Five years ago, a Belarusian teenager studying film in Poland set up a YouTube channel to show videos that he made and poke fun at his country's longtime leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
In Belarus people have been taking the streets for weeks against a dictator who is trying to suppress the protests with all the harshness of the state apparatus. Despite all the reprisals against the own population, they behave peacefully during all protests.
Venezuela is constantly over the news given its unprecedented economic collapse. Yet, numerous people still think that the country’s economic hardships were caused by external factors, such as declining oil prices or financial sanctions from the international community. When in reality, the Venezuelan collapse is the direct consequence of the country’s inefficient, distorted, and hostile business environment.
"Your Batska is so good! How come you don't like him?" — Belarusians don't speak that way. Nobody calls Alexander Lukashenko "Batska" in Belarus any more.
We the undersigned, European accredited diplomats who participated in diplomatic watch activities during early voting 4-8 August and on Election Day of 9 August in Belarus, would like to:
- commend all those independent observers we have met during our work, mostly outside the polling stations;
- thank explicitly those members of the electoral commissions who welcomed us wholeheartedly and were open for a constructive cooperation;
- applaud those heads of polling station who assured a fair counting of the votes;