Articles on Authoritarianism

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Trump, like Obama before him, has enjoyed a close relationship with Saudi Arabia’s royal family. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Saudi Arabia is a repressive regime – and so are a lot of US allies

Critics say Trump's defense of Saudi Arabia in the Khashoggi affair betrays American values. But many presidents have cozied up to dictators, ignoring human rights abuses to serve US interests.
Costa Ricans held a march in solidarity with Nicaraguan refugees on Aug. 25, 2018. An estimated 500,000 Nicaraguans live in Costa Rica, with more arriving daily as crisis in the country deepens. Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate

Migrant money could be keeping Nicaragua’s uprising alive

Nicaraguan migrants send over US$1 billion home each year. This money has played a changing role in domestic politics – first boosting the Ortega regime and, now, sustaining the uprising against him.
Mexican soldiers killed up to 300 student protesters and arrested 1,000 more on Oct. 3, 1968, in an event that’s come to be known as the Tlatelolco massacre. AP Photo

Massacres, disappearances and 1968: Mexicans remember the victims of a ‘perfect dictatorship’

Fifty years ago, soldiers gunned down hundreds of student protesters in a Mexico City plaza. It was neither the first nor the last time Mexico's army would be deployed against its own citizens.
Crowds protesting the forced retirement of judges, in front of Poland’s Supreme Court building, Warsaw. AP/Czarek Sokolowski

Poland’s judicial purge another step toward authoritarian democracy

With its attempt to purge the country's courts of 40 percent of its judges, Poland's right-wing ruling party passed another milestone on the path towards establishment of a one-party state.
A man reads a newspaper the day after the presidential and parliamentary elections in Istanbul, June 25, 2018. Aris Messinis/AFP

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the political giant with a cane

The Turkish election highlights the growing strength of Turkish opposition despite the defeat and approves of a president who could be weaker than he would like to appear.
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.

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