They say that when the Sandinista revolutionaries stormed the palace of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, they only found his uniform flung over a sofa. It was too symbolic to be true, but it apparently happened. This image of hollowness and illusory power has ever since persisted in Latin American literature, most vividly in Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece Autumn of the Patriarch, in which vultures are seen hovering over the corpse of the dictator so that the city finally “awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur.”
June 30 – a calculated adventure
Unlike January 2011 when a revolution seemed like an uncalculated adventure, June 2013 made it seem like toppling the regime was only a matter of time.Sonia Farid
Taking a look at the people who took to the streets that day makes the equation much easier. Apart from the regular revolutionaries who since January 25, 2011 have taken it upon themselves to see Egypt turn into a real democracy and have vowed not to rest until they see this happening, almost every other segment of the Egyptian society, minus of course the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies, was out calling for the president to step down. This included those who were against the revolution from day one and believed that Mubarak was the only one fit to rule and would not have minded had he bequeathed power to his son, those who supported the revolution but linked its success to the intervention of the army and, therefore, did not mind replacing an autocracy with a military rule, those belonging to the so-called “couch party” and who followed the revolution from their living rooms and were against protesting in principle whether out of fear or passivity and regardless of how far they agreed or disagreed with the cause any given protest promoted, those labeled “lemon squeezers” and who strategically voted for the president in order to prevent his rival from winning and assuming he might not be that bad after all, and last but not least those who neither hated nor loved Mubarak or the revolution or the Muslim Brotherhood, but have simply been deprived of the most basic of their needs under the current regime.