Find out how these dictators have given “crazy” a whole new meaning.
If history has taught us anything about dictators, it's that these powerful people tend to lack common sense and valuable judgement from time to time. Having that kind of control over entire countries can be so maddening that they just lose their mind and start acting kind of… strange. I mean, you know how power can make these people insane. Just go to your Twitter feed, and I'm sure you’ll have a laugh with a certain character that happens to be very popular right now and whose opinions on this particular platform have been controversial and widely popular.
However, if you thought this man was the worst cuckoo-head in charge of a country, then you must take a look at some of the surprising nonsense that other dictators have done throughout history.
Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic)
Also known as “El Jefe” (The Boss), Rafael Trujillo was the leader of the Dominican Republic for 31 years. Among the very odd things he did while ruling this country, he created a very ridiculous event called the Fair of Peace and Fraternity of the Free World, with the sole purpose of crowning his daughter Queen. To do so, he used a third of the national budget! At this event, he also honored his wife as a remarkable writer and philosopher, even though she was almost illiterate. Moreover, Rafael Trujillo renamed a lot of places, roads, buildings, and mountains after himself. On top of that, he asked every church to use the phrase, “Dios en cielo, Trujillo en tierra" (God in Heaven, Trujillo on Earth). Talk about a huge ego.
Idi Amin (Uganda)
Idi Amin was a dictator who ruled Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Under his regime, over 100,000 civilians and politicians died while “serving the country.” It was said that Amin used to eat his enemies, or when he didn’t feel like it, he just gave them to the crocodiles. In his madness, he declared himself King of Scotland, “Conqueror of the British Empire,” and “President for Life.” Nevertheless, he was best known as “The Butcher of Uganda,” since the total number of deaths he was accountable for remains unknown. Luckily, in 1979, his dictatorship came to an end when Tanzanians took control of the capital of Uganda, Kampala. Eventually, these actions forced Amin to flee from the country.
Francois Duvalier (Haiti)
Commonly known as "Papa Doc," Francois Duvalier was “President for Life” of Haiti. Far from being a cruel dictator or killing lots of people, this man was very creepy. Papa Doc believed he was an incarnation of the voodoo spirit of the dead, Baron Semedi, because, of course, that’s what every country is looking for in a governor: a voodoo priest that has friends “on the other side.” This turned out to be very helpful for him, because inspiring fear through death was a very effective way to control his people. Besides being a very scary dictator, he claimed to be responsible for John F. Kennedy's death because of a voodoo curse he sent by collecting the air around the former president.
Kim Jong-un (North Korea)
The despised dictator took control of North Korea in 2011, after his father's death. Well, there’s just so much to say about this man, but I’ll just talk about some of the weirdest facts about him. According to North Korean “trustworthy” sources, Kim is the greatest golfer in history. He finishes 38 under par everytime he plays and can achieve about five holes-in-ones per game. Rumor has it that he's a big fan of James Bond movies, but the reason he watches them is because he thinks these are real life documentaries. To make it even more interesting, it is said that he actually died five years ago, and a man resembling this dictator has taken his place. Nevertheless, nobody really knows if this is true or not. If you feel like you need a lighter introduction to this man, you can always watch James Franco’s The Interview.
Hugo Chávez (Venezuela)
Chávez was a Venezuelan dictator who ruled from 1999 to 2013. Among his oddities, he claimed that George W. Bush was the Devil and that he possessed an “earthquake weapon” with the power to release the terrible earthquake that killed thousands of civilians in Haiti, and this is just the beginning. At some point, he blamed capitalism for exterminating everything good in this planet, and he even said that it probably killed all extraterrestrial life: “It would not be strange to hear that there was life in Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived, and finished off the planet.”
While these are just a few examples, there are many more rulers throughout history that show the creepy ways power can corrupt a person. I can't believe that these people had the power to change the world and do greater good, but instead, chose to take the nonsensical path and make us lose faith in humanity with their decisions. And we thought that the Twitter-maniac was too much...
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Photo credit: Tony Futura