half a century of autocracy in a Syria in ruins

Few families can boast of running a family business for 50 years. In Syria, the Asad if you can. This November the Syrian President, Bashar el Asad, celebrates that half a century ago his father, Hafez, a young officer from the Syrian coast air forces, starred in the coup definitive that elevated his family to power. After that half a century, the country has 10 years under the bombs in his worst civil war. Despite half a million deaths and the displacement of half the population, this anniversary is not lived in Damascus with regret. In front of Bashar, oblivious to the economic crisis and destruction, an endless conflict is projected with only a possible winner: your name, el Asad.

The November 13, 1970, Hafez el Assad carried out a coup without shedding a drop of blood. It looked like yet another of the military uprisings that abruptly changed Syria’s history since its independence of France in 1946. But it was not like that. This soldier, who then had 40 years, came to power to stay. In his endeavor, he invested members of his confession alawi, a minority among a majority Sunni population, and installed the one-party police state Baaz.

With Hafez’s heavy hand, many alliances what, today they keep bashar with life. The one who was known as the “butcher of Hama”, by the 1982 massacre in this Syrian city by the anti-government protests led by the Muslim Brotherhood, it erected Syria as a Middle Eastern power. Your support for Iran During the war against Iraq (1980-1988) and his defense of the US intervention in Kuwait (1990), he earned valuable friendships with the Ayatollah regime and United States.

Anti-Israel trinity

Leader of the Arab world, Hafez always received praise for his strong position in the Golan Heights, Syrian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. Along with Iran and the Shiite militia Hezbollah from Lebanon, they made up the anti-Israel trinity. To this day, both forces maintain their support Bashar in his long war. Along with his father, ruler repressive and autocratic, the current 55-year-old Syrian president, resembles him in brutality.

When in the 2000 Hafez el Assad passed away at the age of 69 after almost three decades in power, his second son, the ophthalmologist Bashar, succeeded him in office. Educated in London, as if the West were a guarantee of greater openness, Syrian society expected of him reforms and moderation. “When a person who has no sense of responsibility assumes a mandate, he cannot get anything out of it except power, and the power without sense of responsibility just bring chaos, neglect and destruction of institutions, “he said in his inaugural address.

Repression or reforms

Bashar presented himself to the world as a lay and liberal leader that would bring the end of corruption to the country, break with the secrecy inherited from his father and would boost the Syrian economy. And so it was, in the beginning. Despite political repression inherent in the Assad dynasty, economic improvements and an openness to the world did come, introducing the diverse and wealthy Syria to tourism.

But that young president who took power with 34 years It now represents the image of a cruel and ruthless war with its civilian population. Unlike his predecessor, Bashar, who has spent half his term in conflict, is not the standard-bearer of the arab nationalism nor of socialism. Rather, it represents the dependence of autocratic leaders on foreign powers, like Russia and Iran in their case, and governing so that a oligarchy enrich himself at the expense of his people.

Return of refugees

On the week of the 50-year anniversary of the Assad dynasty in Syria, Bashar loses one of its pillars. The death the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid al Moallem, this Monday, leaves him orphan of his great defender; did not take long to accuse of “terrorists“to the protesters who took to the streets in the 2011 demanding his downfall. Inspired by Arab Spring, suffered Bashar’s brutality in the form of death, destruction and displacement.

Almost 10 years later, Bashar el Assad’s forces dominate more than half of the territory Sirius. Last week, Damascus and Moscow organized the conference for the return of Syrian refugees, boycotted by the United States and the European Union due to the lack of security in the country for their return. Isolated in his luxurious office, Bashar accused Western powers of blocking the return of refugees. Under the watchful eye of his father Hafez, Assads rule Syria like it belongs to them. After 50 years in your hands, Syria belongs to them.


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