To Buck Global Pressure, Latin America’s Dictators Turn to ‘Isolation-Proofing’

To Buck Global Pressure, Latin America’s Dictators Turn to ‘Isolation-Proofing’
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, accompanied by first lady Cilia Flores, speaks at a press conference after he voted in the ruling party’s primary elections, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 8, 2021 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

Many Latin American countries have grappled with democratic backsliding in recent years. But recent sham elections in Venezuela and Nicaragua marked a new low. 

On Sunday, the regime led by Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro held municipal and regional polls that were widely seen as rigged, resulting in ruling party candidates taking a vast majority of gubernatorial, mayoral and local council seats. 

And earlier this month, Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega oversaw his own rigged elections. After putting seven opposition candidates behind bars during the campaign, Ortega claimed a fourth consecutive term in office. According to an independent voting rights group, turnout was abysmal, at less than 20 percent.

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