By the time Robert Mugabe visited New York's City Hall in 2002, he was already well into his campaign of terror and murder in Zimbabwe. His regime was torturing its opponents brutally--with the help of a recently-deceased man who embraced the nickname "Hitler"--and cracking down on the media as it pushed white farmers off their land, destroying the country's economy and plunging it into hyperinflation and starvation.
New York City councilman Bill de Blasio, now the Democratic Party nominee for mayor, was there to welcome Mugabe with a group of like-minded left-wingers. As John Sexton pointed out recently, citing the New York Post, de Blasio later admitted his participation had been a "mistake" and that he felt "ashamed" of it. But his colleagues felt few such reservations, and even slammed the Zimbabwean opposition.