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Kazakhstan’s desire to become a member on the HRC does not have as much to do with human rights as it does with the country’s foreign policy and the matters of positioning internationally. So that it can say that if the country is a member on the HRC, it is promoting human rights.
This is not the first such foreign policy initiative made by Kazakhstan’s authorities. In 2010, Kazakhstan was the first of the ex-USSR states to be elected as Chair of the OSCE. In 2013-2015, Kazakhstan was elected as a member on the HRC for the first time. Today, it is ramping up to take part for a second time in a no-alternative election.
Democracy is a set of elements that form the base of a society where the human rights of every individual, group, and identity are respected. It is not a Western concept but a universal one, that is compatible with the multitude of cultural differences and divergences that exist in this world. Democracy is able to be flexible and be expressed based on the unique needs of each society.
One day the American president announced that his troops would start withdraw and that was the end. In just over a week the entire Afghan territory was back under Taliban control and the president had left the country, perhaps to Tajikistan. Twenty years of building a self-sustaining state were in vain and in the end the structure collapsed like a house of cards. Quickly and stealthily.
Once again it is not understood how the government decides with regrettable obsequiousness - worthy of “carnal relations” - to celebrate the birthday of dictators. Moreover, he does it at a party full of autocratic guests from all regions and trends, as evidenced by presences ranging from the sanguinary Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to the Cuban autocrat Miguel Diaz Canel. From right to left, from east to west and from north to south.
Notwithstanding Germany’s role as a world power with a leading position within the European Union, and despite its exemplary attitude towards Cuba in the UN Human Rights Council, Germany has become just another country of the European Union that is soft with Havana and that currently does not recognize democratic activists. Meanwhile, the Cuban government has maintained relations with the opposition in Germany, including the Left Party (DIE LINKE), the Cuba Solidarity Network in Germany (Netzwerk Cuba e.V.), the Bavarian University Centre for Latin America (BAYLAT), the German Communist Party (DKP), the Germany-Central America Parliamentary Group, the Socialist German Workers' Youth (SDAJ), the Germany-Cuba Friendship Society, among others.
There are more than a thousand NGOs in various host countries that are working to organize the Venezuelan diaspora. Its leaders are aware of the Cuban experience and are interacting with diaspora Cubans via events like the one CADAL sponsored in April. Can the knowledge gained from these interactions help Venezuelans? The answer likely depends on the goal.
On Sunday, May 23rd, Poratsevich traveled to Lithuania from Greece, where he had attended an event with exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya. A few minutes after landing in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, his flight was diverted by the Belarusian authorities to Minsk under the pretext of an alleged bomb threat. Why land in Minsk if the destination airport was the closest one? According to the Lithuanian authorities, of the 126 passengers who boarded in Athens, 5 remained in Minsk: Protasevich, his girlfriend (of Russian citizenship) and three men whose identity was not revealed.
The once most democratic country in Central Asia it has been an almost direct flight from a chaotic and fragmented but democratic system to the heavy hand of a strong boss with increasing power and less opposition. Perhaps this distant country allows us to understand how weak democracy is when there are no solid institutions, how fragility entails instability and this opens the doors to charismatic leaders who proclaim themselves saviors just to take a step towards authoritarianism.
Bulgaria is not only the poorest country in the European Union, it also has the worst corruption rates (according to Transparency International) and the least press freedom in the bloc (according to Reporters Without Borders); this is why the emergence of a popular figure in opposition to the traditional parties and to a questioned status quo, was so promising. However, the government leader resigned twice as Prime Minister and was elected again both times. Will he be able to do it again?
(Diálogo Político) The participation of Belarusian athletes in the next Olympic Games under their own flag is at serious risk, although they could present themselves under the Olympic flag, as independent athletes, as will happen with Russian athletes. That would be a very hard blow to Lukashenko's image at a time when demonstrations are once again taking over the streets after winter.
In a context of a general lack of knowledge about China in Latin America, it is not only that there is no such thing as a Chinese-style democracy; it is that it is a mistake to believe that the Chinese model is better just because it may be more effective. Democratic systems are neither infallible nor perfect because they’re based on freedom, checks and balances, rule of law, participation, transparency and human rights. And China's effectiveness stems precisely from the absence of all these attributes.
The failure of tough policies, already anticipated in Cuba and then in Venezuela, reinforces the return to a policy strategy, now with Joe Biden. If the hawks criticized Obama's policy for its apparent lack of results, now the doves are in a position to ask the same questions in the face of the same reality. Neither Venezuela nor Cuba is any closer to a return to democracy, each with its own specificities and contexts, than they were in January 2017 when Trump came to power.
Those outside the United States who value democracy and human rights, for the US’s own sake and because of its power and influence across the world, have expressed tremendous concern. The elected leaders of many democratic countries, as well as intellectuals and activists from outside the US, have not hesitated to condemn Donald Trump´s clear incitement of his supporters to hate and insurrection. The Organization of American States also condemned the mob violence.