6 Politicians Who Abused Their Power Like Bratty Toddlers
They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but it's much more entertaining when absolute power corrupts hilariously. We'd all remember Mussolini a bit differently if he'd risen to power and immediately insisted that all dogs wear birthday hats or something. And believe it or not, that kind of thing does happen. For proof, we offer the following politicians, who managed to disregard the law and all rules of a civilized society in the funniest ways possible.
A Mexican Official Closed Down A Restaurant Because It Wouldn't Give His Daughter A Table
Every daughter is her father's precious little princess, but that doesn't technically make any of them royalty. Humberto Benitez Trevino seemed to have forgotten that in 2013, when his 20-something-year-old daughter Andrea called him up and told him that Maximo Bistrot, a hip restaurant in Mexico City, was being mean to her. They weren't. They just told her that a specific table that she wanted wasn't currently available. But by the time it was, she'd already had her dad, the attorney general for consumer protection, on the line. Shortly after Andrea's call, officials from her father's department showed up and, by sheer coincidence, found enough administrative violations to close down Maximo Bistrot. However, the world's tallest baby then made the mistake of bragging about her adult tantrum on Twitter.
If you never learned Spanish ... consider yourself lucky.
Corruption has been a hot-button issue in Mexico for close to always, and to see it coupled with such bratty entitlement was too much fo people to endure silently. After a whirlwind of citizen outrage, the restaurant was allowed to reopen, and Trevino was eventually forced to resign. As for Andrea, her father has undoubtedly grounded her.
But not really.
Venezuela Banned Mexico's Ex-President For Trash-Talking Their Soccer Team On Twitter
During the 2015 Copa America games (South America's Super Bowl, basically) former Mexican president Felipe Calderon took to Twitter to accuse Venezuela's team of playing dirty. Now, this is sports we're talking about -- anything short of a bomb threat is to be taken as good-natured rivalry. So Venezualan President Nicolas Maduro of course calmly responded to these accusations... by having Congress declare Calderon "persona non grata."
"Persona non grata" is essentially a lifetime ban from the entire country. Once the decree went into effect, Calderon was forbidden from EVER entering Venezuela, even if it was to retrieve a baseball that had fallen into their yard. Calderon, to his credit, took the news rather well, even stating that it was an honor to be banned by "a despot." The fact that Venezuela only came in ninth (out of 12) in the tournament probably also helped take the sting out of the whole thing.
An Indian Minister Mobilized The Entire Police Force To Find His Stolen Buffaloes
When Azam Khan had seven prize buffaloes stolen from his farm, he sent the entire local police force looking for the animals faster than you can ask "But what about, uh ... other crimes?" Some reports say that hundreds of police officers were on the case, combing the surrounding area for more than 24 hours. When they didn't find anything, sniffer dogs were called in.
"I smell bullshit!"
In the end, the buffaloes were found, and 10 locals were detained and charged with cow-napping. As for the police officers who were on duty when the buffaloes were stolen, they were suspended for "dereliction of duty" and faced "harsh punishment" to appease Khan, a man so nutty that he thinks his animals are more famous than Queen Victoria. And god help you if you say they aren't -- he'll probably send the army to your door.
"You are charged with bulltrayal and two counts of mootiny."
The Mexican Government Staged A Fake Police Raid For The Cameras
In 2006, Mexican police forces rescued three kidnap victims from their captors, and on live television, for good measure. It was a dual victory for justice and ratings ... Except for the fact that it was all fake.
Oh, the criminals were all real. It's just that they had in fact been apprehended the day before the raid, with no one there to film it, which foiled the government's chance of looking good on TV. So they came up with an ingenious plan: They would put the arrested criminals and their victims back out there, call up the local TV stations, and then "bravely" storm in to "rescue" the victims and save the day like they did earlier!
It's basically a much darker spin on the plot of an episode of Three's Company.
The stunt wasn't without its consequences. One of the kidnappers, a French citizen named Florence Cassez, initially got 60 years for her role in the kidnapping. However, the Supreme Court of Mexico reviewed her case and decided that the fake raid had violated her rights, so she was freed and returned to France. Presumably because she never signed her reality TV show waiver.
Muammar Gaddafi's Entire Rule Was An Epic Humblebrag
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Lionel-Richie-loving, Canada-corrupting former dictator of Libya, was a megalomaniac who desperately wanted to appear humble. In fact, the only reason he was known as Colonel Gaddafi was that he never promoted himself to general, claiming that in his Utopian egalitarian socialist Islamic paradise, there was no need for high ranks. Of course, if he couldn't be promoted past colonel, neither could anyone else, so "colonel" became the new highest rank in his military.
"In fact, you are MY dictator!" he'd say to the men he tortured.
To cement his status as your friendlier, more "down to Earth" ruler, Gaddafi would also receive foreign dignitaries in a tent ... a bulletproof tent that needed its own plane when the colonel traveled abroad. At one point, while attending a UN meeting in New York City, he even camped out on (who else) Donald Trump's lawn.
Considering how much money he spent trying to look spartan, it should surprise no one that after his death, they discovered Gaddafi's personal compound was decked out with more bling than the cover of Scrooge McDuck's rap album, including a gold mermaid couch in the likeness of his daughter.
OF COURSE the statue is topless.
Burma's Military Junta Mandated Vehicular Mayhem For "Good Luck"
In 1970, Burma's brutal military ruler, General Ne Win, was worried that his country's politics were drifting too far to the left. After consulting his astrologer (always sound political practice!), he decided to cosmically counteract creeping communism by switching the side of the road his people drove on, from left to right. See? Already there's less left! Brilliant! Anyway, that's why all of Burma woke up one day to a frightening Mad Max reenactment.
"I live, I die, I live again ... because I'm a Buddhist, and that's what we believe in!"
Due to a little problem called "being an international pariah," Burma couldn't import vehicles with the steering wheel on the left. They had to buy cheap used cars from Japan, which puts steering wheels on the right. Forty years later and everyone there still drives around with huge blind spots. Even riding the bus is a mortal game of Frogger, because the doors are on the wrong side and passengers have to disembark in the middle of the fucking road.
The Rosa Parks of the Burmese revolution merely demanded to get off at a bus stop.
Incidentally, this wasn't the only time that Burma's junta went mad for astrology. In the 1980s, they issued bank notes in the supposedly lucky but extremely awkward denominations of 15, 35, 45, 75 and 90 kyat, which caused a financial crisis. In 2005, they moved the capital, literally overnight, from Yangon to Naypyidaw -- a brand-new, purportedly riot-proof city secretly built in the middle of the jungle, just because the location had a better feel.
Weird, then, that the country's ruling military council was dissolved in 2011. You'd think the Board of Astrologers (an actual government department!) would have seen that one coming.
Abraham lives in Mexico and he loves tacos de suadero and gorditas de chicharron. You can say hi to him on Twitter here, or visit his DeviantArt here. Cass Wong lives in Hong Kong, where parody writes itself.
For more insane things done by the powerful, check out 6 Rulers Who Abused Their Power In Hilariously Insane Ways and The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Rulers Of All Time.
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