One of the many new countries created in downfall of the Soviet Union is Belarus. Unfortunately for the people of that small country, they went from being governed by a communist totalitarian state based in Moscow to the fascist dictatorship of one of their own, Alexander Lukashenko.
Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and has time and again indicated that he has no interest in or tolerance for: Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press or civil liberties. In recent years the European Union has imposed numerous sanctions on Belarus in effort to force Lukashenko to introduce democratic reforms.
Meeting in Brussels over the weekend, EU ministers all called for new economic and political sanctions against “Europe’s last dictator.” Germany’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, spoke eloquently and passionately about the need to isolate Belarus pending democratic reforms. Westerwelle, happens to be gay.
In response to the latest criticisms of his authoritarian rule, Lukashenko responded that it was: “Better to be a dictator than gay.”
Lukashenko recently expelled the EU’s ambassador to Belarus after 21 of the country’s judges and police officers were sanctioned. All 27 European Union member countries have recalled their ambassadors from Belarus.