America Abroad: Why the People Cheer the Bad Guys in a Coup

Why the People Cheer the Bad Guys in a Coup

FOR ABOUT A DECADE, DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN ON A roll. The revolution began in Latin America, as one junta after another gave way to an elected civilian government. Then, with the collapse of Soviet communism, people power spread to Eastern Europe and much of Eurasia. In several areas of Africa and the Far East too, despotism and minority rule are on the defensive or in retreat.

Recently, however, there have been stirrings of counterrevolution. Again the early warning signs are in Latin America. In February an obscure Venezuelan army officer, Lieut. Colonel Hugo Chavez Frias, came within a hairbreadth of toppling...

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