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World Leaders

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2011 by grahamharrowell

The news that Muammar Gadafi has been in touch with President Chavez and the thought of the two of them getting together to make a speech reminded me that I’ve been neglecting our old friend Aleksandr Lukashenko from Belarus. I really think he should get in touch with Gadafi as they have a lot in common.

The opposition candidates in Minsk who were jailed around election time were quietly released recently. I say quietly because they daren’t say a word about what happened to them for fear of another beating and a spell in the chokie.

Their release coincided with Lukashenko’s return form a holiday in Sochi. So was the break so pleasant as to make him disposed to forgive and forget? Probably not. The two Russians arrested at the same time are still heading for trial. According to the president he was going to the Caucasus to meet his Russian opposite numbers on the slopes for talks. True Russian president Medvedev and “prime minister” Putin were in the resort at the same time but both made very sure that they didn’t bump into the old dictator. Lukashenko was snubbed.

Lukashenko was also a bit miffed when pictures started circulating of him taking a tumble on the ski slopes, much to the amusement of the Russians. Despite the evidence Aleksandr denied that anything of the kind had happened and challenged any Russian to take him on.

While he was on the subject, the ever charming Lukashenko had words to say on his return on a number of his favourite themes. On criticism by western countries of his locking up the opposition he said he’d like to spit on them. It turns out that when a Polish and German delegation visited Belarus in November last year and voiced concerns about the treatment of minorities by the authorities in Minsk, avuncular Aleks gave them the benefit of a diatribe about his view of sexual minorities, in particular gay people. He thinks they should all be sent to be forced to work on collective farms. Any suggestion that this was an unacceptable view was swept aside by Lukashenko who told everyone that, “We live in a democratic society and I’m the president. I have the right to express my point of view and my opinion”. His concept of a democracy seems to me to be flawed as does his view that he is the only person allowed to voice his opinion without being batoned until bloody.

Still, I don’t suppose the UK will intervene to support the opposition to Lukashenko. There’s not that much oil in Belarus.

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