Why do the United States want a different president in Belarus?
Eyewitness's report about the elections and the Western interference in
Belarus in facts and figures:
Population: 10,3 million
Territory: 7 times bigger than Belgium
President: Alexander Lukashenko
Has borders with: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
State's structure: Until 1991 Belarus (Byelorussia or White Russia) was a
Soviet republic within USSR. From 1996 Belarus and Russia form "The Union of
the Sovereign Republics".
According to US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Belarus is "an outpost
of tyranny". An eyewitness's report from the covered with snow capital Minsk
just before the day of the elections.
Jef Bossuyt, our correspondent in Minsk
Tuesday, the 7th of March, 6 PM. Minks looks very modern. A lot of
newly-built houses, very little rubbish on the streets, almost no beggars.
Surprisingly few election posters, with pictures of all 4 presidential
candidates neatly in a row.
In front of the Gorky park a few hundred demonstrators gathered to express
their support for president Lukashenko. One of them says: "The President
creates 5 years plans at the service of the people and makes sure that they
are fulfilled as well. There is no big gap here between the rich and the
poor. The average wage here is the highest among all the ex-Soviet
republics, it's possible to have a decent living on it without much
difficulties. We produce our own food and receive cheaply energy from
Taisia Borodich: "Lukashenko applies social policies. The wages are paid
strict on time, the factories are working". Alexander Pernikov, mining
engineer: "For a family with 3 children the sate pays 50% of their mortgage,
and for a family with 5 children - even the full 100%. The agricultural land
remains the state's property. Lukashenko assures the stability, he did not
allow our country to be plundered." Alexander Buksha, student:"We are happy
with our monthly student allowance, and once we've finished with our
studies, we all receive job offers straight away,"
Wednesday, the 8th of March, 3 PM. In front of the Cultural Centre of the
Tractor factory. We listen to the pro-Western opposition candidate
Milinkevich during his electoral campaign: "I have met the leaders of all
the most important European countries. They want Belarus to join the EU. But
Europe is fed up with dictators a la Hitler." Radio Free Europe (the one
that is being paid by the US) records his speech in full. Milinkevich
continue:" These elections will not be fair, and the civilized world will
not recognize them. If on the 19th of March it will appear that this is the
case, we are asking everybody to come out at 8 PM and to gather on the
The meeting finishes because of the bitter cold. We speak to one young man
who has asked critical questions: "My name is Vladimir Zubrik, I am a worker
from the Plastic factory."- says he. "Milinkevich says that he only wants to
privatise factories that are not making profits. Like if the West would be
interested in such factories! No, in our neighbouring country Ukraine they
have sold the flourishing state steel company Krivorozhstal , and here they
would like to do just the same: to sell to the West, to the US the Motor
factory, the Tractor factory, the Auto factory. And there would be nothing
left for Belarus."
Why are the US so desperate to get rid off Lukashenko?
"Belarus is the last remaining dictatorship in Europe." said the US
president George W. Bush on the 5th of May 2005 in the Lithuanian capital
Vilnius. A dictatorship, how, why? First of all, Lukashenko has "wrong"
friends. During his visit to Cuba he praised Fidel Castro as "a political
example for all politicians in the world". Lukashenko also would like to
have closer ties with the Venezuelan president Chavez, in order to support
each other against the Western interference. But there is more wrong with
Belarus, according to Bush. Belarus has different internal policy than the
other Eastern European countries. Even though everything remains within
capitalist frames,the biggest factories remaining the hands of the state and
the freedom of movement for capitals is strictly limited. The US see this
with suffering eyes. Because they would love to break Belarus open for the
International Monetary Funds, the NATO and the multinationals.
A recipe for Western interference.
The West would love Lukashenko to lose these elections and is doing
everything that is in its power in order to achieve that. It applies a
recipe that has already been successfully tested elsewhere.
Jef Bossuyt & Bert De Belder report:
The West would love Lukashenko to lose these elections. The recipe that has
already been tested in Yugoslavia in 2000, in Georgia in 2003 and in Ukraine
in 2004, is very simple:
1. Announce in advance that the elections will be flawed.
2. Create and finance an opposition movement that will take power from the
streets. In Belarus it is called "Zubr".
3. Spread your own results of the elections through the exit polls and
announce the elections invalid.
4. Bring crowds of the young people into the streets with free pop concerts,
meals and drink. Block the government's buildings and storm the Parliament.
In 1,5 years the EU has created 6 resolutions against Belarus. EU
representative Severin announced already 3 months before the elections:" The
elections on the 19th of March will not be free and fair". The Belgian
minister of Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht has called on Belarus to invite
the observers from OBSE - who have played an important role in the past
elections in Georgia and in Ukraine where pro-Western governements were
brought into power. (1)
Here are some other Western initiatives in order to support the Belarussian
In Brussels on the Square Kleine Zavel, nr.3, there is an office of the
so-called "Office for Democratic Belarus". It is headed by Olga
Stuzhinskaya, an employee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the NATO. On
February the 10th this lady was invited officially to Washington where she
was received by R. Nicholas Burns, junior minister of the Foreign Affairs.
From February the 26th radio station "Window to Europe" is operational over
Belorussian territory - a daily information programme of 1 hour, explicitly
aimed at influencing the elections. TV and Internet can also be used for
the same purpose, with the help of the Russian RTV and the Deutsche Welle.
All of his has a price tag of 2 million Euro, and it has been paid by the
European Commission! "Nothing like this has occurred before,"- wrote Belgian
newspaper De Standaard, and "it won't be easy for the spokesman for the
Commission to explain this" (2)
1 De Standaard, 12-13 januari · 2 De Standaard, 24 februari
Observers as fortune-tellers.
On Sunday the 26th of February the Belarussian police discovered in the
office of one of the NGO's , "Partnerstvo", exit poll forms for questioning
the voters after they leave the polling stations. The NGO was planning to
declare the results of the elections invalid, basing it on these forms. The
desirable "results" of the exit poll were already filled in: Milinkevich
(the candidate of the West): 53,7%, Lukashenko (the current president):
41,3%. At this time when we write this, the official results of the
elections are already declared. Lukashenko received 82% of the votes.
19th of March 2006:
20:45 - Lukashenko is winning everywhere and is well ahead of all the other
20:50 - first preliminary results on TV: Lukashenko - 82%, Milinkevich - 5%,
Gaidukevich - 5%, Kozulin - 3%
21:30 - around 2000 protesters gather on October Square (not 7000 that were
supposedly seen there by the Dutch "Telegraaf"!) They have not just
white-red-white flags, but a big number of Ukrainian flags, red and black
flags of the Ukrainian fascists of Bandera, 1 Russian flag, several EU
flags. Slogans "Belarus for Milinkevich", "We believe, we will win!",
anarchists carrying placards with "Strike is the only way" and "Down with
the police state!", also nationalistic Belarussian National Front. The
protesters shout: "Long live Belarus!" and "Milinkevich". Police does not
interfere, several dozens of policemen are on the left, guarding the
Republican Palace, and on the right there is only 1 traffic policeman who is
doing his work. The cars are driving quietly, as always on Sunday nights.
22:15 - the numbers of protesters do not grow, but rather become less. Many
curious spectators are going home. "There were less than 1000 protesters!"
says one of the opposition's voters with disappointment. For the population
of 2 million people in Minsk it is indeed a very small number. It does not
look at all as the "folk masses".
Belgians in Minsk.
French speaking Parliament member Henri and ex-Minister of Defence De Donnea
were sent here by our Motherland in order to assure the truly democratic and
transparent presidential elections (unlike in Belgium, the head of state in
Belarus is elected by direct general elections, and this has to be done
democratically!) We met De Donnea on Saturday night on the 7th floor of the
hotel "Belarus" that was fully booked for the OBSE (460 observers). Could we
take an interview from Mr. De Donnea? No, we couldn't. Because De Donnea is
here as "a special representative"of the minister De Gucht and is working on
a report about the effectiveness of the European observers that seem to be
such a contradictory issue...He does not speak to the media because his
report will be confidentially given to minister De Gucht - that very
minister who demands so much democracy and transparency from Belarus...