THE FRIENDLY DICTATORS
Meet the Friendly Dictators - three dozen of America’s most embarrassing “friends”, a cunning crew of tyrants and corrupt puppet-presidents who have been rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to U.S. interests.
Traditional Dictators seize control through force and often are self-styled “Generals.” Constitutional Dictators hold office through voting fraud or severely restricted elections and are frequently mouthpieces for the military juntas which control the ballot boxes. Both types of dictators are covered here, along with a few tyrannical kings. but don’t look for “enemy dictators” (communists and the like) in this set of cards. These are America’s allies, strange and undemocratic as they may be.
Friendly Dictators often rise to power through bloody CIA-backed coups and rule by terror and torture. Their troops may receive training or advice from the CIA and other U.S. agencies. “Anti-communism” is their common battle cry and a common excuse for political repression. They are linked internationally through extreme right-wing groups such as the World Anti-Communist League Strong Nazi affiliations are typical - some have been known to dress in Nazi paraphernalia and quote from Mein Kampf, while others offer sanctuary for actual Nazi war criminals.
Friendly Dictators usually grow rich, while their countries’ economies go down the drain. U.S. tax dollars and U.S. backed loans have made billionaires of some; others are international drug dealers who also collect CIA paychecks. Rarely are they called to account for their crimes.
Friendly Dictator Trading Cards from 1990, drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz . Click the link for bios and more dictators. Text by Dennis Bernstein & Laura Sydell