The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy

By William J. Dobson

In this riveting anatomy of authoritarianism, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us contained in the conflict among dictators and people who may problem their rule. fresh historical past has obvious an important second within the warfare among dictators and democracy—with waves of protests sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots falling in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. however the Arab Spring is barely the most recent entrance in a world conflict among freedom and repression, a conflict that, until eventually lately, dictators were profitable hands-down. the matter is that today’s authoritarians aren't just like the frozen-in-time, ready-to-crack regimes of Burma and North Korea. they're ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and the world over attached, and feature changed extra brutal types of intimidation with refined coercion. The Dictator’s studying Curve explains this old second and gives the most important perception into the struggle for democracy.

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I had the chance to fulfill Chávez and have interaction with him. i presumed, ‘This is the fellow who's going to remodel Venezuela. ’ ” The transformation that followed—for his nation and himself—wasn’t what he anticipated. In 2004, whereas serving because the mayor of Baruta, a comparatively prosperous municipality in Caracas, Capriles used to be arrested for inciting an assault at the Cuban embassy throughout the 2002 coup opposed to Chávez. in reality, Capriles were invited to the embassy, which sat in his district, to aim to dissuade rioters from looting the Cuban ambassador’s place of abode. within the aftermath, the Cuban ambassador, Germán Sánchez Otero, even thanked Capriles for in my opinion coming to his relief. however, Capriles was once imprisoned for 2 years at the trumped-up fees. To hold up a last verdict, the govt. transferred his case from one pass judgement on to the subsequent, as every one recused himself. eventually, it used to be handed between greater than 40 judges prior to he got a last verdict. In 2008, after 4 years and units of trials, he was once declared blameless. in this time, he had inadvertently accomplished one other first: whereas he sat in legal, a lot of the time in solitary confinement, he was once between Chávez’s first political prisoners. With the fees opposed to him dropped, Capriles got here again with a vengeance. In 2008, his victory within the race for governor of Miranda used to be one of many largest for the competition camp. Miranda is Venezuela’s second-most-populous kingdom, with greater than 3 million humans, and arguably an important politically. probably a fair higher sting for Chavistas was once that the guy Capriles defeated, Diosdado Cabello, used to be a key Chávez best friend, sometimes called the “super minister. ” Underlining how bracing a loss it used to be for Chávez, Capriles says that “it’s like defeating Raúl Castro. ” in fact, should you beat Chávez’s right-hand guy, there are results. Capriles used to be met with an in a single day attack on his skill to control the kingdom. Chávez instantly started to strip Capriles’s younger executive of its assets. With the aid of an aide sitting in the back of him, Capriles starts to tick off the prices of his successful the final election. Chávez closed 19 of his hospitals and 250 emergency and first care facilities and seized highways, airports, and nation govt land. greater than $200 million used to be lifted from his funds, and 7 thousand kingdom staff grew to become federal govt staff. Capriles places his hand to his throat and says, “He is slowly attempting to drown the country. ” The rally that introduced us to Chaguaramal fundamental university is a small a part of Capriles’s plan for fending Chávez off. one of many governor’s aides gave me a journey of the varsity earlier than Capriles arrived. It was once pretty well as one may anticipate. study rooms with chalkboards, bulletin forums, and desks. but if we opened the door to what i thought will be one other lecture room, it wasn’t. in the back of the door used to be whatever thoroughly unforeseen: a dentist’s chair and exam room. because the aide defined, as the critical executive had closed such a lot of wellbeing and fitness amenities in retribution for Capriles’s election victory, they have been taking the possibility of renovating the college to supply the neighborhood with extra providers.

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