Friday, March 10, 2006

Lukashenka's Belarus, Its Potemkin Village Election, And The Silence Of Multinational Corporate America And Its International Human Rights Lawyers

Yesterday, I excerpted a thoughtful economic and financial analysis on Belarus by Mr Siarhej Karol, a financial manager at the American International Group (AIG), a global financial services company. The analysis, which was republished by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, set forth the role of artifically low, non-world market energy prices -- and excess energy shipments -- to Belarus of Russian natural gas and oil (the excess being reshipped to Western Europe at world energy market prices), which has allowed Belarusan President Lukashenka the financial resources to begin to develop his 21st century model of Authoritarian State Socialism -- one modeled partially on Lee Kwan Yu's Authoritarian rulership of Singapore's "economic miracle" over a thirty year period. [Mr Lukashenka has already ruled Belarus in a highly Authoritarian manner for 12 years, and is seeking an open-ended -- Thirty Year? -- Executive Directorship of Belarus, Inc.]

Mr Siarhej's analysis raises the scenario of major change of political leadership in Belarus, but dismisses it as "unlikely" and a "danger" to the non-world market based, favorable energy pricing upon which President Lukashenka's four-year "mini-economic miracle" is based. I wonder how widely this political/economic risk analysis is held by multinational Banks and Corporations in North America, Europe, Russia, and Asia? I also wonder why haven't the World's democrats heard any comment on the upcoming Belarusan Potemkin Election, on March 19 -- in which the "opposition" candidate is not allowed to campaign freely in his own country and his associates are jailed -- from Davos's World Economic Forum (Corporate) Leaders, or their International Human Rights Lawyers who played such a large role in sustaining the Communist Containment and the Polish Solidarity Movements in the long years of democratic struggle beginning with the Polish military crack-down of the Polish shipyard workers and coal miners in 1981?

And then this morning I read Jonathan Steele, in the British Guardian newspaper, who is upset because the Europeans and Americans are trying to somewhat level the electoral playing field in Belarus, in the final two weeks, through broadcasts, invitations given to prime opposition candidate Aleksandr Milinkevich to visit European Capitals, support of civil society NGO's, and vocal and moral support of the young Belarusan and European Lech Walesas, Vaclav Havels, Czeslaw Miloscs, Zbigniew Herberts, and Anna Swirs who are currently risking their own lives and those of their families and children against a militarized political establishment readying the live ammunition. Mr Steele incredulously states that "Russia is hardly engaged in the election", despite carefully timed long-range energy shipment and price announcements by Vladimir Putin aimed to boost Lukashenka in the "election" and allow Lukashenka some breathing space to seek the Russian and Asian State Capitalist foreign investment needed to build his "Singaporean State Socialism on the North European Central Plain".

With no value-added thought, Mr Steele quotes from a poll in January 2006 by Gallup/Baltic Surveys which found the 60-day advanced support of Lukashenka at "nearly" 55%, and support of opposition candidate Milinkevich -- not yet even legally allowed to begin his State-media blacked-out candidacy, at 17%. By his reasoning, Former American President Carter would have enjoyed a second term in office, and Former Vice President Al Gore would have enjoyed one term, or still be enjoying his second term in office.

Jonathan Steele notes that he visited Belarus ten years ago and recently spoke on the phone with some employed and content Belarus citizens. Well, I visited Belarus two months ago for a week [perhaps my last allowed visit to Belarus for the next 30 years], and my impressions were different. You can read Mr Steele's "Since it is economically growing, according to the I.M.F., the international community should turn a blind eye to authoritarian repression of dissidence and the democratic electoral process in the New Heart of Europe" arguments at:,,1727950,00.html

For Siarhej Karol's economic and financial analysis of "Belarus: A Model for 21st Century State Socialism?", see (via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty):

For the I.M.F.'s June Report on the Economy of Belarus, and its projected longer term economic and financial problems, see:

Minsk, Belarus. A beautiful European City with some major urban problems just like all of the other great cities of Europe and the world. Minsk, Belarus, a European Capital city whose students and young people are not allowed, easily, to study in or travel to the rest of Europe.

Are North America's and Europe's Largest Corporations and their International Human Rights Lawyers silent on Belarus because they plan to invest -- along with Russian and Asian Corporations -- in Belarus's "21st Century Singaporean State Socialism"?

Photo credit: Belarus, Minsk Outdoor Advertising With thanks.


Visit Belarus, a Beautiful 1000 Year Old European Nation!

Chernobyl 20th Year Anniversary, April 26, 2006:


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