That said, Belarus has a very mixed economy. This transforms the country into a kind of sweatshop, common in the developing world with cheap and docile labour force, minimal regulations and full freedom of action for employers. Some write about socialism in Belarus, and others call Lukashenka “a spontaneous socialist” or even a social democrat. The ideology-free elite wishes to preserve its power without embarking on high-minded idealistic abstractions. They do not want to pay for expensive visas only to find the lack of appropriate tourist infrastructure. Another Achilles heel of the Belarusian tourist industry is the “visa wall”. Many Russians come to Belarus to use its growing gambling industry. In 2014 a NATO-sponsored coup succeeded in overthrowing Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych. Her supporters and other opponents of the government from various centrist and right-wing parties, poured into the streets to denounce Lukashenko. We recommend that subscribers with internet access get our free email subscription and share our articles with your contacts and on social media. 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. But they exist as remnants of Soviet times and are gradually being dismantled as the government gradually cuts costs. Only two of them have 5 stars (hotels Europe and Crowne Plaza in Minsk) and three  have 4 stars (hotels Minsk and Victoria in Minsk and hotel Luchesa in Vitebsk). Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on his reelection Aug. 9. Later, the ILO repeatedly defined Belarus as a grave violator of trade unions' rights, but to no avail. The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic exists as a government in exile since then. Perhaps the only sort of incoming tourism from western countries that is developping in Belarus despite any difficulties is sex tourism. Are Belarusians fundamentally rural Orthodox Christians? 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 government ignores most of the ILO's recommendations. No, but that doesn’t mean it is not a victim of western imperialism, both right now as we speak and since the dissolution of the USSR. Seriously fanatical communists or hard-core adepts of socialist ideology find themselves in unimportant positions. Classic editor History Talk (0) Socialism : This category collects individuals, organizations, publications, events and other topics that are relevant to Socialism in Belarus. 100 Years Later: Some Lessons of the Great Bolshevik Revolution, Fascist violence and the form of the state, No fascist coup! A 1999 presidential decree effectively made much of the Labour Code a dead letter and launched a massive compulsory introduction of temporary contracts to strengthen authoritarian consolidation in the country. Moreover, on 31 May the government amended the national visa rules. 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. After that his ministers began to implement various state projects to boost the attractiveness of Belarus for incoming tourists. While the Belarusian authorities are talking about the prospects of sex tourism, the inflow of foreign tourists in general remains low. The Bolsheviks created a puppet Soviet government of Belarus in Smolensk. The Soviet conservatism has its best reflection in the share of state ownership in Belarus. Even fewer come from western countries. Please use the respective subcategories, if existing. 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. Despite frequent declarations, the government have failed to create even basic tourist infrastructure in Belarus. Tikanovskaya became the main opposition candidate after his arrest. This year, the ILO put Belarus on the “long” and “short” list of states violating rights of trade unions. This is not surprising, since Belarus has an open border with its eastern neighbour and even no passport control. If the authorities really want to turn Belarus into a popular tourist destination the latest visa amendments look utterly strange. … 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. Unlike the other former Soviet Republics, Belarus displays symbolism of the former Soviet Union (USSR). Mostly though I would have these icy streets to myself; and when I did get into conversations, many of the people I spoke with turned out to be Russian tourists, migrants or retirees. Belarus’s government has its contradictions. In a recent study, World Bank experts argue that the state production conglomerates let the government hide the losses of some enterprises among profits made by others. Lukashenko’s reelection was the sixth one since 1994, when he also won 80% of the popular vote. Now that the amendments are in force only residents of the countries with no Belarusian consulates can apply for visas after they arrive at Minsk-2 airport. While Belarus still maintains features from its socialist history as part of the Soviet Union, it lost other socialist features during and after the USSR’s collapse. Now Belarusian workers and youth need a socialist alternative to organise opposition. The same applies to the profits. What is clear, however, is that Lukashenko’s opposition welcomes support from the pro-fascist Maidan movement in Ukraine and from U.S. imperialism. 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. 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. Corporate media reports that Tikhanovskaya fled to Lithuania on Aug 11. In addition, Belarus continues many socialist policies from the days of the Soviet Union. 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. Belarus boasts a favourable geographical location. The same flag was also flown by Belarusian counterrevolutionaries during the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. This high-profile event can boost the country’s tourist industry, as the authorities promise visa-free travel for all Westerners. Parker points out that the first thing Lukashenko did upon election was double the minimum wage. At the time, Lukashenko warned the people of Belarus about such a movement developing there. Lukashenka's Regime: Neither Left, Nor Right, and Nor Centre. For example, a single entry short-stay visa for an American citizen costs $160. The health, education and welfare systems are probably the most positive aspects of the Belarusian state. Siarhei Bohdan is an associate analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre. Fight back with workers’ power, Declaración del Workers World Party/Partido Mundo Obrero. “Maternity leave in Belarus is also extended to those who adopt babies. Copyright © 2020 Workers World. What are socialist perspectives on Belarus? In 2014 Belarus will host the World Ice Hockey Championship. 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. In the past, the European Left has also expressed solidarity with the Belarusian government on a national level in some European countries and in Germany. Similarly, more and more services in hospitals are no longer free. One of them was the development of agro-ecotourism. Parker adds, “Communist and socialist governments the world over have always had literacy and education programmes as core principles. Stephen Shenfield: In the 1990s I made visits to five of the new post-Soviet republics – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan. Read in Russian As Marxists, we understand that the political crisis that is now unfolding in Belarus is not caused by an accidental coincidence of circumstances or the intrigues of certain foreign states. From 5000 to 2000 BC, Bandkeramik cultures predominated. Since the mid-1990s, U.S. imperialism has targeted the Belarus government, which has had cordial relations with other anti-imperialist governments, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe. 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. Subscribers should have received a printed paper in September and October. The people have some legitimate grievances against Lukashenko, especially regarding his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Edit. 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. And even these students will have to work for two years for very small wages to compensate for their "free education". Independence from the USSR In the majority of cases (85 per cent) Belarusians themselves use them for holding weddings or other celebrations. You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter, https://belarusdigest.com/story/the-european-myth-of-belarusian-socialism/. 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. By Otis Grotewohl posted on August 17, 2020. Washington’s policies aim at instability in Belarus. For example, there are only 34 hotels in the whole country that are certified according to international standards. This is the music of the future, but, hopefully, the not-too-distant future. According to the Belarusian Statistics Committee, in 2011 the highest numbers of western tourists were from Turkey, Lithuania, New Zealand and Poland. These states are the following: For the rest of the world Belarusian visas are quite costly. 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. They play almost no social or labour protection role. In 2011, state-owned enterprises earned almost two-thirds of the profits. News portal Naviny.by recently noticed that the share of the state sector in total industrial output in 2011 made up more than 70 per cent of Belarus' total output. 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. The Belarusian regime is a self-interested opportunistic authoritarianism which has no stable ideological preferences. For example, even the nominally high-ranked Anatol Rubinau only heads the Council of the Republic, which serves no serious function in the state other than being a social club for officials. 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