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Articles on Dictatorship

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Everyday Russians, like these people in Moscow, may shoulder much of the burden of the world’s economic sanctions aimed at Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs. AFP via Getty Images

Economic sanctions may make Russians’ lives worse – without stopping Putin’s assault on Ukraine

Personalist dictators tend to shield the elites who support them from the economic pain of sanctions by pushing costs onto regular people.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, left, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 18, 2022. Sergei Guneyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

3 reasons Belarus is helping Russia wage war against Ukraine

Belarus’ alliance with Russia is a strategic factor in the Ukraine war. The country’s long-term dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, has indicated he will do as Russian President Vladimir Putin says.
A soldier stands guard in front of the Brazilian national flag on Army Day in Sao Paulo, 18 April 2019. Miguel Schincariol/AFP

Brazil: the road to Jair Bolsonaro’s militarised democracy

Don’t be fooled by the recent resignation of three members of the military in Brazil – the country is heading down an increasingly militarised path.
Muslim women in India protesting against the use of Sharia as a tool for oppression. anjay Purkait/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Muslim women are using Sharia to push for gender equality

Sharia is often portrayed as being brutal and barbaric. However, in many parts of the world, women are using Sharia to stop oppressive practices.
Protest signs on the ground before a march on March 28, 2021, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to denounce President Jovenel Moïse’s efforts to stay in office past his term. Valerie Baeriswyl/AFP via Getty Images

Haitians protest their president in English as well as Creole, indicting US for its role in country’s political crisis

Haitian president Jovenel Moïse is accused of overstaying his term, embezzling funds and dismantling parliament. Protests are a hallmark of his presidency – but the language of them has changed.
Victims of forced sterilizations protest in Lima, Peru, in 2014. Public hearings to uncover this dark chapter of the Fujimori dictatorship began in January. Erneseto Benavides/AFP via Getty Images

Forcibly sterilized during Fujimori dictatorship, thousands of Peruvian women demand justice

Forced sterilization of Indigenous women was a covert part of ‘family planning’ under Fujimori. Over 200,000 Peruvians underwent tubal ligations between 1996 and 2001 – many without their consent.
Foreign military students from the U.S. Navy’s Patrol Craft Officer course conduct a field training exercise at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi in 2009. Department of Defense

US-educated foreign soldiers learn ‘democratic values,’ study shows – though America also trains future dictators

The US Armed Forces run 14 programs in over 150 countries, providing education and training for roughly 70,000 foreign military personnel each year. What, if anything, are they learning?
Deploying riot police to suppress peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators in Belarus turned more people against the country’s autocratic leader. AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File

Belarus, explained: How Europe’s last dictator could fall

Pres. Lukashenka of Belarus has stayed in power for 26 years by being a master tactician. But he has seriously mishandled opposition protests, says a Belarus-born scholar of Eastern European politics.
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.
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.
Zimbabwe’s President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa was Robert Mugabe’s vice president and enforcer. Retuers/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s coup did not create democracy from dictatorship

Violence and uncertainty has followed Zimbabwe’s first modern election without Robert Mugabe. That’s not surprising: After 38 years of dictatorship, it takes more than a vote to build democracy.
The wife of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro reacts to an explosion during a public event, which the regime says was a drone attempting to assassinate the president (Aug. 4, 2018). Venezolana de Television via AP

Drone attack or no, Venezuela’s Maduro regime is probably here to stay

How long can a rogue regime survive assassination attempts, sanctions, bankruptcy, humanitarian crisis and mass unrest? When it comes to Venezuela, President Maduro may cling to power for some time.
Nicaragua, which overthrew its last violent dictator in 1979, is the only Latin American country since Cuba to stage a successful revolution. AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga

Nicaraguans try to topple a dictator — again

History shows that Latin American presidents usually don’t last long after they use violence to repress mass protests. Is Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega the next to fall?
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.

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