Thursday, March 02, 2006

Belarus:The True Picture

In the run-up to the elections on March 19th we can expect to be saturated with 'last dictatorship in Europe' style propaganda about Belarus- put about by EU fanatics and supporters of The Empire.
For a more objective, less hysterical picture of the political situation in the former Soviet republic, here's a report from the widely respected British Helsinki Human Rights Group on the last Presidential elections in 2001.
http://www.bhhrg.org/CountryReport.asp?ReportID=55&CountryID=4

9 comments:

RobBBB said...
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Neil Clark said...

Readers will I'm sure make their own minds up about the BHHRG.

All I know is that unlike some other such groups it doesn't just parrot the official EU or Washington line. The EU and the US both have huge budgets with which to fund think tanks, NGOs etc: BHHRG is not in their pocket.

rydel23 said...

Belarus "elections" (part one)
Shooting incident — the new details (part two)

RobBBB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Clark said...

Are you seriously suggesting that the word of one Belarus based opposition supporting blogger is God?
For every opponent of the government there- you will find an awful more people who don't take his line. They may not be pro-Empire bloggers who speak English- but just becasue they don't shout so loud, and don't shout in English- doesn't mean their views aren't valid too. Belarus is the only former Soviet Republic which has risen in the UN Human Development Index since 1991- you may sneer at such statistics, but for the majority of people in the country that means a better life than their neighbours in 'reformed' Ukraine, Poland and Russia itself.

Neil Clark said...

And by someone who is a far from impartial observer. Are you seriously suggesting that the view of one, opposition supporting blogger is God? What about the majority of Belarussians who support their government and who appreciate -and benefit from- the economic system the country runs under. Belarus is the only former Soviet Republic to have risen in the UN Human Development Index since 1991 and it has done so by following a very different economic path to the one prescribed by the IMF, The World Bank and Mr Timmy Worstall. It is because Belarus has shown that there are alternatives to current neo-liberal orthodoxy- that The Empire and its emissaries are so determined to engineer regime change there. Here's a challenge to you: travel around Belarus's neighbours- Ukraine, Russia and Poland- witness the enormous disparities in wealth and growing poverty- and then tell me that the Belarus route is the wrong one.

Will Sellars said...

travel around Belarus's neighbours- Ukraine, Russia and Poland- witness the enormous disparities in wealth and growing poverty- and then tell me that the Belarus route is the wrong one.

Yes egalitarianism in Belarus means everyone but the rulers are equally poor with no hope of an improvement in living standards. Ah what bliss!!

Perhaps if you decided to live in any of these East European countries your comments may carry some weight.

Neil Clark said...

I did live in Hungary for the second half of the 1990s and saw at first hand what economic 'reform' meant to the vast majority of Hungarians.
My wife, who grew up under communism in Hungary tells me that you would never see old people rifling through rubbish bins pre-1989- after the economic changes it has become a common sight.

BiB said...

The difference in standard of living between Belarus and Poland is indeed stark, and starkly better in Poland's favour. This is best seen when you cross the border - I did so by train - and you see the difference between life in Bialystok (Poland) and Hrodna (Belarus). Talking to Belarusians on the train about politics was an instant conversation-stopper and the bonkersly paranoid border soldiers, who tried to convince me for a very long time that I was a spy, was laughable (once it was over). If you follow closely this election campaign, and see the pressure that opposition candidates are put under, and the disadvantages that they have to face as regards access to the media, for example, or having authority for holding meetings removed at the last minute and then having the organiser - in once case, a reputable and respected figure advising opposition leader Milinkevich - put in prison till after the elections, I hope you wouldn't support Lukashenka's antics. Or does Lukashenka's rejection of the economic model of his neighbours mean he doesn't need to hold democratic elections? It is disappointing that he has seen fit to have one presidential term extended by two years and have the constitution changed to allow him to run for president as many times as he likes. Not a promising start for a country in the early days of democracy.