Maurizio Giuliano (born 24 February 1975) is a British-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 (aged 28 years and 361 days). 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 the book and other writings, Giuliano staunchly contested the view that an end to the Castro regime would be near, and expressed the view that any transition would be slow and gradual.
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.
Purge of Havana's Centre for American Studies (CEA)
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. Along with these two scholars and Giuliano, Cuban sociologist Haroldo Dilla Alfonso expressed the view that the purge mechanisms described in Giuliano's book have been a key pillar for the regime's ability to prevent the rise of reformers, and that such dynamics remain in place as late as 2016.
Besides work on Cuba, other countries Giuliano covered in his journalistic work include East Timor and Myanmar (Burma). In 1993 he worked for the Austrian weekly magazine Profil, for which he interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev, who expressed criticism at the reforms carried out by Russian president Boris Yeltsin: when Yeltsin called a referendum for 25 April 1993 in an attempt to achieve even greater powers as president, Gorbachev told Giuliano that he would not vote and instead advocated for new presidential elections
In his journalistic work, he reportedly ran into problems with the authorities of at least two countries. On 16 August 1998 he was denied entry to Myanmar after making contact with the National League for Democracy and meeting its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with Myanmar authorities accusing him of falsely claiming to be a tourist and of "illegally gathering news", which prompted condemnations by organizations such as the International Federation of Journalists and Reporters without Borders; only in 2013 Giuliano managed to return to Myanmar and also meet Suu Kyi. While on 30 October 2002, he was reportedly detained and manhandled by Israeli authorities while crossing the Allenby Bridge, which also prompted condemnation by Reporters without Borders. Giuliano however describes his worst authorities-related odyssey as he was travelling in 2003 around the South Pacific, where authorities in New Zealand and some South Pacific islands reportedly caused serious hindrance to his movements for the simple fact that he appeared to be suspicious because of his strange travel patterns.
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, where he advocated for turnout by potential voters in spite of precarious security conditions. And in 2005 he worked in Afghanistan for the United Nations Development Programme's justice division which endeavoured to reform the country's legal system. 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, where he denounced very low levels of funding for a "neglected" emergency and called Western governments to be generous in saving lives of the most vulnerable Central Africans. He moved to Sudan in 2007, where he vocally denounced abuses by increasingly fragmented armed groups as well as access constraints caused by the Sudanese Government, and called for more funding also in response to floods that hit the city of Kassala. In 2008 he was posted to Chad, calling for more international attention amidst conflict between Chadian and pro-Sudanese forces which displaced more than half a million people, and with the events culminating in the battle of N'Djamena of February 2008, after which he worked in Cameroon following the refugee crisis caused by war and asking for solid international support for the refugees and for reconstruction efforts, warning that a humanitarian crisis could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe in the absence of a robust response.
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, including due to cholera. 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 giving figures of up to a million people displaced in 48 hours. He argued that the needs outpaced available resources, also due to endless rains. In response to Taliban threats to attack relief workers, Giuliano stated that they "would not be intimidated" by such threats and would continue working. He indicated that the floods had a worse impact than several other recent natural disasters combined, becoming the worst natural disaster in United Nations history. He attracted criticism for exaggerating the extent of the emergency but was also credited for bringing attention to it.
In 2014 and 2015 he headed the office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the DRC's city of Bunia, where he denounced continued abuses by multiple militia groups against civilians, in particular the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) and the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), as well as less known warlords including Paul Sadala (alias Morgan) whose routine use of gang-rape was denounced by Giuliano; but he also requested the Government and the UN mission MONUSCO to do more to protect civilians. He considered that serious atrocities and human rights abuses in Ituri were not getting sufficient international attention, and called for robust protection efforts and funding to meet humanitarian needs. He also advocated for reinforced accountability to recipients of assistance.
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, followed by a visit during which he was never let alone by his "tour guides". His Sudanese visa was also particularly difficult to obtain, involving a wait of nearly a year. In 1992 he had his passport stolen in Albania and reported difficulties obtaining a new one from the Italian embassy, supposedly due to a Napolitan clerk mistaking him for an Albanian because of his Milanese accent.
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. During his early travels he often stayed with penpals. Most of his later travels were related to his journalistic work. He stated that in some countries he lived or spent months, while in others he spent merely hours, his shortest stay being a one-hour visit to Tuvalu with Air Fiji.
On 20 February 2004, he arrived in Suriname on a Brazilian airliner, 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".
Collecting passport stamps as proof of travels was a major part of Giuliano's endeavour, and he describes being obsessed about his stamps, to the extent that he travelled with ink pads in five different colours so that he could assist immigration officers whose stamps may lack ink.
- (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.
- 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: A Modern Day Marco Polo, World Atlas, 20 April 2016
- "The Best Travelled - UN Master List", The Best Travelled Retrieved 22 March 2016
- (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, ISBN 0897298705
- University College Newsletter, Trinity 2004
- 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
- Maurizio Giuliano, Scripting a Succession, New York Times, 14 June 1995
- (Spanish) Pablo Alfonso, Cuba hizo purga contra académicos, El Nuevo Herald, 8 May 1998
- (Spanish) Alejandro Lorenzo, 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
- (Spanish) Carlos Alberto Montaner, El cadáver inquieto, El Nuevo Herald, 7 June 1998
- Peter Johnson (Princeton University), Review of ¿ Intelectuales vs. Revolución ? El caso del Centro de Estudios sobre América, Johns Hopkins University, 2001
- Haroldo Dilla Alfonso, The Rise and Fall of a Cuban Think Tank, Havana Times, 27 March 2011
- (Spanish) Haroldo Dilla Alfonso, "¿Qué pasó con el Centro de Estudios sobre América?", Cuba Encuentro, 24 March 2011
- (Spanish) Julio Aleaga Pesant, Cuando le quebraron el corazón al CEA, Primavera Digital en Cuba, 16 March 2016
- (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
- Maurizio Giuliano, Müssen schnell wählen, Profil (Austria) (nr. 19, page 61), 10 May 1993
- North Korea Under the Shroud, Life and Human Rights in North Korea, Autumn 2000, Vol. 17, page 3
- Italian journalist turned away, AFP, 17 August 1998
- Gary Thomas, Burma has deported an Italian journalist, Voice of America, 17 August 1998
- Second journalist ousted, The Irrawaddy, September 1998
- Italian reporter with false document expelled, New Light of Myanmar, 17 August 2008
- Maung Hmat Kyauk, International Relations, New Light of Myanmar, 25 August 1998
- Myanmar expels Italian reporter, Associated Press, 19 August 1998
- (French) Les journalistes dans le collimateur des généraux birmans, Libération, 19 August 1998
- James Mackay, Aung San Suu Kyi at the National League for Democracy Headquarters in Rangoon, Enigma Images, January 2013
- Six journalists arrested, Annual Report 2002, Reporters sans Frontières, 2002
- Maurizio Giuliano, The Stamp Collector, Journalist (British magazine), April 2004
- 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
- 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
- Alistair Thomson, Deadly floods, disease afflict Africa's arid Sahel, Reuters, 15 August 2007
- UN spokesperson speaking to Aljazeera during Sudan Floods, Al Jazeera, August 2010
- 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
- Craig Timberg, Rebels Call for Cease-Fire in Chad, Washington Post, 6 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
- (French) 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
- Waqar Gillani, In Flooded Pakistan, a Lack of Basic Supplies, New York Times, 18 August 2010
- Adam Ellick, Floods Could Have Lasting Impact for Pakistan, New York Times, 16 August 2010
- Salman Masood and Waqar Gillani, Pakistan Leader Faces Fury Over Floods, New York Times, 13 August 2010
- (Swedish) Dödstalen stiger i Pakistan, Dagens Nyheter, 27 August 2010
- Millions of Pakistan children at risk of flood diseases, BBC, 16 August 2010
- (Swedish) 3,5 miljoner barn hotas av sjukdomar i Pakistan, Sveriges Television, 16 August 2010
- Salman Masood, Blast Strikes Pakistani Police Area, New York Times, 7 September 2010
- Salman Masood and Waqar Gillani, "Disease Threatens Flood Victims in Pakistan", New York Times, 14 August 2010
- UN: Flooding has displaced 1 million more in Pakistan, CNN, 27 August 2010
- Children suffer in flooded Pakistan, CNN, 24 August 2010
- Carlotta Gall, Evacuations Continue in Southern Pakistan, New York Times, 27 August 2010
- (Swedish) Dubbelt så många hemlösa i Pakistan, Sveriges Television, 19 August 2010
- Carlotta Gall, Pakistan Receives More Flood Aid, but Need Grows, New York Times, 19 August 2010
- Quotation of the Day, New York Times, 17 August 2010
- Neil MacFarquhar, Aid for Pakistan Lags, U.N. Warns’’, New York Times, 18 August 2010
- (French) Lucie Dangoing, Pakistan: l’aide internationale s’organise, Paris Match, 18 August 2010
- Salman Masood, Suicide Bomber Kills 53 at Shiite Protest, New York Times, 3 September 2010
- Salman Masood, Continuing Rain Slows Flood Aid in Pakistan, New York Times, 5 August 2010
- Salman Masood, Monsoon Rains Continue in Flood-Ravaged Pakistan, New York Times, 9 August 2010
- Salman Masood, In Pakistan, Taliban Hint at Attacks on Relief Workers, New York Times, 26 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 Spokesperson speaking to BBC during Pakistan Floods, BBC, August 2010
- UN recants extent of flood calamity, Daily Mail (Pakistan), 13 August 2010
- Aaron Ross, Heavy fighting in northeast Congo as talks with militia falters, Reuters, 15 January 2015
- SA troops prepare to ‘neutralise’ Hutu rebels, News 24, 18 January 2015
- (French) Ituri : combats entre les FARDC et des rebelles après des négociations infructueuses, MediaCongo, 16 January 2015
- ADF rebels hack 22 in new DR Congo attack, AFP, 18 October 2014
- Massive machete attack in DRC, AFP, 16 October 2014
- Rebels Kill 26 in DRC Machete Attack as U.N. Chief Told to Leave, AFP, 16 October 2014
- (French) Est de la RDC: nouvelle tuerie près de Beni, les rebelles ougandais accusés, L'Obs, 24 November 2014
- (French) RDC: journées villes mortes au Nord-Kivu contre l’insécurité , Jeune Afrique, 20 October 2014
- (French) RD Congo : les Casques bleus appelés à mieux protéger les civils en Province-Orientale, DK News, 14 December 2014
- (French) RDC : 12 blessés graves dans l'attaque d'un camp de déplacés, AFP, 11 March 2015
- (French) RDC : Mamadou Diallo en Ituri pour une solution humanitaire, Agence Congolaise de Presse, 28 January 2016
- Елена Мурзина, 11 кругосветных путешествий, Peoples.ru
- Yngstemann i alle verdens land, Aftenposten, 26 February 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
- (Spanish) Con apenas 23 años y ha visitado 193 países, El Universal (Mexico), 26 February 2004 (NB: The article mistakenly states that Giuliano was 23 at the time, while he was 28 as reflected in the Guinness Book)