Belarusians should not miss their chance today.
The country has faced serious changes ahead of new year.
I wanted to write about the blockage of websites and say that free speech in Belarus was being eliminating so long and systematically that few remaining independent journalists can tell their readers: “When they come for you, you will have nobody to defend you.”
It's true that people didn't speak out when television was monopolised. Belarusians didn't speak out when Radio 101.2 and regional radio stations were closed. There were a few pickets when independent newspapers were closed. The remaining independent news websites are being blocked, but people went on a shopping spree to buy old-fashioned Horizont TV sets and rushed to banks to withdraw money from their accounts, which they opened hoping to earn easy money.
But then I asked myself why I should moralise. Let people stay in queues at banks. They need to live on something. Your money have been spent on building a financial pyramid that is bigger than that of MMM.
Looking for easy money and free lunches, many closed eyes to crimes of the regime. Killings, abductions and torture of presidential candidates were something far, unreal and unimportant. A stratum of people who had a rather wealthy life at the cost of the pyramid has formed in the country. They believed that the conman who robbed other people would be honest to them for some reason.
A friend of mine suggested that Lukashenka was sincerely convinced that the fall of the Russian ruble and the Ukrainian hryvnia would not hit the Belarusian ruble. He made his ridiculous statement that a devaluation was impossible 20 hours before imposing a 30% duty on the purchase of foreign currency. I don't know how one can be such an idiot, but I admit it is possible.
Lukashenka is nothing today. He does not decide anything, does not influence anything. He only organises boring shows live on the air. His speechwriters only move yellowed sheets of paper from the file “2005” to the file “2014”. He sometimes improvises and says the nonsense he has been repeating for the last 20 years with the sincerity of a schizophrenic patient.
Prakopovichs, miasnikovichs, kalaurs and nalivaikas are bleating in the pen, law-enforcement bodies, including the KGB and the army, have been receiving orders from Moscow for a long time.
Lukashenka works no more than two hours a day, according to numerous sources. The rest of his time he spends on hockey, sauna, hunting, girls and reading poetry. He even had to take his son to work.
His international activity includes only meetings with Putin, Nazarbayev and Poroshenko. Putin and Nazarbayev regard Lukashenka as nullity, but Petro Poroshenko admires the dictator, and it makes him look like a clown.
I visit Kyiv often in the last weeks. I meet not only with politicians and journalists, but also with volunteers and participants of the antiterrorist operation. It's easy to breathe in Ukraine despite the war. Because it was a real spiritual revolution in Ukraine. Millions of altruistic people are ready to fight for their country's future. Unfortunately, top officials haven't reached the level of people, but I believe it is impossible that a dictator can ever appear in Ukraine. The Ukrainians cannot be defeated.
The woken up people is the main treasure of the country. It is important for Belarusians not to miss their chance. Many of my friends regret they were not active in 1994-1995, when there was a chance to change everything and change the vector of the country's development. Some were afraid of losing business, some were afraid of losing a job. Belarusians were passive and lost the most valuable thing – future.
Blocking independent websites is repression not only against journalists. The authorities are trying to struggle with millions of Belarusians who do not believe the lie of the official media and look for free speech on the Internet. The number of such people is growing.
A decision to block the Internet in this situation is like suicide for Lukashenka. Another attempt to perform a split between the Kremlin and the West will definitely fail, all the more so because he hangs over the boiler which lid is going to fly off due to steam pressure.
He will have to answer for Internet filtering. We will insist on imposing new sanctions against the dictatorship in Belarus, including a ban on suppling technologies. I think, the Operative and Analytical Centre under the aegis of Lukashenka's Administration which receives equipment from the American multinational corporation Cisco as well as the notorious High Technologies Park will be the first to feel discomfort.
One cannot kill people's aspirations for freedom. Neither Milosevic nor Yanukovych succeeded.
It's enough to use Opera Turbo to get access to the website charter97.org despite blocking. It's enough to begin to respect yourself to become free. To forget about fear and get involved in your country's life.
We risk nothing. We have nothing to lose. No easy money any more. The Belarusian Mavrodi is a bankrupt.
Natallia Radzina, editor-in-chief of charter97.org