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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.