Maurizio Giuliano (born 1975) is an Italian traveller, author and journalist. As of 2004 he was, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the youngest person to have visited all sovereign nations of the world (at 29 years of age). During several periods, he worked for international organizations in the field of media relations.
Personal life and education
After completing high school in Milan and in Manchester, he earned a degree from the University of Oxford in 1996 and a master's degree from the University of Cambridge in 1997. At University College, Oxford he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, specialising in Latin America and eastern Europe.
Academic work on Cuba
He authored two books and some academic articles on Cuban politics, focusing among other things on the US embargo, which he claimed (in the book "La Transición Cubana y el "Bloqueo" Norteamericano" and other works) has a strong counter-productive effect, in supporting the continuation of Cuba's regime.
In an article published in the British academic journal Democratization in 1998, he focused in particular on how the US embargo against Cuba helps create "empathy" by third parties towards Cuba, which is then domestically perceived as support towards Cuba's regime. He argued, hence, that the US Government - in addition to the embargo's direct influence on supporting Cuba's regime - indirectly inhibits potentially constructive pressures towards change, insofar as third countries, foreign non-governmental organizations and prominent individuals lend support to Cuba's resistance to the US embargo, and this offsets external pressures to democratize, thereby allowing the Cuban regime to convert such "empathy" into a source of legitimacy at home.
His scholarly work on internal Cuban politics, notably on the 1996 purge of Havana's Centre for American Studies (CEA) (contained in the book "El Caso CEA" published in 1998), has been the object of academic reviews, as it exposed the internal conflicts between Cuba's political apparatus and the country's intelligentsia, previously unknown. According to some reviews, the book, a work of investigative journalism complemented by academic analysis, dealt a strong blow to hard-liners within the regime, by exposing for the first time the internal conflicts between Cuba's apparatus and its intelligentsia. In 2001, Cuban exiled scholars Alberto Álvarez and Gerardo González, who were among those purged from the CEA, wrote the book "¿ Intelectuales vs. Revolución ? El caso del Centro de Estudios sobre América", which strongly built upon Giuliano's book to offer further insights on relations between Cuba's political apparatus and the country's intellectuals.
In his journalistic work, he reportedly ran into problems with the authorities of at least two countries. In 1998, he was denied entry to Myanmar after making contact with the National League for Democracy and taking photos of its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. While on 30 October 2002, he was reportedly detained and manhandled by Israeli authorities while crossing the Allenby Bridge.
In the early 2000s, Giuliano was a consultant for the Italian Senate's Committee on Human Rights. At that time, some his writings were intended to influence the positions of the Italian Government on certain human rights issues, as was the case with material that he wrote on North Korea.
In 2004, Giuliano worked for the International Organization for Migration in the elections for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and in 2005 worked in Afghanistan for the United Nations Development Programme. In both cases, he was working in the field of communications with the media.
He worked for the United Nations, again in the field of media relations, in Central African Republic in 2006, in Sudan in 2007, in Chad in 2008, as well as Cameroon in 2008 following the refugee crisis caused by the battle of N'Djamena of February 2008.
In 2009 and 2010 he worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he denounced attacks by warrying parties against civilians and the use of rape as a weapon of war, referring to rape as a "pandemic" and "plague". He denounced the brutality of expulsions between the DRC and Angola, alleging that both countries were committing rapes of illegal immigrants who were being deported, and urging them to investigate the allegations on both sides of the border. In response to Giuliano's criticism about the extent of rape in the country, Congo's Government spokesperson Lambert Mende dubbed him as "the rape spokesperson".
In 2010 he was UN spokesperson for the 2010 Pakistan floods. He warned of an impending "second wave of death" that would result from post-flood disease and food shortages, stating that 3.5 million children were at risk of death if they did not get assistance. He stated that "an already colossal disaster [was] getting worse and requiring an even more colossal response", referring to the relief operations as "a marathon at sprint pace", and indicating that the floods had a worse impact than several other recent disasters combined. He attracted criticism for exaggerating the extent of the emergency but was also credited for bringing attention to it.
According to the Guinness Book, through his work, he had travelled to every single sovereign country in the world (which totalled 193 according to the Guinness Book) by 20 February 2004. He claimed that he had visited a total of up to 238 territories (including the 193 sovereign countries recognized by Guinness), and stated that North Korea had been the hardest country to get into, after numerous attempts and long waits to get a visa.
He started travelling at age 14, and believes that, as of 2004, he had travelled at least two million miles, including on the Trans-Siberian Railway and through 11 round-the-world air journeys. Some of his earliest journeys were to Albania and Sierra Leone in 1991, aged 16, and to Mongolia in 1992 on the occasion of the national festivities Naadam. Most of his later travels were related to his journalistic work.
On 20 February 2004, he visited Suriname, thereby completing his visit to all sovereign nations of the world. He held a press conference there on 24 February, where he stated that he had chosen Suriname to complete his record, as the country had always fascinated him due to its richness and variety in cultures and ethnicities. He then travelled from Suriname to London, with 42 passports (of which 30 Italian and 12 British) filled with immigration stamps, in order to prove his record with Guinness World Records.
He claimed that most of his travels were unrelated to the record, and that only since 2001, on the suggestion of friends, he had the Guinness Record in mind when planning his travels. In explaining his record, however, he stated that he might be affected by an "addiction to crossing borders".
- (Spanish) with foreword by José Antonio Viera-Gallo Quesney, La Transición Cubana y el 'Bloqueo' Norteamericano, Ediciones CESOC; 1st edition (May 1997), ISBN 956-211-062-1.
- (Spanish) El Caso CEA: Intelectuales e Inquisidores en Cuba, Ediciones Universal; 2nd edition (November 1998), ISBN 0-89729-870-5.
- (Italian) Simona Ravizza, A 29 anni come Marco Polo: ho visitato i 192 paesi del mondo, Corriere della Sera, 14 March 2004 (NB: The photos and captions referred to in the text are available on the paper version but not the online version)
- (Spanish) Maurizio Giuliano, El Caso CEA: Intelectuales e Inquisidores en Cuba (back cover), Ediciones Universal, 1998
- University College Newsletter, Trinity 2004
- Author unknown, European sets world travel record, ABC Online, 27 February 2004 (NB: The article mistakenly states that Giuliano was 23 at the time, while he was 28 as reflected in the Guinness Book)
- Maurizio Giuliano, The United States' embargo and Cuba's foreign relations: missed opportunities for democratization (abstract), Democratization, Vol. 5, Issue 3, Autumn 1998
- (Spanish) Pablo Alfonso, Cuba hizo purga contra académicos, El Nuevo Herald, 8 May 1998
- (Spanish) Alejandro Lorenzo, title Presentan obra de purga académica, El Nuevo Herald, 27 May 1998
- Joel Edelstein (University of Colorado), The Centro de Estudios sobre América: An Account of a Regrettable Loss (review of El Caso CEA), Latin American Perspectives, Issue 125, Vol. 29, No. 4, July 2002, page 80
- (Spanish) Carlos Ruíz, Cabellero reincide, Venezuela Analítica, 6 August 2001
- Peter Johnson (Princeton University), Review of ¿ Intelectuales vs. Revolución ? El caso del Centro de Estudios sobre América, Johns Hopkins University, 2001
- (Italian) Maurizio Giuliano, Timor Est, dove nessuno ride, Popoli, May 1999
- Journalist detained in Burma, photographs of Aung san Suu Kyi confiscated, IFEX, August 2000
- Myanmar deports French and Italian journalists, Asian Political News, 24 August 1998
- Burma expels Italian reporter for "illegal reporting", TV Myanmar, 18 August 1998
- North Korea Under the Shroud, Life and Human Rights in North Korea, Autumn 2000, Vol. 17, page 3
- Six journalists arrested, Annual Report 2002, Reporters sans Frontières, 2002
- Introduction, Afghan Scene (magazine), Issue 11, May 2005, page 3
- University College Record 2003, University College, Oxford, 2003
- Activity Report, Life and Human Rights in North Korea, Spring 2000, Vol. 15, page 46
- Pakistan: IOM busy with Afghan voter education campaign, IRIN, 29 September 2004
- Afghanistan - Pakistan: Insecurity hampered voter registration in North and South Waziristan, IRIN, 7 October 2004
- Registration of Afghan voters completed, Dawn, 5 October 2004
- Attorney-General's Office one step closer to delivering justice for narcotics-related crime (press release), UNDP, 14 May 2005
- Afghan Law Students Score High in Washington DC (press release), UNDP, 4 April 2005
- Central African Republic: Humanitarian Crisis Continues, Funding Remains Low (press release), United Nations, 10 February 2006
- CAR: Donor conference begins in Cameroon, IRIN, 20 February 2006
- Plea for Humanitarian Aid in Northern CAR, Angola Press, 22 February 2006
- (French) Modeste J. Poubalandji, Diner d'exchange en prélude de la fête de Noël, Le Confident, 19 December 2005
- Jeffrey Gettleman, Chaos in Darfur Rises as Arabs Fight With Arabs, New York Times, 3 September 2007
- Opheera McDoom, Sudan surrounds, attacks volatile Darfur camp - witness, Reuters, 22 August 2007
- Opheera McDoom, Armed men attack police in Darfur refugee camp, Reuters, 20 August 2007
- Alistair Thomson, Deadly floods, disease afflict Africa's arid Sahel, Reuters, 15 August 2007
- Opheera McDoom, Former Darfur rebels say Khartoum arming militia, Reuters, 16 August 2007
- Anthony Lodiong, Boy aged 10 jailed for avenging father, The Juba Post, page 1, 20–27 April 2007
- Craig Timberg, Chadian Rebels Urge Cease-Fire As Push Falters, The Washington Post, 6 February 2008
- (Spanish) Massimo Alberizzi, Yamena, la capital fantasma de un Chad arrasado por el terror, El Mundo (Spain), 11 February 2008
- Craig Timberg, Aid Groups Work to Avert Disaster Among Chadians in Cameroon, The Washington Post, 8 February 2008
- Sarah Simpson, Chadian refugees head home after failed rebel coup, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 February 2008
- (French) R.M., Maurizio Giuliano: "Une trés bonnne réponse de la communauté internationale", Cameroon Tribune, 18 February 2008
- (French) Les refugiés de N'djaména craignent toujours de rentrer chez eux, Cameroon-One, 15 February 2008
- Congo Civilians Flee as Rwandan Rebels Attack Villages, UN Says, Bloomberg L.P., 24 February 2009
- Joe Bavier, Some Congo civilians return, others flee rebels, Reuters, 2 April 2009
- Jeffrey Gettleman, Rapes Are Again Reported in Eastern Congo, New York Times, 25 February 2011
- Barry Bearak, Congo and Angola Agree to End Expulsions, New York Times, 13 October 2009
- ANGOLA-DRC: Retaliatory expulsions reach a new peak, IRIN, 24 October 2009
- Angola urged to investigate Congo expulsion rapes, BBC, 29 October 2010
- Jeffrey Gettleman, Hundreds Were Raped on Congo-Angola Border, New York Times, 5 November 2010
- UN: Mass rapes on Angola-DRC border, Al Jazeera, 6 November 2010
- Bienvenu Kaforo, Un phenomène sous contrôle, Le Potentiel, 2 November 2010
- Lyse Doucet, UN calls for more aid for flood-hit Pakistan, BBC, 19 August 2010
- Lyse Doucet, UN seeks to boost Pakistan flood aid response, BBC, 19 August 2010
- Adam Ellick, Floods Could Have Lasting Impact for Pakistan, New York Times, 16 August 2010
- Millions of Pakistan children at risk of flood diseases, BBC, 16 August 2010
- UN: Flooding has displaced 1 million more in Pakistan, CNN, 27 August 2010
- Children suffer in flooded Pakistan, CNN, 24 August 2010
- Orla Guerin, UN to launch Pakistan flood appeal, BBC, 10 August 2010
- Neil Tweedie, Pakistan floods: disaster is the worst in the UN's history, The Daily Telegraph, 9 August 2010
- UN recants extent of flood calamity, Daily Mail (Pakistan), 13 August 2010
- Guinness Book of World Records 2006, Guinness World Records, 2006, page 126 on the UK edition (NB: it can be noted that while the Guinness Book refers to 193 countries, Giuliano has elsewhere spoken about 192)
- Maurizio Giuliano, The Stamp Collector, Journalist (British magazine), April 2004
- (Dutch) Nancy de Randamie, Brits-Italiaan behaalt reisrecord in Suriname, De Ware Tijd, 25 February 2004
- (Dutch) Jongste Wereldreiziger Vestigde Record in Suriname, Dagblad Suriname, 24 February 2004