Uzbekistan is a landlocked former Soviet republic located in central Asia. It is known mainly for the historic Silk Road city of Samarkand and for being the birthplace of the infamous conqueror Tamerlane. It was the most populous and politically important republic in the region in the Soviet era. The president (dictator) since independence in 1991 until his death in 2016 was Islam Karimov, who was internationally famous for massacring hundreds of people in the city of Andijan in 2005 and occasionally boiling his political opponents alive. There was little fuss from Western governments, however, because Uzbekistan was willing to crush Islamist opposition, has huge supplies of oil and natural gas, and is strategically located for operations in the "War on Terror."
Herman Cain likes Uzbekistan so much he's added several syllables to its name.
Each year during the harvest season the Uzbekistan government requires the nation's government employees, professionals and schoolchildren to harvest the government's cotton fields. Anti-Slavery International does not approve. According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, an estimated 1,236,600 people are enslaved in modern day Uzbekistan, or 3.97% of the population.
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- Kevin Bales, et al. "Uzbekistan". The Minderoo Foundation Pty Ltd. https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/uzbekistan/. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
- Forced Cotton-Picking Earns Uzbekistan Shameful Spot In ‘Slavery Index’. May 31, 2016. https://www.rferl.org/a/global-slavery-index-uzbekistan-pakistan-worst-offenders/27770928.html