Thursday, March 1, 2012

Birds of a Feather: Castro and Lukashenko use similar repression tactics

"It was never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often their leaders who did so." - Mr. Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General

Fidel Castro and Alexander Lukashenko

The dictator in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has been called the "Fidel Castro of Europe" and in addition to close ties with the Castro brothers. Lukashenko has sent warm greetings on the anniversary of the Castro brothers arrival to power on January 1, 1959 declaring: "I am convinced that the warm and friendly relations, which have been in place between our countries and peoples for many years now, will continue to contribute to gradual development of the bilateral mutually beneficial co-operation between Belarus and Cuba in various spheres."

The two tyrants also share some common repressive tactics.

Cuba - February 28, 2012

On February 29, 2012 Belarus Freedom News retweeted the above video stating: "Cowards like Fidel Castro and Lukashenko - their methods are all the same." The video below from July 4, 2011 recorded in Belarus has a number of parallels with the above video from Cuba.

Belarus - July 4, 2011

Belarus and Cuba maybe thousands of miles apart with different languages and national histories but both share the ill fortune of having communist totalitarian regimes and their methods of repression are similar. In both videos a small group of nonviolent demonstrators engage in a protest and are rapidly jumped upon by state security and taken away. The languages and customs may be different but the repression and human rights violations are the same. In addition the regimes in Belarus and Cuba have close bilateral ties.

Raul Castro and Alexander Lukashenko

It appears that repression tactics are universal which offers another reason why a universal human rights standard is not an idealistic abstraction but a concrete response to real world problems.

Finally, the close relationship between these two brutal dictators demonstrates once again the need for victims of repression to work in solidarity with each other. A Czech dissident who died under interrogation by state security over three decades ago called it the solidarity of the shaken. His name was Jan Patočka.

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