There is something about Latin America that makes the countries there more susceptible to despotic regimes than Anglosphere realms like the USA, Canada, etc. Having said that, it seems to work for them (well, not so much for the people killed by said regimes but, "you have to break a few eggs" etc). Stroessner and Pinochet, for examples, contributed to the development of their nation states. I think of it as the Russian model of rule - historically, that is, e.g. the Petrine system. The dictator is to be the first servant of the state, and its development/the promotion of its interests becomes his chief dedication. It's not without its benefits, but I suppose your assessment of it will depend upon your particular set of values. Certainly if you value liberty, this is not an ideal set-up. The appeal of socialism in Latin America owes to the fact that the general populace has generally been quite poor, similar to pre-rev Russia. Sometimes I wonder if despotic regimes don't merely prolong the misery and even make bad outcomes inevitable (i.e. underclass uprising) by refusing to address necessary societal changes and adhering to blinkered reactionary views which are not easy to sustain with time. The West has suffered due to this, just look at how continental Europe embraced utopian, universalist ideals of men like Schumann after WWII - certainly this was a reaction to fascism. I suppose the Pinochet model has its charms, particularly to those of a right-leaning and authoritarian bent, but I'm starting to see moderation as a far more prudent long term strategy.