Articles on Authoritarianism

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Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro are both classic Latin American strongmen. But that’s where the similarities end. David Mercado/Reuters

Bolivia is not Venezuela – even if its president does want to stay in power forever

Bolivia's populist leader has been in office for 12 years. He's a thorn in the US's side and an ally of the late Hugo Chávez. Now he's running for a fourth term. But that doesn't make him a dictator.
The January 30 address at the State of the Union reveals a lot about the American leader’s excessive character. Nicholas Kamm/AFP

What Donald Trump’s State of the Union address says about his autocratic tendencies

The State of the Union address, a traditional exercise for US presidents was marked this year by a great divergence on tone and words, showing the clear dictatorial style of the American leader.
A day after Donald Trump met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, he told lawmakers the U.S. should have more immigrants from places like Norway and not “shithole” countries like Haiti. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

‘Shithole countries’: Trump uses the rhetoric of dictators

Donald Trump's language has disturbing similarities to the words and verbal tactics used by fascists, including his cries of "fake news" and his obsessive exaggerations about his achievements.
Voter turnout was under 50 percent in Venezuela’s Dec. 10 mayor elections, which were boycotted by most opposition parties. Reuters

Venezuelan regime sweeps mayors races, tightening Maduro’s grip on power

Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party won 39 of 40 major mayoral races on Dec. 10. A victorious President Nicolás Maduro is now likely to call a snap presidential election early next year. Can he win?
People ride tricycle carts past a poster featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping along a street in Beijing. China’s ruling Communist Party has praised President Xi as a Marxist thinker, adding to intense propaganda promoting Xi’s personal image as he begins a second five-year term as leader. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China’s Xi sets his sights on the world

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been enshrined in the Communist Party's constitution as the sole legitimate interpreter of Chinese Marxism for the “new era.” Now he can look to the rest of the world.
For some, Spain’s crackdown on the Catalonian independence vote has raised the specter of the country’s authoritarian past. Reuters/Susana Vera

Catalonia’s referendum unmasks authoritarianism in Spain

Why did the Spanish state forcefully quash Catalonia’s referendum for independence? It is rooted in the country’s nearly 40-year dictatorship and its transition to democracy.
U.S. President’s apparent passion for cruelty speaks to a greater American illness. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Donald Trump’s passion for cruelty

Donald Trump seems to have a passion for cruelty, often publicly celebrating his investment in violence as a source of pleasure. Those tendencies represent symptoms of a broader American sickness.
With a new wave of authoritarianism in the United States and beyond, it’s time for universities and colleges to defend democracy. (Shutterstock)

Why universities must defend democracy

The rise of neo-Nazism under President Donald Trump signals a new wave of authoritarianism. Now more than ever, colleges and universities must help students become informed and compassionate citizens.
Cutting off the Maduro regime’s cash flow won’t help the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, where hunger, poverty and sickness are deepening the nation’s plunge into chaos. AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

Venezuela: Why Trump’s sanctions won’t work

New US sanctions against Venezuela deliver a clear condemnation of the Maduro regime's authoritarian maneuvering but overlook two key problems: Russian meddling and the humanitarian crisis.
In the face of rising protest, Venezuela’s government has called on the military to squelch dissent. Efecto Eco /Wikimedia

For Venezuela, there may be no happily ever after

Venezuela's opposition has called a 48-hour strike to stop the Maduro government from rewriting the nation’s constitution. But grassroots democracy may not be able to save the Bolivarian Republic.
Facing hunger, scarcity, sickness, protest and no clear path toward salvation, Venezuela is on the brink of something, but just what is not clear. ビッグアップジャパン/flickr

Global series: Venezuela’s collapse

The best news and analysis of Venezuela's dangerous descent into crisis, written by local economists and political scientists who are living it every day.

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