A massive March of Freedom was held in Minsk last Sunday – an event truly unprecedented for the post-Soviet country. And on Monday, August 17, an indefinite national strike was launched. Belarusians, who had been ruled by Alexander Lukashenko for 26 years already, were outraged by his latest brazen move to what they believe was rig the vote count. Sasha the 3%, as the latest memes brand Mr Lukashenko, drew himself another re-election with a staggering 80.1% of the vote (that's per the Central election Commission).
After the atrocities began as security officials cracked down hard on peaceful protesters, people have one demand to the "mustachioed roach" (yes, it's another derogatory nickname for Lukashenko courtesy of Belarusian activists): "Go away!"
It seems that "Batska" is not going to leave though
It seems that "Batska" ["Father" in Belarusian, a decades-long reference to Lukashenko] is not going to leave though. On Monday, addressing workers at the MKZT plant, Alexander Lukashenko said he did not intend to set up new elections. "We have held the elections. Unless you kill me, there will be no other elections," he said.
Well, it's not a safe thing to say. After all, although Lukashenko may be flattered by the label of "Europe's last dictator", he shouldn't forget how cracking down on people, which can never last forever, ended for other tyrants.
It would take too long to list them all, but even if we recall a few most prominent ones, Batska's prospects don't seem to be too rosy.The bloodiest dictator, Pol Pot, was arrested by his own entourage
Perhaps, heart attacks, strokes, and aneurysms are seen as an easy cause death for such people, no matter how cynical this may sound in the 21st century. Moreover, it can't be ruled out that this, too, happened with some help from their allies. For example, Pol Pot, the bloodiest dictator of our time (some sources say, during his reign of Kampuchea (Cambodia), killed up to 3 million people in a country with a population of 8.5 million) was arrested by his own entourage. He was put on house arrest and set to be handed to the new Cambodian authorities for prosecution or extradited to the United States. However, Pol Pot did not live to see this. According to the formal version, he died of heart failure, but some say he was actually poisoned.
By the way, few people knew Pol Pot by sight, unlike Benito Mussolini. When Duce attempted to flee Italy in April 1945 along with a detachment of Germans, the convoy was confronted by a group of local guerillas. They let the Germans go, while nabbing Mussolini, who had been sporting the Luftwaffe uniform. Being an easily recognizable figure played a cruel joke on him. Soon he was executed along with his mistress, while their bodies were transported to Milan and hung by their feet at one of the squares. The Italians would come up and beat the body of their late leader and spit in his face. The level of hate was so great that Mussolini's body was eventually disfigured beyond recognition.
In connection with the Belarus developments, people most often recall the Ceausescu story
However, in connection with the latest developments in Belarus, people most often recall rather recent events that rocked Romania just a few decades ago. Nicolae Ceausescu, despite his powerful Securitate security agency having intimidated the population for years (there is an opinion that in the mid-1980s, every third Romanian was their informant), has failed to retain power. Ceausescu's speech at a rally in Bucharest in front of "vetted proletarians" who were specially brought in, went down in history. During his address, "proletarians" expressed no approval. Instead, they chanted "Step down!" and "Rat!" Indeed, very similar to what happened to Lukashenko on Monday.
Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were the last individuals to be executed in Romania
In Ceausescu's fate, that rally was the beginning of his end. The escape of the Ceausescu couple from Bucharest ended with their detention (moreover, it was their driver who handed them down for prosecution). The trial was swift, and the verdict was "capital punishment". By the way, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were the last individuals to be executed in Romania. Soon the death penalty was abolished.
Saddam Hussein was luckier, one might say. At least his trial was not a sham show. It had been almost two years since Hussein's arrest by the U.S. military in 2003 before trial started. Precisely for this trial, death penalty was restored in Iraq. In 2006, Saddam Hussein was hanged. The video of the execution, recorded on a mobile phone and leaked to world media, was a shocker to many: when a noose was put around Hussein's neck, chants were heard: "Down with the dictatorship!" and "Go to hell!"
Tyrants always end bad
So no matter how much people fear and idolize their authoritarian leader, no matter how much power those leaders amass in their hands, boasting of being the ultimate decision-makers and seeing a "dictator" status as a compliment, one thing is obvious: tyrants always end bad.