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How 8 Dictators Spent Their Exile Years

What do you do with your life after you’ve ruled a nation with an iron fist? There are plenty of examples from history of dictators who were offered a chance to live out their lives, just as long as they did it somewhere else. But where? The Shah of Iran had a hard time finding a country to take him in after he was overthrown in 1979. Initially refused by the US, he lived in Egypt, Morocco, the Bahamas, and Mexico.

Finally, in October 1979 he was allowed into the U.S., where he was treated (unsuccessfully) for advanced lymphatic cancer at Cornell Medical Hospital in New York City. His friendly reception in the U.S. sparked outrage in Iran, where radical students retaliated by taking over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and holding embassy workers hostage for 444 days. Hoping to take political pressure off the U.S., the dying ex-monarch next traveled to Panama, a U.S. ally with modern medical facilities. But the Panamanian government was ambivalent, and even considered extraditing the Shah to Iran to face charges of murder and torture during his reign. Hoping to avoid this final indignity, the Shah returned to Egypt, where he died in Cairo on July 28, 1980.

Read more about the Shah and seven other dictators in exile at mental_floss. Link

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Date
April 22nd, 2011

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Stranger to the World

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