Benin. In a politically relatively quiet year with no
general election, the most notable event was a brief visit
by US President George W. Bush, who in February embarked on
a quick African tour of Benin.
Countryaah reports, Bush described Benin's now stable democracy as one of the
African success countries that the United States wants to
support. However, the relationships are not completely
frictionless. Benin is one of several cotton-growing West
African countries that, through the World Trade
Organization, tried to get the United States to abolish the
state subsidies for American cotton growers. The subsidies
have led to heavy overproduction which has squeezed the
world market price of cotton and caused poor countries such
as Benin's large income loss.
Amnesty International criticized Benin for substandard
conditions in the country's prisons and widespread police