed thousands and destroyed thousands more lives to perpetuate the injust system of land ownership.

I know that Mugabe engaged in VERY slow reform for decades.

I know they picked up the pace after '98. I knwo that the western press went CRAZY after that.

As for true democracy, people like Chavez and Mugabe are the transition to true democray. Without people like them, it will never come, or we'll be lucky to see it come in 100 years, MAYBE. People don't live that long. Why can't we give them justice on earth? Why can't we transition as soon as possible?
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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. America's Allies -THE FRIENDLY DICTATORS
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 01:02 PM by dArKeR
http://home.iprimus.com.au/korob/fdtcards/Cards_Index.h...

Meet the Friendly Dictators - three dozen* of America's most embarrassing "friends", a cunning crew of tyrants and corrupt puppet-presidents who have been rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to U.S. interests.

Traditional Dictators seize control through force and often are self-styled "Generals." Constitutional Dictators hold office through voting fraud or severely restricted elections and are frequently mouthpieces for the military juntas which control the ballot boxes. Both types of dictators are covered here, along with a few tyrannical kings. but don't look for "enemy dictators" (communists and the like) in this set of cards. These are America's allies, strange and undemocratic as they may be.

Friendly Dictators often rise to power through bloody CIA-backed coups and rule by terror and torture. Their troops may receive training or advice from the CIA and other U.S. agencies. "Anti-communism" is their common battle cry and a common excuse for political repression. They are linked internationally through extreme right-wing groups such as the World Anti-Communist League (see card 17). Strong Nazi affiliations are typical - some have been known to dress in Nazi paraphemalia and quote from Mein Kampf, while others offer sanctuary for actual Nazi war criminals.

Friendly Dictators usually grow rich, while their countries' economies go down the drain. U.S. tax dollars and U.S. backed loans have made billionaires of some; others are international drug dealers who also collect CIA paychecks. Rarely are they called to account for their crimes.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. You don't understand me at all. I OPPOSE any dictator.
I fiercely opposed the right-wing dictators in Latin America because they were not necessary to oppose Communism and they killed a collective hundreds of thousands of innocent people. They were thugs and I did not and do not support what they did at all. I fiercely oppose our "friendly dictators". We should NEVER back dictators.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. Do you think Chavez is a dictator?
Do you think that if Castro were replaced by a neoliberal dictator that that could be an improvement?

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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Chavez is not quite a dictator.
His methods are questionable, but he is not as bad as Mugabe. Not even close.

Castro is a dictator and I would like to see true democracy there. I don't want some kind of right-wing US puppet there.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. So you don't want a US puppet in Cuba?
The alternative to Mugabe in the last election was a puppet of the west.

Castro is much more tyrannical than Mugabe, I believe.

I'm going to assume that you'd feel the same way about Zimbabwe that you feel about Cuba if you only had a better understanding of what goes on Zimbabwe.

I won't blame you for not knowing because the media coverage of Africa is horrendous.

If you rely on American or British media coverage, you'd have no idea of what the real issues are.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. We like neo-liberal dictators. And any leader who's an anti-neoliberal and
who has to fight a battle against neo-liberalism (as Chavez does) we call a dictator of the worst kind.

The dictators who have to defend neo-liberalism are the worst kind, and the most violent, because of the level of oppression required to perpetuate such extreme social injustice.

Just look at Haiti today.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. I do not and I wish you would stop lumping me in that category.
Because you will not stop lumping me in with the right-wingers, I will part from this discussion because you are not looking at my position.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Where you found me making any reference to YOU in that post, I don't know.
That post didn't even address you at all.

I was talking to darker.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
12. So, are the Zimbabweans better off than they were,...
,...it appears that they are building their own unity and destiny. But, I know way too little. I hope corporatist colonialists never get their claws back into that country. It must be a difficult struggle though.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. They are not building their own unity and destiny because Mugabe doesn't
hold true democratic elections.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. South Africa thought the Zimbabwe elections were more democratic than
the US elections, by the way.

I think that if the MDC won the last elections, it would have been as democratic as the Republican "victory" in 2000.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Why should I make South Africa the authority on anything?
They have an ideological bond with Mugabe just like we did when we were backing thugs in Latin America. We said they were fair and democratic when they were certainly not just because we agreed with them on ideology.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Because SA was the first African country to defeat fascism.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Pretty impactful statement,...
,...and I am most grateful to have read this thread.

I believe that any US-superiority complex must be carefully examined if we are to have a truly impactful influence upon this world. We had better clearly establish "the basics", as I have come to frame issues, before we jump onto any well-advertised position. If "the basics" of freedom and liberty, hope and humanity are forgotten,...then, everyone loses.
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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
33. Mugabe rejects 'evil' Commonwealth
Harare - The Commonwealth is an "evil" organisation and Zimbabwe will never return to it, President Robert Mugabe told cheering supporters on Sunday.

Mugabe took Zimbabwe out of the group of 54 mostly ex-British colonies after they decided to extend a suspension of the southern African nation's membership during a December summit in Nigeria.

"Our membership to... organisations outside our continent and to the United Nations, is strictly on principles of equality and mutual respect. We will never allow our membership of these organisations to be used against the interest of our people," Mugabe said in an address broadcast nationally.

Commonwealth nations extended Zimbabwe's suspension after Mugabe - who has been president since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 - won a fresh term in disputed 2002 elections, which Western countries and Mugabe's opposition have said were rigged.

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=68&art_id=qw108...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Two important quotes from that article:
(1) "Zimbabwe's suspension dominated the December summit and caused a rift along racial lines in the Commonwealth, with several African countries including South Africa lobbying for its re-admission.

(2) Mugabe "asserts that his opponents, led by Britain, have sabotaged the country to pay him back for seizing land from white farmers to give to landless blacks."
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