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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Stand by Belarus

THE IMPERIALISTS and their media gurus are now bleating about Belarus in the wake of the presidential election that gave Alexander Lukashenko a thumping majority in the poll last weekend. The people of Belarus have chosen their president fair and square, no matter what the reactionary opposition leader and her supporters say.

They may have imagined that plunging the country into ‘Maidan’ style chaos was the first step towards regime change, but they didn’t bargain for the massive support given to Lukashenko at the ballot box or the robust response of the police and security forces in sweeping the mob off the streets.

Lukashenko is the former collective farm manager turned politician who rose from the ranks of the old Belarus communist movement as an outspoken opponent of graft and corruption to win the presidential elections against all odds in 1994, to lead his country along the path of non-alignment and social progress.

Western diplomatic and economic isolation has backfired and attempts to unseat him by bourgeois and phoney ‘communist’ parties funded by imperialism have all failed. This is because Lukashenko enjoys immense popularity amongst the Belarusians who have been spared the mass unemployment, privatisation and collapse of education and the health service that was the fate of the rest of the former Soviet Union when it took the capitalist road. This is why the Communist Party of Belarus supports his efforts to preserve the country’s Soviet heritage and social structure.

Belarus is a “state of the people” that operates a mixed economy, which they call “market socialism” or “social orientation”. Although the public sector, in one form or another, still dominates the economy, there are joint ventures with western companies and those of the Third World.

The High Technology Park, the Chinese Great Stone industrial park and the other free economic zones offer tax benefits and further privileges to foreign investors, whilst the local self-employed and expanding private sector caters for some of the needs of the consumer industry.

But this is not enough for Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism. Though Lukashenko perhaps unwisely welcomed the American foreign minister to Minsk in February following a row with the Kremlin over Russian oil supplies, his government has consistently rejected calls from Washington and the European Union to dump the Russians and throw in his lot with the Western alliance.

Now the imperialists show their true face in calling the elections in Belarus “unfair” and “not independent”, giving full support to their pawn Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who is calling for Lukashenko’s overthrow from her new base in Natoland Lithuania.

The bourgeois lie-machine, along with the ‘human rights’ gang and the phony Trots inside and outside the Labour Party, have launched yet another of their bogus ‘solidarity’ campaigns to drum up support for imperialist sanctions and possible imperialist intervention against the Belarusian government.

We’ve seen what regime change means in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. We’ve seen what the imperialists and their lackeys have done in their attempt to overthrow the popular front government in Syria.

Communists, therefore, have a crucial role in helping to build genuine solidarity with the Belarusian people to counter the lies and disinformation coming from the imperialist camp.