dictators

Donald Trump speaks at the NRA-ILA's Leadership Forum at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Loving Dictators Is as American as Apple Pie

Trump has embraced yet another strongman, this time in Libya. But it’s not just a personal failing—it’s a national tradition.

Omar al-Bashir appears during a rally with his supporters in the Green Square in Khartoum on Jan. 9, 2019. (Sharaf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

It Takes a Village to Make a Monster

Omar al-Bashir is gone—but he was never the key to Sudan’s oppression to begin with.

President Omar al-Bashir appears at a rally with his supporters in Khartoum on Jan. 9, 2019. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

This Is the Uprising Sudan’s Genocidal Dictator Always Feared

The country’s current protests include all sections of society—and may soon topple Omar al-Bashir’s entire regime.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a military ceremony at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris on Oct. 24, 2017.  CHARLES PLATIAU (Charles Platiau/AFP/Getty Images)

Sisi Isn’t Mubarak. He’s Much Worse.

Egypt faced terrible repression during the Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak eras, but nothing like today’s sustained cruelty.

A supporter of Brazil's far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro takes part in a rally in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 21. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Not Just the Right That’s Voting for Bolsonaro. It’s Everyone.

Brazil’s populist firebrand is relying on conservative values, fear of crime, anger about corruption, and rampant fake news to gain support from across the political spectrum.

People make the fascist salute at La Basilica The Valley of Fallen in San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid on July 15, 2018, as they protest against the removal of Franco's remains from The Valley of Fallen. (JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Spain’s Dictator Is Dead, but the Debate About Him Lives On

Francisco Franco ran Spain with an iron fist for decades—and created myths about his rule that are only now starting to come undone.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Strongmen Are Weaker Than They Look

Authoritarians are on the rise around the world, but history shows they’re mostly helpless.

Former President Robert Mugabe during a speech on Nov. 8 in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images)

Mugabe Is a Goner, But His Looting Machine Is Here to Stay

Zimbabwe’s military didn’t topple the regime. It just restored the ruling party’s corrupt old guard to power.

Cambodian police officials patrol during a hearing at the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh on Nov. 16. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

Cambodia Becomes the World’s Newest One-Party State

With Chinese support, Hun Sen has effectively destroyed all opposition to his autocratic rule.

Students protest in Medellin, Colombia, on Oct. 12 during a protest in the framework of a general strike. (Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Images)

Is Populism Making a Comeback in Latin America?

Having rejected its demogogues just a few years ago, the region is now poised to welcome them back.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on February 24, 2015. (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ghost of Franco Still Haunts Catalonia

Mariano Rajoy’s use of violence against separatists wasn’t an aberration. It was an authentic expression of Spanish conservatism.

Cambodian people cover their heads with local newspapers as they wait to pray for the late former King Norodom Sihanouk at the cremation site near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on February 2, 2013.  A sea of mourners filled the streets of the Cambodian capital on February 1, for a lavish funeral for revered former king Norodom Sihanouk, who towered over six tumultuous decades in his nation's history.  AFP PHOTO/TANG CHHIN SOTHY        (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)

The ‘Cambodia Daily’ Is Dying in Darkness

Cambodia’s autocratic leader is trying to shut down his country’s most celebrated journalistic training ground.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an event at Trump SoHo Hotel, June 22, 2016 in New York City. Trump's remarks focused on criticisms of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Things Don’t End Well for Madmen

The president prizes "unpredictability," but history isn't on his side.

Incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame dances onstage after addresses supporters at the closing rally of the presidential campaign in Kigali on August 2, 2017.
Rwandans go the polls on August 4, 2017 in a presidential election in which strongman Paul Kagame is widely expected to cruise to a third term in office. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI        (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Even Critics of Rwanda’s Government Are Helping Paul Kagame Stay in Power

For every problem highlighted by local journalists, Rwanda’s strongman can present himself as the solution.

TOPSHOT - From left : President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron (hidden), US President Donald Trump, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chat at the belvedere of Taormina during the Heads of State and of Government G7 summit, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily.
The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Problem Isn’t Just Who Trump Has Offended — It’s Who He Hasn’t

While many of America’s democratic friends are reeling, another group of U.S. partners is visibly delighted by the president.

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Europe Questions America, Vietnam Comes Stateside, Noriega Dies: The Weekend Behind, the Week Ahead

What you might have missed over the weekend, and what to watch in the days to come.

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The Do’s And Don’t’s of Planning Birthday Parties: Robert Mugabe Edition

Who better to guide your birthday party planning than nonagenarian African autocrats?

Cuban President Fidel Castro, 71, speaks 24 February in Havana during a speech after he was reelected President of Cuba by the National Assembly. In a unanimous vote, Castro was reelected to another five year term.   AFP PHOTO/Adalberto ROQUE (Photo credit should read ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Fidel Was Hell

The longest-ruling dictator of the 20th century was a radical bent on transformational, alternative global development. Ironically, he left his country conservative, impoverished, and isolated.

Cuban President Fidel Castro delivers a 4:29-hour speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on September 26th, 1960.   AFP PHOTO/OAH (Oficina de Asuntos Historicos del Consejo de Estado)  FOR USE ONLY IN NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND INTERNET / AFP / OAH        (Photo credit should read OAH/AFP/Getty Images)

Will History Absolve Fidel Castro?

The legacy of Cuba’s socialist revolution is still very much in doubt.

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visits the model of the Oval Office at the Gerald Ford Presidential Musuem in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 30, 2016.  / AFP / Jewel SAMAD        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

10 Ways to Tell if Your President Is a Dictator

Just because the United States is a democracy now, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

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