It is impossible not to make analogies between the current situation in Egypt and the implosion of dictatorships in Latin America. Anastasio Somoza in particular comes to mind. Broadly speaking, the U.S. had supported a dictatorship for decades because it was a strategic ally, then internal opposition began to boil, hoping to copy the toppling of another repressive regime in the region.
There are, however, also very important differences. One prominent difference is the attitude of the U.S. government. In that regard, Somoza would agree 100% with Joe Biden:
"The Admiral came back to the proposal, which was simply that my family and I had to leave the country. I was becoming wearisome of this contumacious proposal and said: "Look, Admiral, you people may think this government is a dictatorship, but your proposal has been handed down through every channel of government, as well as the leaders of the party, and not one person has accepted the proposal." Then I told him that we didn't even have a small ripple of support for the proposal. I told him that in my meetings with all of the leaders in the government, the party, and the Army, there was unanimous opposition to the proposal."
--Anastasio Somoza, Nicaragua Betrayed p. 221
At least for now, the U.S. position is quite different:
Vice President Joe Biden offered his take on the protests in Egypt, saying the current protests should not cause Egyptian Prsident Hosni Mubarak to resign.
Speaking in response to a question from Newshour‘s Jim Lehrer, Mr. Biden stopped short of calling for Mr. Mubarak to resign amidst the protests.
“I think the time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction that – to be more responsive to some… of the needs of the people out there,” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Biden added that he does not consider the Egyptian president a “dictator.”