Halfway between authoritarianism and totalitarianism

Halfway between authoritarianism and totalitarianism

Since January of this year, together with Franco delle Donne, we have started to prepare thematic episodes of “podcasts” of Dietario Pública whose common thread is the examination of hybrid and/or openly authoritarian regimes. Each episode is a story with its determinants and its maturity or last limit of civil and institutional resistance. The question of how a totalitarian or autocratic government is constructed and (to some extent) legitimized has always been a problem. This should come as no surprise, since even closed dictatorships invoke forms of legality and, if not symbolic approval, at least consent based on the benefits some receive (exemplified by the military-government relationship in Cuba and Cuba). Venezuela, where the monetary power supported by the armed forces stands out more than the army). Others are doomed to apathy or oppression.

Anyone with the slightest connection to democratic principles will find little more than staggering contortion in China’s arguments that “this is a working democracy”. Xi Jinping’s attempt to resolve the ideological dispute is new (it is our attempt to dismantle the idea). Putin’s Russia still offers a core of principles that seek to frame the formation of increasingly despotic power by covering it with heroic myths and demands for reparation. Fighting against the liberal principles embodied by the perverted West, he won positions in the government of Viktor Orbán, which advocates illiberal democracy and manages to garner massive popular support despite an increasingly biased tone. Nayib Bukele, the representative of “millennial authoritarianism”, quickly attacked the very precarious structures of the Salvadoran state, which still enjoys broad support (see here and here). The situation is different in Cuba (the oldest regime whose call for democracy was more exposed than ever almost a year ago with the crackdown on the Spring 11 protests), Venezuela and Nicaragua, where supports were lost the day they learned to have them.

In both countries, governments have held elections and are enthusiastic about their proposals. They had an ideological core mixed with socialism and social neutrality, but they became instruments of power control put at the service of the members of the regime. Those who govern deny their competition (defined and persecuted as enemies of the nation) and occupy the state without distinguishing between it and the party, between themselves and the state. The organization of the shift from totalitarian power is always heavier than one might think, as is the transition from democracy to authoritarianism and from there to totalitarianism. Our first article today takes an in-depth look at the diet support strategies of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo; which, in addition to being static or linear, protrude in various directions.

Change of atmosphere, we continue with Bolivia and the examination of the dilemmas with which the government of the MAS, returned to power with the absolute majority in the elections, is confronted. We conclude with a new episode (the one mentioned here) in the unlikely story of the Iranian plane that crashed in Buenos Aires.

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Mapping political violence in Nicaragua
Elvira Cuadra Lira analyzes the establishment and maintenance of totalitarian power in Nicaragua, based on a patronage support network that includes shock groups and paramilitaries, but also other coercive and control measures.

Bolivia, what is happening with the MAS?
The movement for socialism came to power with Evo Morales. It was ideologically, programmatically and organically structured as a cohesive party, with a strong concentration of power in the leader. Now Luis Arce governs and the media talk about his split and a possible break. Natalia Peres and Ana Velasco Unzueta bring order and enlighten the debate.

Informant plan with stone guest
A plane with Iranian and Venezuelan crews is stopped in Ezeiza. The Paraguayan government links him to terrorism. The opaque ties between Iran and Venezuela are getting closer. The Argentine government does not appear to be directly involved, but it is in the midst of two fires. María Isabel Puerta’s review.


‘Podcast’.- Algeria and the curse of the possible natives. When the countries of Europe tried to divide and live around the world, and almost succeeded, Spain, North West Africa and France remained part of what is today l ‘Algeria. The country joined the wave of decolonization in 1962. The transition to democracy was aborted by a call from the state. From then on, Algeria was caught up in its brouhaha. Marta Tawil Kuri, Aurelia Mañé-Estrada, Miguel Hernando de Larramendi and Borja Monreal Gainza will participate. Let’s go with Franco delle Donne.

Happy reading and see you next time

Janina Welp
editorial coordinator

Original Spanish content

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