Feb. 6, 2011
From Saudi Arabia to Uzbekistan to Chad, the U.S. keeps some very bad autocrats in power.
Embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime has received billions in U.S. aid, has been in the global media spotlight of late. He’s long been “our bastard,” but he’s not alone.
Let’s take a look at the other dictators from around the planet who are fortunate enough to be on Uncle Sam’s good side.
1. Paul Biya, Cameroon
Biya has ruled Cameroon since winning an “election” in 1983. He was the only candidate, and did pretty well, getting 99 percent of the vote.
According to the country’s Wikipedia entry, “The United States and Cameroon work together in the United Nations and a number of other multilateral organizations. While in the UN Security Council in 2002, Cameroon worked closely with the United States on a number of initiatives. The U.S. government continues to provide substantial funding for international financial institutions,
such as the World Bank, IMF, and African Development Bank, that provide financial and other assistance to Cameroon.”
Amnesty International details unlawful executions, journalists being thrown in jail and a host of other nasty business.
As part of a strategy to stifle opposition, the authorities perpetrated or condoned human rights violations including arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions and restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Human rights defenders and journalists were harassed and threatened. Men and women were detained because of their sexual orientation.
2. Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov (or Berdymukhamedov), Turkmenistan
Berdymuhammedov came to power in 2006 when his predecessor died and the constitutionally mandated successor was thrown in jail.