US Demands Immediate Release of Detained Belarusian Activists It Helped Fund

from Sputnik International

The US Embassy in Belarus is demanding that Belarusian authorities release all protesters detained at Saturday’s unauthorized rally in Minsk. The request comes just days following revelations that US aid agencies have increased their spending on ‘democracy promotion’ initiatives in Belarus to the tune of several million dollars.

On Saturday, Belarusian police detained several hundred people after opposition activists attempted to carry out an unauthorized rally in the center of the Belarusian capital of Minsk. According to human rights organizations, some 700 people were detained; about 100 of them were still in custody as of Sunday morning. Some of the protesters who have been released now face administrative charges for participation in an unauthorized mass event, while others were let go without being charged.

In a statement late on Saturday, the US Embassy marked its “deep concern” with the Belarusian government’s refusal “to allow peaceful demonstrations in Minsk for the annual ‘Freedom Day’ commemoration.”…

The US request comes just days after revelations in Russian-language media that US agencies and NGOs, including USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, have raised the amounts earmarked for media, human rights and civil society initiatives in Belarus. For example, USAID committed $9 million in support for ‘democracy development’ in 2017, compared with $8.3 million in 2016 and $7 million in 2015. The State Department and other government and private organizations have committed millions of dollars more on other initiatives, including the training of independent journalists…

[read more here]

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14 Responses

  1. In 2004, I personally visited several cities in Belarus (Minsk, Barysaw, Viciebsk, and others). The local people regard their president (Alexander Lukashenko) as a dictator. They want him out (he has held power for 23 years) but no one dares admit this in public, since it is a ticket to prison.

    The Empire likewise wants Lukashenko out, since Lukashenko is allied with Moscow. If the Empire can remove him, it will make Belarus part of NATO. Then the Empire will control every nation on Russia’s western border except eastern Ukraine (the Donbass area).

    Even Norway is part of the Empire. Norway has military bases on its border with Russia, and lets U.S. Marines use them to stage regular war games against Russia. About 300 Marines are based on the Russian border. They have large amounts of tanks and equipment stored in vast underground caves in Norway.

    Belarusians don’t like Lukashenko, but if the Empire can remove him, it will impose neoliberalism on Belarus. Then the locals will discover what real pain is like.

    • the people you met want him out.. right? Some Libyans wanted Gaddafi out. Some Syrians could do without Assad. Some Iranians took part in the color revolution from way back when. There are always factions of a population who want to scrub the current government so they can throw open the doors to the raiding Huns of technocrats and they do that because they figure they will profit from the transition. So that’s not telling me much. And you just happened to have traveled there, huh?

      • If you hang out with wolves, you learn to howl.
        I could parade the views of my anti-Castro Cuban maternal relatives in Georgia as a shining truth, too. Doesn’t mean that is all there is to the story.

      • Okay you’re calling me a liar. No I didn’t “just happen” to be there. My late husband was from Belarus. We first met here in the USA, and later we visited Belarus when his mother died. We stayed for three months.

        You think that because the Empire wants Lukashenko gone, he is a saint. You think he is Castro or Chavez or Gaddafi. Not so.

        Lukashenko has held power through 23 years of sham “elections,” and he is not popular. The masses want him gone, but like the people in neighboring Ukraine, they don’t grasp that neoliberalism would be even worse. Belarusians are not “pro-West.” They just want a change, and the Empire wants to give it to them…for the worse.

        None of you have been there, so I don’t expect you to understand.

        Whatever.

        • By the way, how was I able to communicate with Belarussians? The answer is that in addition to speaking Russian (their form of Russian) about a quarter of them (based on my personal experience) also spoke English. They learn it in school. Plus I never went anywhere without an English-Russian dictionary in hand.

          I went there in the dead of winter, and on the way back I stopped for two days in Warsaw, plus two days in Amsterdam. Russians and Belarussians hate the cold, even though they must live with it. Their houses and buildings have super-thick walls, plus heavy-duty heaters. Their coats look ordinary on the outside, but they have special fabrics inside. One time I prepared to go outside with an ordinary Army-style field jacket. Everyone laughed at me. One person kindly lent me his coat.

          Young Belarussians listen to American rap music, which I loathe. For you males, the women are phenomenally good looking. Every man who goes there comments on this. They take care of their figures.

          Cont.

          • For me the single thing that most stood out was how similar Belarus was to the USA in numerous ways, such as the width of the roads and sidewalks, and where stoplights are placed in intersections, and how storefronts are laid out. There are shopping malls, but no fast food joints.

            Belarus is not an exotic alien planet. Physically it was much more like the USA than was the U.K. Everyone who has visited all three countries knows what I’m talking about.

            By the way, when Saddam Hussein turned against the Empire than installed him, his greatest ally became Alexander Lukashenko. Saddam planned to escape to Belarus, and he donated the money to build the National Library of Belarus. When I was there, the locals called it the “Saddam Hussein Library.” So I guess that Lukashenko does have some redeeming qualities.

            The Library…

    • Admittedly, I know very little about Alexander Lukashenko and Belarus but I know a lot about “democracy promotion”, USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy and I can tell you, you are correct. Whatever they have now will be MUCH worse if these organizations get what they want. And trust me when I say this, they don’t invest money like that in a regime change if they dont know for a fact there is more blood they can squeeze from the stone. So regardless of who he is or how long he has been there, the involvement of those groups makes me sick and it bode ill tidings for the people of Belarus.

  2. Actually existing politics are all there is, Harris. We can’t wish an ideal polity into reality. THE EU, IMF, NATO, the CIA and assorted interests will be even more unaccountable to the people of Belarus if they have their way. And a change of president, prime minister or king won’t guarantee other things will change for the better. The French even have a word for the self-preservation of bad political and economic features, under the cover of “democratic change”- alternance. From my experience, Mexican and American elections wouldn’t be worth as much as paper towels, if their ballots were printed on them.
    “If voting mattered, they wouldn’t let us do it.” -Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)

  3. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BELARUS (Pt. 1)

    All NATO nations except Spain have voted to approve the absorption of Montenegro into the Empire (i.e. NATO). Yesterday the U.S. Senate vote for it 97-2. Montenegro’s government has long wanted to join the Empire (although Montenegro’s people do not).

    THE ONLY REMAINING COUNTRY IN ALL OF EUROPE that is not directly or indirectly part of the Empire is now Belarus, whose President Lukashenko is allied with Russia.

    Therefore, as the Empire works to complete its conquest of all Europe, we will see more and more news stories about Belarus. CIA fronts such as “Human Rights Watch” will focus on Belarus.

    Belarus has a severe trade deficit, meaning the government is increasingly desperate for foreign currency with which to buy foreign goods. This is Lukashenko’s Achilles heel. The Belarus government creates its domestic money out of thin air, but it cannot create foreign currencies out of thin air with which to by imports. (Continued)

  4. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BELARUS (Pt. 2)

    (Part 1 eaten by WordPress.) The World Bank has “support” programs that are increasingly indebting Belarus. The Empire creates dollars and euros out of thin air, and lends them to Belarus in order to indebt Belarus. Eventually the debt load will become so high that the Empire will give the Belarusian government a choice. Join the Empire, and get some debt relief, or stay with Russia and be cut off from imports. This is not guesswork. It is the Empire’s standard practice.

    The current protests in Minsk are not instigated by the Empire, but they are being hijacked by the Empire, and will be fanned into a “color revolution” (or even a coup) in order to complete the Empire’s conquest of Europe. The goal is to encircle Russia.

    Belarus is like Western Ukraine. The masses want a change of government, and the Empire is telling them, “We will help you! We are your friend! Russia is your enemy! Join us and discover the wonders of neoliberalism!”

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