Articles on Authoritarianism

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Unpopular authoritarian leaders like Nicolás Maduro depend on military backing to stay in power. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Is Venezuela’s president afraid of a coup d'etat?

Venezuela has freed 79 political prisoners in recent months, to global plaudits. But the hard-line regime has also charged 100 military officials with conspiracy. Does President Maduro fear overthrow?
Fewer than 20 countries worldwide have recognized the re-election of Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela’s president. Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Venezuela is now a dictatorship

Maduro's landslide May 20 re-election marks the official death of democracy in Venezuela. Dozens of nations worldwide have declared the vote illegitimate, and the US imposed new sanctions.
Despite his 20 percent approval rate, President Nicolas Maduro is almost assured a win in Venezuela’s May 20 election. The opposition says the vote is a “farce.” REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Venezuelans are boycotting their presidential election

The Venezuelan opposition is asking people not to vote in the country's May 20 election, which they call a 'farce.' President Maduro regime has jailed or blacklisted most of his competitors.
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.

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