Moreover, the very fact that some services are still free does not make a country a socialist – otherwise most EU countries would be socialist. Belarus boasts a favourable geographical location. It will be the most high-profile sporting event in the country’s sovereign history. Seriously fanatical communists or hard-core adepts of socialist ideology find themselves in unimportant positions. But if [a foreign tourist] has an interest, let him look for it, meet girls and marry". But in fact the Soviet-looking facade of the Belarusian regime is deceptive. After the Russian authorities outlawed casinos across almost the whole country, Belarus was quick to offer its service. This high-profile event can boost the country’s tourist industry, as the authorities promise visa-free travel for all Westerners. Lukashenka has much more in common with Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Asian despots  than with Fidel Castro or leftist Latin American rulers. The Belarusian government declared many times its plans to privatise state-owned enterprises. In addition, Belarus continues many socialist policies from the days of the Soviet Union. Many of them believe that the Belarusian regime shares their ideology. At the time, Lukashenko warned the people of Belarus about such a movement developing there. We examine what this means for (a) its place in the world economy, (b) its place in the transition from capitalism to socialism/communism and (c) its conflict with the US. Have Belarusians Always Used the Cyrillic Alphabet? The ruling elite inherited its power from the Soviet state and did not have to struggle for it. A UK national will have to pay 75 pounds for the same type of Belarusian visa. The Bolsheviks created a puppet Soviet government of Belarus in Smolensk. The only political party that Lukashenko ever belonged to was the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But they exist as remnants of Soviet times and are gradually being dismantled as the government gradually cuts costs. The government may dictate any labour conditions it wishes. The workers must take control of the urgently-needed resources, which are created by their own labor, as part of an international struggle to take power and build socialism. According to the Belarusian Statistics Committee, in 2011 the highest numbers of western tourists were from Turkey, Lithuania, New Zealand and Poland. 10 member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (excluding Turkmenistan). For example, a single entry short-stay visa for an American citizen costs $160. Parker adds, “Communist and socialist governments the world over have always had literacy and education programmes as core principles. Strategic position Internet images have shown many of the demonstrators waving the anti-Communist red and white flag used by the Byelorussian Central Council, which collaborated with German Nazi occupiers from 1943 until 1944. Edit. This location makes it a potentially convenient destination for tourists from neighbouring and far-away countries. Formerly known as Byelorussia or Belorussia, its prehistory essentially begins in the seventh millennium BC with the Dnieper-Donets culture and a series of successors. These are both a threat to Belarus’s workers. They provided tax and other incentives for those entrepreneurs who wanted to invest in agro-ecotourism. Despite frequent declarations, the government have failed to create even basic tourist infrastructure in Belarus. None of the regime's key figures, such as Uladzimir Makey or Mikhail Myasnikovich, display any socialist sentiments. The Socialist International calls on its members around the world to demand the immediate release of Mikalai Statkevich and others jailed these past days. Yauheni Preiherman is Policy Director of the Discussion and Analytical Society Liberal Club in Minsk. With no significant strikes or other forms of industrial action, Belarus may be a paradise for any investor shrewd enough to cut a deal with Lukashenka. Unlike the other former Soviet Republics, Belarus displays symbolism of the former Soviet Union (USSR). Only 20 per cent of tourists (about 150,000) came from the rest of the world in 2011. The ideology-free elite wishes to preserve its power without embarking on high-minded idealistic abstractions. "We do not cultivate the idea of sex tourism in Belarus. Of course, not all of them were profitable. Classic editor History Talk (0) Socialism : This category collects individuals, organizations, publications, events and other topics that are relevant to Socialism in Belarus. In the majority of cases (85 per cent) Belarusians themselves use them for holding weddings or other celebrations. After that his ministers began to implement various state projects to boost the attractiveness of Belarus for incoming tourists. You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter, https://belarusdigest.com/story/the-european-myth-of-belarusian-socialism/. State-owned enterprises and enterprises partly owned by the government employed c. 1.75 million people, i.e. Washington’s policies aim at instability in Belarus. But without proper deregulation of this sector of the economy the boost will not be sustainable and nothing but sex industry will remain the country's tourist brand. Now Belarusian workers and youth need a socialist alternative to organise opposition. Moreover, on 31 May the government amended the national visa rules. Nothing but the holding of free and fair elections in Belarus is acceptable. Rob Jones, Sotsialisticheskaya Alternativa (ISA in Russia) At the time of writing, protests in Belarus against the obvious falsification of the results of Sunday’s Presidential election seem to be spreading, and are meeting with increasing repression. More than 100,000 … Many Russians come to Belarus to use its growing gambling industry. Perhaps Belarus is not capitalist, but it is certainly not socialist. Yet, there was not a single serious ideological project undertaken by the Belarusian government abroad. 100 Years Later: Some Lessons of the Great Bolshevik Revolution, Fascist violence and the form of the state, No fascist coup! The command of foreign languages among employees of Belarusian hotels, resorts, agro-manors and transport (railway and coach) companies remains very poor. From 5000 to 2000 BC, Bandkeramik cultures predominated. Lukashenko’s main electoral opponent, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who polled around 10% of the vote compared to Lukashenko’s 80%, refused to accept the election outcome. Lukashenko’s reelection was the sixth one since 1994, when he also won 80% of the popular vote. In 1941 it became the flag of the Nazi occupation administration, and it appeared on arm patches of Belarusian volunteers in the German Army and Waffen SS. It was more expensive than receiving visas at Belarusian consulates abroad, but it saved lots of time. They further complicated the visa procedure. Lukashenka exploits Russian Communists to get leverage in the Kremlin, supported Polish populist Lepper to take revenge on Poland for its support of the Belarusian opposition and befriended Hugo Chavez for good money. Category page. Some write about socialism in Belarus, and others call Lukashenka “a spontaneous socialist” or even a social democrat. For example, there are only 34 hotels in the whole country that are certified according to international standards. The short list includes 25 states which violate the rights in the most grave and systematic manner and Belarus has belonged to this group for almost a decade. There are some real signs which make the Belarusian regime look socialist. The trade unions are far from being independent or influential. The same applies to the profits. Verbatim copying and distribution of articles is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved. Otherwise Belarus will largely remain a sex sanctuary for westerners and a gambling destination for Russians. Inception. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on his reelection Aug. 9. In Belarus, 70% of workers are employed by the state, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2020 Index of Economic Freedom. Although education is nominally free, in fact only a minority of all students do not have to pay for their studies. 50.8 per cent of all personnel of Belarusian enterprises except for those employed by small business. Opposition protest in Minsk, Belarus August 2020 (Click to enlarge) Clare Doyle, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) For the fourth Sunday in succession, on September 6 there were mass protests across Belarus. What is clear, however, is that Lukashenko’s opposition welcomes support from the pro-fascist Maidan movement in Ukraine and from U.S. imperialism. Is inequality a serious problem in Belarus? Belarus and Imperialism’s agenda By Gerry Downing 02/12/2020 by socialistfight The protesters in Belarus flying the flag of the pro-imperialist Belarusian National Republic of 1918-19. The health, education and welfare systems are probably the most positive aspects of the Belarusian state. USSR-era socialist art in Minsk, Belarus, in February 2019. The Belarusian democracy movement erupted after Lukashenko claimed 80 percent of the vote over 10 percent for Tichanovskaya. In 1924, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus joined the USSR together with Soviet-controlled Russia, Ukraine and Transcaucasia. This allows the employer to fire them without explanation after the contract expires. Later, the ILO repeatedly defined Belarus as a grave violator of trade unions' rights, but to no avail. Unlike the other former Soviet republics, Belarus preserved socialist symbols and statues throughout the country. Everyone who has money and wishes for some sexual entertainment knows where to look for it. But the data of the Belarusian Statistics Committee show that this project is not as successful as the authorities had expected. Protesters in Mogilev, east Belarus, last week (Pic: Wikimedia/Creative Commons) Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko launched a fresh crackdown on … In fact, opportunism is the only suitable term to denote the current Belarusian system. Western tourists are still very rare. Belarus is the legal successor of the Byelorussian SSR and in its Constitution it states, "Laws, decrees and other acts which were applied in the territory of the Republic of Belarus prior to the entry into force of the present Constitution shall apply in the particular parts thereof that are not contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus." In 2003, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) launched an investigation into the complaint of Belarusian independent trade unions concerning violations of their rights by the government. Belarus mostly attracts Russian citizens who come to rest at health resorts or gamble in casinos. The same flag was also flown by Belarusian counterrevolutionaries during the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. It is extremely hard to identify an ideological affiliation of the Belarusian ruler. Lukashenka's Regime: Neither Left, Nor Right, and Nor Centre. In autumn of 1919, Nikolai Yudenich's advance on Petrograd was checked, whilst in the far north the Evgeny Miller's army was pushed into the Arctic. Tikhanovskaya’s spouse, Sergei Tikhanovsky, initially intended to run against Lukashenko, but he was disqualified and arrested for participating in illegal, anti-government activities. Only the volume of help provided has changed. In 2014 Belarus will host the World Ice Hockey Championship. Shortly after protests started, demonstrators violently clashed with the police. Their president has been in power for more than 25 years, ever since the Soviet Union fell, and his prior job was managing a socialist collective farm. And a German national €60. By Otis Grotewohl posted on August 17, 2020. belarus socialism. The winning design was a hammer and sickle on top of a globe in rays of the sun, surrounded by a wreath of grain and under a five-pointed star, with the inscription "proletarians of the world, unite!" Fight back with workers’ power, Declaración del Workers World Party/Partido Mundo Obrero. This is how the deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Cheslau Shulha recently answered a question about the growing sex industry in Belarus on a state TV channel. But it is definitely becoming a sizeable business. Belarusian Social Democrat Anatol Sidarevic pointed out that “Lukashenka with his rhetoric has been and, may be still, considered almost a Socialist.” Belarusian journalists and activists express similar views. “Maternity leave in Belarus is also extended to those who adopt babies. He is known for contradictory statements such as "market socialism" and these do not help to understand much about the ideological underpinnings of the regime. Are Belarusians fundamentally rural Orthodox Christians? Their absolute numbers were very small, varying between 2,000 and 3,000. Perhaps the only sort of incoming tourism from western countries that is developping in Belarus despite any difficulties is sex tourism. The same lack of ideological preoccupation shapes Belarus' foreign policy. … Few Belarusian pensioners will have the luxury cars or the latest computers, but they will be able to afford food, fuel and the essentials that allow them to enjoy a peaceful retirement. Siarhei Bohdan is an associate analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre. Even fewer come from western countries. Much like Russia, Belarus is a repressive state that makes a mockery of even liberal democracy, keeping some Soviet trappings and customs while abandoning the USSR's egalitarianism. In 2007, the European Union suspended its trade preferences for Belarus for violations of trade unions' rights – effectively introducing economic sanctions for the first time. The people of Belarus have long been daunted due to brutal retaliation by the state. For socialism and genuine democracy! Socialism requires workers power, and there is no such thing in Belarus. It lies on the crossroads of major international roots from Germany and Poland to Russia and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea. That said, Belarus has a very mixed economy. Independence from the USSR Another Achilles heel of the Belarusian tourist industry is the “visa wall”. They do not want to pay for expensive visas only to find the lack of appropriate tourist infrastructure. An interview with Dmitry Kosmachev, a member of the Minsk Socialist Circle, about the situation in Belarus, the current protests, and where they may lead. The people have some legitimate grievances against Lukashenko, especially regarding his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. September 25, 2020 by . Their president has been in power for more than 25 years, ever since the Soviet Union fell, and his prior job was managing a socialist collective farm. Interestingly, nationals of only 19 states can enter Belarus without visas (however, there are specific regulations for each state). Anti-imperialists and revolutionaries inside the U.S. must oppose any U.S. involvement in other countries’ affairs. Despite the economic collapse brought about by the counter-revolution of the 1990s, Belarus avoided the fate of many other former socialist states by retaining state-run industry and the social safety net. This system demonstrates merely that the Belarusian statistics Committee show that this project is not capitalist, but is. Across almost the whole country, Belarus continues many socialist policies from the what. 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