Monday, August 14, 2006

A bad year for dictators

Is this an omen? News has just come in that the one-time dictator of Paraguay, Alfredo Stroessner, is seriously ill and possibly near death.

One of the most unsavoury dictators to grace the South American stage (and that’s saying something …), Stroessner ruled Paraguay for 35 years until he was toppled by a military coup in 1989. Since then, he has lived in comfortable exile in Brazil.

Aged 93, he is supposed to be in the intensive care unit of a hospital in the capital, Brasilia, recovering from a hernia operation, as you can read in this Reuters dispatch.

The only Latin American dictator that has had a longer tenure in office is … you guessed right … Fidel Castro, who has ruled Cuba since January 1959.


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