'I've made a few enemies, even in Spain'

The Local Spain
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'I've made a few enemies, even in Spain'
Delfin Mocache from Equatorial Guinea set up Diario Rombe in Valencia. Photo: Agustin Millan

In the latest instalment of My Spanish Career The Local talks to Delfin Mocache, editor of Diario Rombe, one of the few media that openly criticises the political regime in his home country of Equatorial Guinea.


Born in Bata in 1983, Mocache moved to Valencia to study law where he set up an online newspaper in which he exposes the true situation in his country.

Why did you launch Diario Rombe?

My main ambition is to fight for my country’s right to democracy, and for other rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Did you have previous experience in publishing?

I worked in a Project called Africnaone, written in French, about political information from Africa. After that I began to write my blog, which became quite popular. I wrote about the everyday troubles of Equatoguinean people living in Valencia and I tried to help them out.

What kind of problems did you have?

The student visa and the citizenship, mainly. Despite the fact that Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony, we don't have the benefits enjoyed by other Spanish speaking countries. We are a large community in Spain but in some ways we’re treated unfairly. And of course writing against Obiang (Teodoro Obiang, Equatoguinean president since 1979) makes you a few enemies even in Spain. I had some legal difficulties but it came out in my favour.

Are you a blend of journalist and politician?

I’m not a journalist, I never studied that but I like to write in order to change things. I use reliable sources and try to be honest. I'm some sort of politician but not in the European style. In my country there's no freedom of press, every journalist is under the government censorship so I'm trying to report what Guinean journalists can't.

Why do you think Spanish people don't know much about Equatorial Guinea?

I think it is because since 1968 - the year of that Equatorial Guinea won independence from Spain -the Spanish press didn’t really cover what goes on there. We are the only African country that speaks Spanish and we have some heritage. And I´m disgusted at how some newspapers publish only some adverts encouraging people to invest in Guinea.

How do you finance your newspaper?

It's difficult to find sponsors because nobody in Equatorial Guinea thinks it is worth taking the risk of advertising on my webpage. People in my country could be threatened by the government its discovered that they are supporting my newspaper. This is a big problem. Even in Spain, amongst Guinean people, nobody trusts anybody. That fact speaks for itself about the atmosphere in Equatorial Guinea.

What's ahead?

It's not easy to visit my webpage from Equatorial Guinea, so I'm planning to print the newspaper in my country. I do believe we´ll have readers because we publish alternative news than the official press. We'll aim to give readers information and encourage freethinking.

That is the point, to let people to speak up.

LINK: Diario Rombe

Interview by Agustin Millan, a Spanish journalist student based in Valencia



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