Europe,  Human Rights

Inside the mind of Europe’s last dictator

From a Washington Post interview with Belarusan President Alexander Lukashenko:

Are you thinking of changing Section 193 of the criminal code, which makes it so difficult for NGOs to register and thus to act without fear of prosecution?

It is no problem to register a nongovernment organization, provided they do not violate the laws.

That’s not true. What about the Belarusian Christian Democrats?

In Belarus, the Christian Democrats will probably never get registered. They participated in the riots. . . . They are not Christian Democrats, they are bandits.

Why did you kick out the U.S. ambassador in 2008?

Why do we need an ambassador who is masterminding the actions of the fifth column?

Do you really believe this?

I am the president of Belarus. I know this.
What did you think of recent events in Tunisia and Egypt?

This will backfire for you. . . . The fact that the entire Arabic arc is being radicalized . . . is a really big thing. And you want to mastermind a regime change in Belarus. . . . It’s better to cooperate with us.
What is your impression of President Obama?

Good opinion, but you don’t let him do his job.

Who is “you?”

The opposition.

You mean Republicans?

Not just Republicans – I mean businessmen, some part of the security forces. I don’t think Obama would like to repeat the fate of Kennedy.

Why did you bring that up?

If Obama will go on pursuing his course of action, there will be people who may not like it. He will pursue the interest of the majority of his people, but there will be radical people who don’t like this course of action. It may have bad consequences.

In fact Obama last June extended US sanctions against Belarusian officials for another year.

Outside the mind of Lukashenko, here’s a reminder of Belarusian reality from an opposition protest in Minsk last December against election fraud:

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