an example of regime change

REGIME CHANGE. The GNAD doesn't tag as "regime change" a situation where the president/ruler steps aside but continues to rule from behind the scenes, sometimes through the new head of state. It does, however, tag as regime change a situation where the ruler loses both the office and commanding power, even though the oligarchy that supported the ruler remains intact. People power brought down the dictators of El Salvador and Guatemala in 1944; in Guatemala a sufficient power shift occurred to open the way for democratic elections, while in El Salvador oligarchical influence entered the temporary power vacuum and set up a new dictator. Both, in the GNAD, are tagged as "regime change," the better to call attention to such comparisons for study and strategy.

Chileans overthrow Pinochet regime, 1983-1988


On September 11, 1973, a military coup forced the democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende out of power. After the coup Augusto Pinochet established himself as the leader of Chile and set up a military dictatorship with the heavy involvement of his army. During this regime, Pinochet used repressive measures to suppress opposition to his rule, and supported politics that divided any opposition groups. Pinochet moved the country’s economic system away from socialist policies towards a market economy, gaining the support of the pro-capitalist portions of the

Czechoslovakians campaign for democracy (Velvet Revolution), 1989

Soviet Bloc Independence Campaigns (1989-1991)

By the end of World War II, the Soviet Union had invaded and taken over much of Czechoslovakia. The Communist Party officially came to power in February 1948, and under its rule dissidents faced persecution by secret police, censorship was enforced, Marxist-Leninist ideology was proclaimed mandatory in schools, and all schools, media, and businesses became the possessions of the state.

Zambians campaign for independence, 1944-1964


In order to strengthen their hold on political and economic power, the white settlers of British-controlled Northern Rhodesia sought to unite the British colonial territories of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland during the late 1930s and 1940s. This was a response to the growing strength of African organizations (e.g.

Malawians bring down 30-year dictator, 1992-1993

African Democracy Campaigns (early 1990s)

By the early 1990s, President Hastings Kamuzu Banda of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) had been president of Malawi for thirty years, ever since the country transitioned out of colonial rule. At the time, Malawi was a single-party state in which political parties were illegal.

Tunisians overthrow dictator and demand political and economic reform (Jasmine Revolution), 2010-2011

Arab Awakening (2011)

Over the past several decades, high unemployment, high food prices, and widespread poverty have characterized much of Tunisia. Government corruption and a paucity of political freedoms have also painted its landscape, making it exceedingly difficult for Tunisians to express dissent against the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party. However, on 17 December 2010, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi doused himself in paint thinner and set himself on fire in front of the Sidi Bouzid municipal office in response to the confiscation of his produce stand, his violent treatment a

East German protest emigration and Hungarian solidarity, 1989

Soviet Bloc Independence Campaigns (1989-1991)

“The pulling down of the Berlin Wall began in Sopron,” stated Lothar de Maiziere, East Germany’s last prime minister.

On the outskirts of Sopron, a small town on the border between Communist Hungary and democratic Austria, they had a picnic – a most unusual picnic. The organizers wanted to “act out the future in the present.”

Cubans general strike to overthrow president, 1933


For two years prior to this campaign there was a violent struggle to oust dictator Gerardo Machado: running gun battles, bombings, political assassinations. The leading violent group agreed to a ceasefire in July 1933 to allow for mediation, but smaller groups continued with some attacks.

Sudanese students, workers bring down Numeiri dictatorship, 1985


The Sudan has a history of popular uprisings to depose oppressive or disagreeable governments, prior to the 1985 insurrection. In 1964 the October Revolution consisted of a widespread general strike led by the National Front for Professionals. The organization joined forces with political leaders to create the United National Front (UNF) and, along with dissident military leaders, this coalition succeeded in dissolving the Abbud regime and transitioning to civilian rule.

South Koreans win mass campaign for democracy, 1986-87

Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s)

The massive South Korean nonviolent campaign against the tradition of authoritarian regimes happened only seven years after the notorious Kwangju Massacre of 1980—governmental mass violence that was intended to shut down completely the movements for social justice.

From 1980 to 1983 the government tried to “cleanse” the society of activists, purging or arresting thousands of public officials, politicians, professors, teachers, pastors, journalists, and students. Activists not arrested went quiet or continued their activities in low profile or secretive ways.

Sierra Leone citizens defend democracy, 1997-1998


Sierra Leone is a West African country of 6 million people. Now a constitutional democracy, dictators and one-party governments ruled for decades and the people endured periods of civil war.

In 1996 the country had its first multiparty elections and freely elected its first civilian government in 34 years. Hope soared. The following year, on May 25, a group of young military officers led a coup that overthrew the government. The new government called itself the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

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