While the effort for freedom in Cuba has dominated the headlines, another group of people are fighting a similar struggle halfway across the globe. This past Wednesday, authorities from the Eastern European government of Belarus conducted more than 40 raids of homes and offices of dozens of journalists and human rights activists within its borders.
This occurred less than two months after a Belarus MiG-59 hijacked an international flight between Greece and Lithuania for the purpose of forcing it to land in the Belarusian capital of Minsk — and kidnapping a 26 year-old dissident/exile/journalist aboard.
And only last summer, hundreds of thousands of Belarusians (in a country with a total population of less than 10 million) demonstrated in the streets against the fraudulent reelection of Stalinist strongman Alexander Lukashenko. They were met with water cannons, rubber bullets, and automatic rifles firing blanks.
Yet, the most recent effort to stamp out dissent in this Stalinist anachronism was ignored in all but the footnotes of America’s largest newspapers.
Why should we be concerned?
Already, Russian President Vladimir Putin is beginning to eye the reconstruction of the Soviet Union. The centerpiece of his vision would be a loose union between Belarus and the Russian Federation, supplemented by chunks