United States President George W. Bush has now said that he was suffering from indigestion when he accidentally conflated Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in his Monday speech before the Group of Eight industrialized nations.
"You know I care deeply about the people of Zimbabwe," said President George W. Bush, defending himself against the charges of implicit racism that have dogged his presidency ever since influential hip-hop mogul Kanye West accused him of "not [caring] about black people."
"I'm extremely disappointed in the elections," Bush went on to say. "I recognize this matter is not as simple as a name change, however, the reaction by Mr. Mugabe's people has been unacceptable."
When pressed by reporters to clarify his remark about the name change, Bush said, "I'm referring, of course, to 1997. You know, back when it was still Zaire."
Bush later blamed the incident on indigestion, saying that the "special sushi" prepared for the G8 leaders had disagreed with him.
"The President has recovered fully," said Bush's personal physician. "We expect him to resume his duties immediately."
The sushi was prepared with the freshest ingredients possible, under the supervision of internationally renowned chefs, said Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who hosted the summit in its Japanese location.
Although Bush's negative reaction to the sushi was different from that of his father in 1992, doctors say the two might have a similar, genetic cause.
Other sources have suggested that Bush was still thrown after the announcer responsible for his introduction at the opening night banquet introduced him as "The President of the United States, Robert Mugabe."
That incident was blamed on a faulty teleprompter, although President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, who heads the African Union, is on record as having said "The United States is overly attached to the idea of sanctions. The events in Zimbabwe are local. We refer to it as a 'little military discipline problem.' President Bush has had 'little military discipline problems,' does that make him the Mugabe of the modern world?"
Kikwete's comments came a week after the United States formally introduced sanctions against Zimbabwe before the United Nations.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe continues to experience record levels of inflation, violence and political intimidation.