• When my plane smacks down in Equatorial Guinea — where if the captain misses the runway, you could end up in Cameroon — I become the first American journalist to visit this pint-sized republic (population: 550,000) in nearly three years. That was when Equatoguinean officials forced two American reporters to leave after they'd spent just a few days in Malabo, the capital, asking questions. One of them, Peter Maass, was booted for "spying" simply for walking down a street chatting with a European ambassador.

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