Thursday, August 25, 2011

Worldwide demonstrations for a free Belarus on 20th anniversary of independence from the USSR

“The solidarity of the shaken can say ‘no’ to the measures of mobilization that make the state of war permanent. … The solidarity of the shaken is built up in persecution and uncertainty: that is its front line, quiet, without fanfare or sensation even there where this aspect of the ruling Force seeks to seize it.” - Jan Patočka

It was twenty years ago today that Belarus achieved its independence from the Soviet Union after more than 7 decades. Nevertheless, this day is not cause for celebration because for the majority of that time and currently the people of Belarus have been subjected to what today is the last dictatorship in Europe under the autocratic regime of Alexander Lukashenko.

Activists gathered on Miami Beach

On August 21, 2011 a group of young people met on Lincoln Road Mall in South Beach to demonstrate their support for democratic activists in Belarus who suffer repression for trying to exercise their fundamental rights. Today in Belarus silent protests have been outlawed.

As a descendant of Cubans whose homeland has suffered under a brutal dictatorship for more than a half century the repression suffered by the Belarusians is all too familiar. On the same day that we marched through the heart of Miami Beach and educated bystanders on what is taking place in Belarus, in Cuba the Ladies in White were being brutalized by Castro’s state security agents to block them from attending mass at the local cathedral and peacefully marching in a public space.

Yesterday video emerged of four Cuban women nonviolently demonstrating on the capitol steps in Havana, Cuba calling for an end to the dictatorship and a democratic Cuba they were detained and beaten up by Cuban state security.

Dictators Alexander Lukashenko and Raul Castro embrace

Although separated by language and distance the brutal repression against nonviolent activists is unacceptable whether it is in Belarus, China, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tibet, Venezuela or elsewhere. The tyrants are working together to perfect their respective tyrannies and human rights defenders must join together in resisting them. It is for that reason that we engaged in a demonstration of solidarity with the democrats in Belarus and salute all those around the world today engaged in actions in their support.

Please today, take action for a human rights defender unjustly imprisoned in Belarus. His name is Ales Bialatski and Amnesty International has an urgent action to obtain his release.


  1. I oppose the state-capitalist dictatorship of Lukashenko. But ask yourselves this: Why did the people of Belarus choose Lukashenko in 1994? He won the first presidential elections in 1994. The Soviet government was gone and replaced by a right-wing oligarchy of people who destroyed the economy of Belarus.

    The people voted for Lukashenko because he opposed right-wing neoliberalism. He stopped the privatizations and he kept foreign capitalists out. That is why some elderly people support him. Unlike Russia and other ex-stalinist states, Belarus did not embraced full capitalism. The state remained strong and that is something capitalist institutions don't like!

    Also I oppose the flag of the Belarussian opposition. That flag was first used by the anticommunist republic of 1918, then again by the anticommunist/pro-Nazi government of 1941-1944. It was also used by the unpopular government of Belarus between 1991 and 1994.

    That flag of many young demonstrations against Lukashenko is a bad choice. I have no love for the state flag of Belarus. But I cannot give my support to a flag that was used by anticommunists, Nazi's and capitalist exploiters.

  2. Seems you have a problem with non-communists.