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Gantry 5

 

Belarus: National independence, cooperation and socialism are the only positive way out of the crisis

After the presidential elections in Belarus, which gave, according to official data, a large victory for incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, demonstrations which took on an insurrectional character were violently suppressed.

 

Since then, supporters and opponents of the regime have demonstrated while international interventions, especially from the European Union, are more urgent aiming to obtain a change in their favor in the political course of the country. Opponents and their Western supporters, claiming that the elections were rigged, more or less vehemently demand the departure of the elected President and a “democratic” and pro-European transition.
To understand and analyze the development of the current situation in Belarus, it is worth briefly recalling some essential data. Belarus, a republic of the USSR, became an independent state in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke up. In 1994, in the wake of the election of President Lukashenko, refusing the liquidation of the economic and social gains of the Soviet period, and mass privatizations, it preserved a strong public base for both its industrial and agricultural economy. Far from the chaos that Russia experienced and which plunged millions of Russians into misery, it maintained most of the social gains of the workers. From his election in 1994, A. Lukashenko enjoyed strong popularity precisely because of these economic and social choices. These facts are amply attested by the economic and social data which characterize Belarus. Thus in 2018, Belarus was ranked 53rd out of 189 countries according to the UN Human Development Index, and is in the group of states with very high development. It has an efficient health system, it has a very low infant mortality rate of 2.9 against 3.7 / 1000 in the United Kingdom. The rate of doctors per inhabitant is 40.7 per 10,000 inhabitants (32.7 for France) and the literacy rate is estimated at 99%. The inequality indicator is one of the lowest in Europe. However, Belarus cannot be considered as a socialist country, but as a largely state-controlled economy with a progressive tendency towards privatization.
We can then ask the question: what feeds discontent in the popular strata? The Communist Workers' Party of Belarus (PCOB) provides the following explanation: "... since 2011, his government (that of Lukashenko) has increased the pressure on the working class and the popular layers, by cutting access to public services, by blocking wages, by raising prices, by initiating privatization policies in industry. In 2017, he even tried to introduce an "anti-parasite" tax targeting the unemployed! The working class responded with a massive response, forcing the government to back down. However, it could not prevent the abolition of the status of workers in state enterprises, replaced by a 5-year renewable fixed-term contract. These measures were denounced by the Communist Workers' Party of Belarus (PCOB), a split from the Communist Party of Belarus (PCB), member of the presidential majority. " This is how The PCOB denounces the anti-popular character taken in recent years by the Lukashenko regime. According to Bruno Drweski, Professor at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) tens of billions of dollars are being put on the table to bribe senior officials. In a recent interview, he put it this way: "The head of the Russian firm Uralchem, Dimitry Mazepin, a powerful Belarusian oligarch based in Russia has long sought to acquire the Belarusian state-owned potash company Soligorsk valued at $ 150 billion, which Minsk authorities consistently refuse. According to sources close to power in Minsk, he therefore pumped a lot of money to "buy" high Belarusian officials ready to change sides in order to secure a privatization of the country to be divided between Russian and Western oligarchs. The current protests are therefore blessed by these capitalists because they are pushing Belarus towards Russia where the influence of the oligarchs is strong enough to imagine that the Kremlin would force the Belarusian government to break with the principle of the social state and the commitment to public ownership of key enterprises. For the Kremlin, the whole difficulty lies in not having to deal with a pro-Western "colored revolution" in Minsk while pushing local authorities to abandon their social model by opening their country to mass privatization. In all, the Belarusian KGB estimates that $ 1.8 billion has been pumped into Belarus over the past five years, from the West and the East, to “bribe” senior officials in favor of integration with Russia and activists from opposition organizations rather close to Western interests. A layer of corrupt people has therefore emerged who have an interest in privatization rather than in their own retention in government posts that are relatively poorly paid in comparison. "
These two elements of appreciation that we report allow us to measure that Belarus, a developed country with a qualified labor force, located on the border between the European Union, its military pact NATO, and Russia is an important issue for the various capitalist protagonists that surround it and that current events push them to intervene in the exclusive directions of their own interests. Opponents of the regime, even if they rely on discontent, are the forward bridgeheads of all those in the EU who want to end a buffer Belarus by integrating it as quickly as possible into the military system of NATO. For the European monopolies, the destruction of Belarusian industrial and agrarian potential would signify the end of a competitor and the "liberation" of a qualified labor force ready to be exploited, while capitalist Russia and its oligarchs, in addition to the defense issues, see it as a new source of accumulation for their capital. Facing this double offensive is therefore a difficult situation. It will not be resolved by dodging between a rock and a hard place but by popular mobilization for a sovereign Belarus, rejecting the prospect of privatizations with the EU, of militarization through NATO, and / or of the domination of the Russian capitalist oligarchy. By strongly condemning foreign interventions in Belarus, and in particular that of EU imperialism, we add that our support goes in Belarus to the forces fighting to preserve its national independence and fighting for socialism. This struggle can only succeed if everywhere the working class is organized, keeping away from any foreign interference and from bourgeois power; if everywhere the Communists oppose the destructive plans, which only bring misery and war in Eastern Europe as in so many other regions of the world.