Even though I am late to the game, I can’t help but comment on our
illustrious President visit to Belarus.
In my opinion, there was never a Chavez visit that could be as justified as this
one. Think about it. Chavez has more affinity with Lukashenko than with Fidel,
Gadafi, Mugabe or any of the autocrat/dictators that our esteemed President has
visited in the last seven plus years of the silly Bolivarian revolution.
And it showed. He congratulated Lukashenko for neutralizing the
opposition, for those that do not follow Belarusian affairs, this “neutralization” has consisted
of brutal attacks on peaceful demonstrations,
jailing of opposition leaders and the manipulation of elections to guarantee
that results will not go against the autocrat. Sound familiar? In fact, Chavez
called these protests a “new imperial format” and said he was ready to
neutralize them in Venezuela,
because “they are attempting them in Venezuela”. You have all been
Given the common track record we can obviate such details such as trade
between the two countries being of the order of the cost of the trip. The
difficulty of significantly increasing it, since Belarus’ energetic needs can easily
be supplied by its neighbor at more competitive prices.
But there are other hidden affinities. The Belarusian President could
not have said it better referring to Chavez: “ou
are versed not only in the economy of Venezuela
but in the Belarus
economy as well, you know military science, the military-industrial complex, and
this impresses me very much”.Well, we may not be so impressed with Chavez’
understanding of the Venezuelan economy, but he is definitely a man of war, a
man of weapons, a true military autocrat.
Lukashenko is a man with interesting opinions, such as saying that
Hitler’s policies “weren’t all that bad for Germany”, although he never
explained which part of the policies he was referring to, but stay tuned, he
may explain it someday. He is also a man of weapons, like his Venezuelan
counterpart, remembered for giving his country’s tennis players pistols as a
gift as they elft the country to represent it in the Davies Cup. Fortunately,
they did not bring them to their matches.
But perhaps Chavez’ true reason behind the trip was to learn more about
referenda in Belarus.
You see, Lukashenko has led a parallel life to Chavez’, without the need for so
many elections or a Constituent Assembly. He went the shorter route, simply
holding a referendum to extend his term from 5 to seven years in 1999 and another in 2004 to eliminate
the two term limitation on the presidential term. Maybe ChÃ¡vez wanted to know
how this was executed or simply how Lukashenko has handled not giving a damn
about those appearances that Chavez seems to worry about so much, after all, Lukashenko
has no relationships with the European Union, belongs to the anti-Bush bashing
club and could care less about international opinion, except that for that of
his nearest neighbor Russia. Chavez could use some tricks from his book as he
The similarities go much farther than all this. Lukashenko also yearns
for an agricultural country, for the days of Governments that imposed “more
discipline”, the glory days of military achievements. He has looked for
military alliances in his region, talking about a “Slavic NATO”. The parallels
are simply uncanny.
Hopefully both autocrats will not last until they die, as they currently
plan. Hopefully, the forces of democracy will remove these autocrats from their
positions. Unfortunately, it does not look like this will happen in either
place anytime soon. But clearly, it takes an autocrat to know another one.