Belarus Opposition Hail Project Democracy’s ‘Radio Liberty’ in Regime-Change Protests
Aug. 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—The destabilization in Belarus is still underway, but many obstacles to its “success” remain. The idea that a candidate who received 10% of the vote is now outside the country, prepared to be called in to run the nation, is laughable, but in the context of the regime-change operations—successful and attempted—in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Bolivia, it is also not shocking. Naturally, this destabilization is aimed at Russia.
Belarus, which borders Russia and forms with it the Union State, allowing mutual freedom of travel, residency, and work for nationals of both countries, has seen the attempt to use aspects of the now-familiar Gene Sharp playbook: a color (white) worn by groups of women protesting the police response to the demonstrations, and a symbol (the slipper) which was brought up by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in its coverage on June 6 and in the British daily Guardian on June 16. (To explain the odd symbol: at home, you might squash a cockroach with a slipper.)
On Aug. 15, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation. According to the readout of the call from the BelTA news agency, Lukashenko reported:
“I had a long, substantial conversation today with the Russian President.... We agreed that at our very first request, comprehensive help will be given to ensure the security of Belarus. To talk about the military element, we have an agreement with Russia as part of the Union State, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Such situations fall under that agreement.”
With Belarus accepting support from Russia, the demonstrations may have served to drive Russia and Belarus closer together.
Sunday, Aug. 16 saw rallies both by Lukashenko’s supporters and his opponents. To supporters, Lukashenko posed the issue in terms of sovereignty: “The NATO leadership is calling on us to hold a new election. If we yield to their wishes we will die as a state.” He referred to the foreign support for protests, which came up in Putin’s acknowledgment that this was not a purely domestic matter and Russia could assist.
Sunday, Aug. 16 saw larger crowds assembling, with one rally chanting “Radio Liberty”! Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a propaganda broadcasting arm of the U.S. government, run through the U.S. Agency for Global Media. The top-down control of the Belarusian government can give rise to legitimate grievances about popular representation, but do the intelligence services of the U.S. and U.K. care about the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people?
Would the installation of election non-winner Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (aka Svetlana Tikhanovskaya)—a transition made under the threat of U.S. and European sanctions and supported by demonstrations which cannot represent the views of most people—be considered democratic?