From Garry Kasparov in the Wall Street Journal:
I used to compare our vanishing democracy to that of countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe. But events have shown how wrong I was to make such comparisons – and how unfair I was being to Hugo Chávez and Robert Mugabe. Venezuela’s Mr. Chávez, little more than an oil-empowered hooligan, actually lost a recent referendum on expanding his powers by 2%. Vladimir Churov of the Russian Central Election Committee would never have stood for such an embarrassment! Even Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s old-fashioned despot, is too shy to publish victorious results in the latest elections. Perhaps Mr. Churov can be rented out to other would-be dictators who wish to maintain pleasant relations with the champions of democracy in America and the European Union.