Know Your Dictators 4

Freedom House 2018 big

I have been writing about dictators recently but I want to take some time out for an overview. In fact two of the nations that I looked into are not yet classified as dictatorships. They still hold marginally valid elections and maintain some order according to their founding documents. They still perceive themselves as free nations, but the world is beginning to see them as less free than they have been in the past. Poland and Hungary are making moves towards authoritarianism. There are a number of online articles on this topic. I summarized a few of them in my series called Know Your Dictators. It is fairly easy to judge for yourself what could happen in these two nations if they continue in their current direction. Venezuela has been on the list of dictatorships for two years.

If you go to the site “planet rulers” you can get a true graphic picture of which nations are still classified as free and which as less than free. The data for this year claims that 49 nations are dictatorships.

“As of today, there are 49 dictatorships in the world (19 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 12 in the Middle East and North Africa, 8 in Asia-Pacific, 7 in Eurasia 2 in Americas and 1 in Europe). “

There are currently 195 nations in the world. Do the math. Although 75% of nations still meet the Freedom House criteria for being mostly free, that means that 25% of nations are run by dictators. Some countries may move towards freedom and come off the list. The list is not static. Notice that two nations have been added to bring the number to 51.

NOT FREE Countries In 2018:

  1. Afghanistan – Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, President of Afghanistan
  2. Algeria – Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of Algeria 
  3. Angola – João Lourenço, President of Angola (since Sept 26, 2017; replaced Jose Eduardo dos Santos)
  4. Azerbaijan – Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
  5. Bahrain – King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain
  6. Belarus – Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of Belarus
  7. Brunei – Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah
  8. Burundi – Pierre Nkurunziza, President of Burundi
  9. Cambodia – Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia
  10. Cameroon – Paul Biya, President of Cameroon 
  11. Central African Republic – Faustin Archange Touadera
  12. Chad – Idriss Deby, President of Chad
  13. China – Xi Jinping, President of China 
  14. Congo, Dem. Rep. of – Joseph Kabila, President of Congo
  15. Congo, Rep of (Brazzaville) – Denis Sassou Nguesso, President
  16. Cuba – Raul Castro, President of Cuba 
  17. Djibouti – Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti
  18. Egypt – Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of Egypt 
  19. Equatorial Guinea – OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO, President
  20. Eritrea – Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea 
  21. Ethiopia – Girme Wolde Giorgis, President of Ethiopia
  22. Gabon – Albert-Bernard Bongo, President of Gabon
  23. Gambia – Adama Barrow, President of Gambia
  24. Iran – Hassan Rouhan, President of Iran 
  25. Iraq – Muhammad Fuad Masum, President of Iraq 
  26. Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbaev, President of Kazakhstan
  27. Laos – Bounnhang Vorachith, President (elected on Apr 19, 2016)
  28. Libya – Nouri Abusahmain, President
  29. Mauritania – Mohamed Ould Abd Aziz, President of Mauritania
  30. North Korea – Kim Jong-un, President of North Korea 
  31. Oman – Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, Prime Minister of Oman 
  32. Qatar – Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani
  33. Russia – Vladimir Putin, President of Russia 
  34. Rwanda – Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda 
  35. Saudi Arabia – King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia 
  36. Somalia – Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia
  37. South Sudan – Salva Kiir Mayardit, President
  38. Sudan – Omar H.A. Al-Bashier, President of Sudan 
  39. Swaziland – Mswati III, King of Swaziland 
  40. Syria – Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria
  41. Tajikistan – Emomalii Rahmon, President of Tadjikistan
  42. Thailand – Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand
  43. Turkey – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey – ADDED
  44. Turkmenistan – Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, President of Turkmenistan 
  45. United Arab Emirates – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
  46. Uzbekistan – Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan 
  47. Venezuela – Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela
  48. Vietnam – Tran Dai Quang, President of Vietnam
  49. Western Sahara – Brahim Ghali, President of Western Sahara – ADDED
  50. Yemen – Ali Abdallah Salih, President of Yemen
  51. Zimbabwe – Robert (Gabriel) Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe

This data is collected by an NGO called Freedom House which is described in this way in Wikipedia:

Freedom House is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) U.S. government-funded non-governmental organization (NGO) that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 1941, and Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt served as its first honorary chairpersons.

Freedom House offers a more detailed look at freedom around the world in this graphic:

Freedom in the world Freedom HOuse

Expect to see me continue my researches into dictators, although with 49+ strong men around the planet my coverage will not try for any great depth. This is something that I want to keep an eye on because, at this moment, the trend towards authoritarianism is on the upswing; and because I am seeing signs that America, to my astonishment, is also making the kinds of moves that often foreshadow that one person may be insinuating his way into dominance, a dominance that could destroy democracy in our own nation.

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