Magazine ranks Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez among worst dictators
A Washington-based magazine ranked the leaders of Cuba and Venezuela
among the 23 worst dictators in the world.
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
As dictators go, neither Cuba's Raúl Castro nor Venezuelan President
Hugo Chávez measure up to Castro's brother Fidel, according to Foreign
Castro ranked 21st and Chávez 17th in a list of the world's 23 worst
tyrants published by the magazine. Fidel ranked 15th in a similar list
published in 2007 by Parade magazine.
A separate Foreign Policy article ranked Cuba 76th out of 177 countries
based on national stability, sandwiched between Guatemala at 75 and
Venezuela at 77.
The magazine described the younger Castro as ``afflicted with
intellectual astigmatism'' and ``pitifully unaware that the revolution
he leads is obsolete, an abysmal failure, and totally irrelevant to the
aspirations of the Cuban people.''
``He blames the failure of the revolution on foreign conspiracies --
which he then uses to justify even more brutal clampdowns,'' added the
magazine, based in Washington and published by Washingtonpost.Newsweek
Parade's 2007 list noted that Fidel Castro's ``decades-long refusal to
pass on the mantle of leadership has been his way of saying that two
generations of Cubans have come and gone without a single person being
worthy of leading the country . . . except his own brother.''
The dictators were ranked by George B.N. Ayittey of Ghana, president of
the Washington-based Free Africa Foundation, ``based on ignoble
qualities of perfidy, cultural betrayal, and economic devastation.''
First was Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, followed by Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe. Thirteen of the 23 rule African countries, and several others
rule nations in Central Asia that once formed part of the Soviet Union.
The list also includes the leaders of China, Iran and Myanmar.
In a separate ``Failed States Index,'' based on 12 measurements such as
refugee flows, economics, human rights violations and security threats,
Cuba ranked 76th out of 177 countries.
Cuba got its worst marks on the measurements of human flight,
deligitimization of the state, human rights, security apparatus,
factionalized elites and external intervention.
Haiti ranked 12th, Colombia 41st, Bolivia 51st, Nicaragua 66th and