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.

Filipinos campaign to overthrow dictator (People Power), 1983-1986

Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s)

Ferdinand Marcos was elected president of the Philippines in 1965. Marcos was reelected in 1969 and when barred to run for a third term, he declared martial law and gave himself near absolute power. Marcos assumed full control of the military, dissolved congress, and had many of his political opponents and critics arrested. One of his more prominent critics had been Senator Benigno Aquino who was prepared to challenge Marcos in the 1973 election, had it occurred.

Colombians overthrow dictator, 1957


The strikes and demonstrations that deposed President Gustavo Rojas Pinilla of Colombia were planned somewhat day to day and began as reactionary actions in response to Rojas’s attempts to hold power indefinitely. The opposition to Rojas had a wide base, across social classes and political party lines, and varied spokesmen, from students to political leaders to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. This was a result of the growing discontentment with the direction of the Rojas regime.

Chileans overthrow dictator Carlos Ibañez del Campo, 1931


In February 1931, in the face of an economic crisis, the Chilean Congress granted President Carlos Ibáñez Del Campo authority to enact any necessary measures to keep Chile from further depression. As the value of exports dropped and unemployment rose, Ibáñez increased taxes, stopped public works projects, and cut governmental wages. He also announced that he would maintain order with military force if necessary.

Algerian citizens nonviolently intervene to prevent civil war, 1962


After over seven years of a harsh and bloody war between Algeria’s socialist National Liberation Front (FLN) and the French military, Algeria had finally claimed its independence from France in 1962. However, internal turmoil among the state’s leaders threatened to disrupt the country’s peace. At a FLN party congress in late May 1962, one of the leading FLN members, Ahmed Ben Bella, convinced the FLN to vote out the government-in-exile, the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (GPRA), and its leader Ben Youssef Ben Khedda.

Central African Republic teachers strike for arrears, 2002


Starting in 2001, rebels supporting the leader François Bozize attempted coups to overthrow President Ange-Félix Patassé in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. The political unrest during this time resulted in a drop of the country’s economy. The government fell behind in payments to many civil servants, such as teachers, and made a priority of paying soldiers to fight the rebels. The teachers demanded that the government pay them nine months of their salaries from the total of twenty-three months in arrears.

Malians defeat dictator, gain free election (March Revolution), 1991

African Democracy Campaigns (early 1990s)

General Moussa Traoré obtained power in Mali in 1968 when he led a military coup d’etat that overthrew the left-leaning nationalist government that had ruled since 1960. Opposition towards Traoré grew during the 1980s, but didn’t fully emerge until the 1990s. During this time, Traoré imposed programs to satisfy demands of the International Monetary Fund, which brought increased hardship upon the country’s population while elites lived in luxury.

Peruvians campaign to overthrow Dictator Alberto Fujimori (The March of the Four Directions), 2000


Alberto Fujimori took office in 1990. Soon Fujimori engaged in a brutal crusade using anti-human rights measures to attempt to break down terrorist groups (Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement). And on April 5, 1992, Peruvians witnessed how their president, Alberto Fujimori, with the aid of armored tanks on the streets, unconstitutionally dissolved the Congress of the Republic. Nevertheless, 80 percent of the population still backed the president after the auto-golpe (self-coup).

East Timorese activists campaign for independence from Indonesia, 1987-2002


East Timor, a portion of the Indonesian archipelago, was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century. It was not until 1975 that Portugal decolonized the area, at which point East Timor declared independence. Shortly after this, however, the Indonesian army, under the orders of Indonesian President Suharto, invaded and annexed East Timor. 60,000 East Timorese were killed or died of starvation during the invasion.

Uruguayans general strike against the military government, 1984


Before 1973, Uruguay had been one of few countries in South America with a near perfect record of political stability and a strong democracy (others included Chile and Costa Rica). The military coup in 1973 came as a profound shock to Uruguay. To make matters worse, this once peaceful nation was now living under a regime that used fear, threat, and intimidation to keep control of its populace.

South Vietnamese Buddhists initiate fall of dictator Diem, 1963


Following the collapse of French colonial administration in Vietnam in 1954, the country was temporarily divided, with Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam in North Vietnam, and Emperor Bao Dai's State of Vietnam in the South. The Geneva Conference peace agreement ending the French Indo-China war included a provision for nationwide elections in 1956. Soon after the country was divided, Ngo Dinh Diem had proclaimed himself president of South Vietnam by means of a fraudulent election.

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