Global freedom suffered its third year of decline in 2008, according to the annual Freedom in the World survey issued by Freedom House. The most acute deteriorations in freedom occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa and the non-Baltic former Soviet Union, with most other regions experiencing stagnation. Globally, the negative trend continued with respect to freedoms of expression and association and the rule of law. Freedom House also pointed to increased antidemocratic tendencies in several strategic countries that have been the most aggressive in suppressing political opposition and civil society, including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Established democracies will face serious challenges in developing strategies to counter the growing authoritarian pushback against opposition parties, nongovernmental organizations, and the press.