Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on the 21st of February, 1924 in the town of Kutama on the territory of current Zimbabwe. Before coming to power in 1987 he had spent 11 years in prison for participation in the national liberation movement. Robert Mugabe is famous, firstly, for his anti-American claims, as well as for the fact that in 2005 he the inflation reached the record 502% in the new 21st century.
Interestingly, but at the peak of inflation growth speaking in front of the journalists the president of Zimbabwe declared that the population of his country was “very happy”. What it meant to be “very happy” the president knew not through hearsay. A few years ago Mugabe won the state lottery’s main prize in the amount of 2 639 dollars. Curiously, but only those citizens took part in this lottery who had accounts in the National Bank of Zimbabwe, at this for every 135 dollars there was only one lottery ticket. Naturally, under the name of the current president there was registered the record number of tickets, that is why the prize did not keep him waiting for a long time. They say, the results of the lottery upset the citizens of Zimbabwe very much.
Robert Mugabe is a very temperamental person and a typical gambler by nature. A lot of his statements are made in a burst of passion and excitement. By the way, the attitude of the president towards gambling industry is not in the least bad: there are several casinos opened in the country, as well as race tracks with the totalizator, left to the Zimbabwean from English colonizers.
Augusto Pinochet was born on the 25th of November, 1915, in a Chile resort town of Valparaiso. In September 1973 he organized a putsch against the president of Chile Allende and after his murder took the post of the head of the state. Like many other “heroes” of the 20th century, he was distinguished by mass terror in relation to the “otherwise-minded”.
General Pinochet was quite a cruel and ruthless person, but under his rule hyperinflation was stopped and economic growth began.
The Chilean dictator had a negative attitude towards gambling industry, and there were no gambling-houses in the country during his rule. However, he had rather a loyal attitude to holding a state lottery. Maybe it was because the control over profits from lotteries was entrusted to his daughter Lucia Pinochet Hiriart?
Only after a few years upon retirement of Pinochet under the president Eduardo Free a new casino was opened in the country in 1997.
At present Augusto Pinochet is in Chile under house arrest and is awaiting the trial for evasion from tax payment. The trial, by the way, perhaps, will not even take place because of his age and extremely bad heath.
We can continue mentioning great dictators and rulers of the 20th century and argue about their attitude to gambling industry. Iosip Broz Tito, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Idi Amin, Joseph Desire Mobutu, Muammar Gaddafi, Suharto, Thieu, Somoza, Marcos, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Bokassa, Hissene Habre, Chombe, Franco, Duvalier, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Batista, Salazar and many others had different attitude to gambling. Some, like Marcos and Batista, liked it a lot, while others, like Gaddafi and Ceausescu, didn’t give it even a chance for existence.
While in Spain all power was in the hands of the general Franco Bahamonde Francisco, people were even afraid of talking about gambling-houses, but as soon as he died and the royal throne was occupied by Juan Carlos I, there were at once opened a number of casinos in the country. While Batista favoured gambling games, Fidel Castro, who substituted him, banned them at once. And it is clear. Batista was an American protÃ©gÃ©, and Fidel was the one who fought against American imperialism. That is why casinos simply lost favour.
A lot of rulers of the 20th century were quite venturesome personalities having revealed their excitable skills in politics, and not on the cloth of the gambling table in the gambling-house. Who knows, if their passion had been connected with visiting of gambling establishments, perhaps, our planet would be quieter.
Total struggle against gambling in the 20th century was under way only in one, at this “the most democratic” country – the USA. And after repressions, which failed, gambling industry there not only continued to exist, but started to flourish. The ideas of Marxism-Leninism did not give the right of existence of gambling establishments in the countries that chose the way of rise to radiant future in the form of communism, since the norms of the given ideology prescribed earning money by way of labour, and not in the hours of entertaining pastime. Countries practising traditional Islam do not allow gambling industry on their territory in accordance with their religious dogma. Despite this, Muslim Egypt, Tunis, Morocco and Lebanon have opened gambling-houses. The same was done by the Korean Republic, having demonstrated that ideology is ideology but if the country needs to earn money for the budget, gambling industry won’t hinder it.
Totalitarianism and gambling are not connected with each other in the least. The basis of struggle against gambling industry in 99 cases out of 100 is not the desire to protect the rights and interests of the citizens and the society, but the most trivial desire to win votes of people which any party, striving to come to power, pursues. Politics is rather a subtle thing.
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By Arthur Prudent
Arthur Prudent is the developer of www.bonus-map.com, web site covering gambling news, features reviews on Casinos, Poker rooms, bingos, Sports Betting bonuses promotions and more.
Gambling and the 20th century Rulers Part4