Freedom is a vital part of what makes a country prosper. And yet democratic values across the globe seem to be on a downward trend. Less than half of all countries in the world are considered truly free.
In fact, for the past 11 years there has been a decline in global freedom. There have been setbacks in all parts of the world from Brazil to Poland to South Korea. But by far the worst abuse of democratic morals takes place in The Middle East and North Africa.Freedom House divides the world into six areas and discusses setbacks and progress in each. The first of which is Sub-Saharan Africa and the 49 countries it encapsulates. Freedom in this area is constantly threatened. Only 18% is considered truly free while 82% is considered not free or partly free. There were many major events in the Sub-Saharan region that exemplify the state of democracy.
Political disorder ensued after protests in ethiopia caused an explosion of discontent amongst the general public. Security forces were then used lethal force to silence protesters in the Oromia and Amhara areas. Along with this a state of emergency was established which broadened the governments already extensive powers to suppress rights of expression, assembly, and movement. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the president Joseph Kabila was able to postpone a constitutionally mandated election.
This was a huge encroachment of democratic values. The Kabila regime then proceeded to suppress free speech by blocking social media that opposed the decision. Widespread disregard for rights and continued abuse of democratic morals are what plague the Sub-Saharan region. If these were to be checked then many countries in this area would be much more free and possibly prosperous.A little closer to home is the American region.
While many of us believe that the Americas are the freest countries, many South American countries are on a downward spiral. One example is Venezuela and the mismanagement by their president that has brought them to the point where they aren’t even considered free. When citizens are unable to keep their leaders in check things like this become possible. In the neighboring Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega was able to stack the judiciary and deteriorate independent media to the point that he had practically eliminated all opposition in his elections. This is a gross abuse of executive power and is detrimental to freedom of expression and the people of the country.One final example of the downward trend in freedom is the political scene in Brazil.
Not only has the impeachment of president Dilma Rouseeff preoccupied and impeded government functions, but it has done little to solve key issues. These include allegations of bribery, influence peddling and embezzlement. This kind of corruption and misuse of power only leads to the downfall of democratic principles and is incredibly detrimental to the health of the country.