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Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten Other Despots Who Need to Go

Posted By on Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Page 2 of 2

5. Raul Castro, Cuba
Even lefties who couldn't admit that Fidel Castro's Glorious Revolution was a dismal failure for the Cuban people had to do a little reassessment when Fidel handed over the reins to his brother Raul in 2008.

Yes, Fidel had been a sexy, beisbol-playing revolutionary, but he became a dictator and a megalomaniac, and hundreds of thousands of Cubans chose to drown attempting to get to Miami rather than live in the "workers' paradise" he created. Even today, Cubans lack basic freedoms. (Any unauthorized gathering of three or more people is technically illegal.) It's been time for regime change for decades; that only becomes more clear with the thuggish Raul Castro running the show.

4. Than Shwe, Burma
This guy is such a control freak, he chose to let an untold number of his people die after 2008's Cyclone Nargis rather than allow in humanitarian aid workers. That's unforgivable.

3. Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, Sudan

Al-Bashir seized power in a 1983 coup, but it's only in, oh, the last decades or so that things have been truly horrible for Sudan's citizens. Ever heard of Darfur? That blood is on Al-Bashir's hands; he basically unleashed the janjaweed on the southern half of his country, funding the murderous militia group as it unleashed a reign of terror on citizens.

The result? Rape, genocide and a civil war that raged for years. Al-Bashir was charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court last year, but he remains in power.

2. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe
Like Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe was once a revolutionary (and a Western darling), overthrowing the white-backed Rhodesian government to establish the Republic of Zimbabwe. But something has changed in recent decades -- the guy who crusaded to give the people power has instead become a repressive dictator. His nation's economy is in ruins (inflation is in the multi -million percent), dissent is not tolerated, and the poorest of the poor suffer along with the once-prosperous middle class. A Mugabe-sponsored program to "drive out the trash" saw the homes of at least 300,000 slum dwellers destroyed -- basically leaving them as homeless refugees in their own country.

1. Kim Jong Il, North Korea

Kim Jong Il has been in power since 1994, and in that time, North Korea has only gotten progressively more hellish for its citizens. More than 200,000 languish in prison camps. And while the people are starving, dictator Kim Jong Il still wastes millions on a nuclear program.

Since the dictator is apparently a film buff, some Americans hoped he might catch his pathetic portrayal in Team America: World Police and be humiliated enough to quit on the spot. Didn't happen. But if the embarrassment of being parodied by the South Park guys couldn't do the trick, we can only hope that the prospect of being run out of town on a rail, Egypt-style, will get him pondering abdication.

Yes, we can dream.

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