Foreign Policy is a largely left-wing mag founded by Richard Holbrooke, who pitched me at lunch to subscribe in France in the early '70s, which is still even-handed enough to reward the inveterate truffle-snuffer that I am with the occasional hiccup to right-of-center.
The always condescending, always hypocritical. sometimes hysterical Euro-left will disdain America's contributions to keeping it from becoming a Soviet slave-annex as Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Hungary became as a result of FDR's fatuous nincompoopery and Winston Churchill's grasping Realpolitik after the Second World War. But even these moral lepers cannot overlook a brutal dictator like Lukashenko,
often described as Europe's only remaining dictator. Having successfully abolished term limits, Lukashenko has ruled the country since 1994 and maintains complete control over the government, courts, and legislative process. Elections are decorative affairs, and opposition parties hold no seats in the rubber-stamp legislative assembly. Opposition activists, like the young woman above, are routinely arrested for demonstrating. Citizens need an internal passport to travel within the country.
We of course have the moral political equivalent of Lukashenko in the Castro brothers, giving Chinese and Russian offshore privileges to drill much closer to Florida that always hypocritical, often hysterical Nancy Pelosi allows the US to do---until suddenly BHO saw the light for everyone save California!
To give FP its due, Cuba and China are included among the world's worst, at 14 & 13 respectively:
Fidel Castro may have stepped down last year after 49 years in power, but Cuba remains a one-party state, now under Fidel's brother, Raúl. Freedom of movement and the right to choose one's residence and place of employment are severely restricted, and attempting to leave the island without permission is a punishable offense. Owning a cellphone and accessing the Internet from home were finally legalized in 2008, but the costs of both are far outside the reach of most Cubans.
Here's the unlucky 13's designation:
China is home to more than half of the world's "not free" population, according to Freedom House rankings. The Chinese Communist Party keeps a tight grip on political power, depriving Chinese citizens of the right to elect their leaders, participate in political opposition, or hold their government to account. China uses one of the most sophisticated and extensive systems of Internet filtering in the world and imprisons more journalists and more individuals for their online activities than any other country.
Of course, the demure FP editors don't want to mention "Chinese Take-Out," the political murder of "criminals" who are young and healthy enough that a shot to their [non-reimplantable] brains leaves potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of fungible body parts to be sold in the most gruesome secondary market ever devised by human beings.
If you have a strong stomach, a click-parade through the 21 selected most-enslaved will be a salutary excursion that will remind you how some political entities slide backwards into a Communist or Muslim hell [the majority of the 21 suffer from one or the other political/religious infections] and you will see how this has remained a most-seen and most commented on site since Independence Day of 2009.
Some of the comments show the delusionary anti-semitism of those who believe that Israel is still "in charge" of Gaza, which doesn't make the top 21. Nasty police state Syria with its 5 [FIVE] internal intelligence agencies is included, as a tribute to rational analysis on the part of the FP editors.