Liberia, Reagan, Doe, Charles Taylor
the following text is from foreignpolicy-infocus.org. The photo I got from searching for 'reagan doe' on google, and is a photo of Samuel Doe at the white house with Ronald Reagan. Doe branded himself as an anti-communist, and got $500 million.
Historical Underpinnings of Crisis
Liberians have become the world's refugees, fleeing their country en masse. They have been running for the past 13 years, but some would say that they started running in 1980, when Samuel Doe took over the country. He did so in a violent coup d'etat during which Liberia's 19th President and then Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) William R. Tolbert was killed. The 1980 coup undermined and ultimately derailed the growing political reform and democracy movement that had emerged in the late 1970s to challenge the True Whig Party dictatorship of Tolbert. It also launched the country's descent into political violence and criminality, a descent which has continued unabated.
When Master Sergeant Doe took over the reins of power in Liberia, the Reagan administration embraced him. It viewed him as a line of defense against the Soviets during the cold war. The Liberian government between 1980-1985 was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Sub-Saharan Africa, receiving $500 million during that period. But Doe did not spend that money on schools or hospitals, nor did he maintain the country's infrastructure. He did, however, with U.S. encouragement, modernize the Liberian military. Salaries and benefits for soldiers were increased. The army used its enhanced position to launch terror and mayhem on ordinary Liberian civilians. In this way, the militarization of politics in Liberia was born. Doe became the most repressive Liberian leader in its history, while President Ronald Reagan called Doe his good friend and entertained him at the White House.
text from foreignpolicy-infocus.org
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There was also a NY Times opinion editorial piece which deserves it's own posting, but I will put it right here: What the U.S. Owes Liberia
Pat Robertson is other name to search on regarding Liberia. Charles Taylor and Robertson, united in their supposedly Christian faith, and a business arrangement: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/000042.html
and some more Liberia articles: