World Biden meets with Belarusian opposition leader at the White House
How a Manufactured Migrant Crisis Showed That Europe's Last Dictator Can Rattle the E.U.
How a Manufactured Migrant Crisis Showed That Europe's Last Dictator Can Rattle the E.U.An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people, mostly from the Middle East, are now huddled in freezing campsite tents awaiting permission to enter the European Union because Lukashenko decided to turn men, women and children into battering rams as retaliation for E.U. sanctions and diplomatic isolation owing to his theft of last year’s presidential election; his ongoing imprisonment and torture of political opponents; and his hijacking of a European airliner earlier this year to arrest a dissident journalist who was on board.
President Joe Biden met with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Wednesday morning, as part of her larger campaign to ratchet up international pressure on the Lukashenko regime.
"I was honored to meet with @Tsihanouskaya at the White House this morning. The United States stands with the people of Belarus in their quest for democracy and universal human rights," Biden tweeted, along with a photo of the two in conversation with masks.
Belarus Opposition Leader Calls U.S. Sanctions 'The Most Powerful Lever' to Weaken Regime
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said the sanctions are key to transitioning from President Alexander Lukashenko's administration to one supported by pro-democracy proponents.Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition candidate in the country's disputed election last August, believes the sanctions enacted against Belarus' money-generating government enterprises are key to transitioning from President Alexander Lukashenko's administration to one supported by pro-democracy proponents, the AP said.
In a subsequent tweet, the Tikhanovskaya thanked Biden "for a powerful sign of solidarity with millions of fearless Belarusians who are peacefully fighting for their freedom."
As part of her larger tour around the US over the last two weeks, Tikhanovskaya has met with a number of administration officials, including White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power and US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) acting CEO Kelu Chao.
Bipartisan members of the newly formed "Friends of Belarus Caucus" said in a letter to Biden last month that he should meet with Tikhanovskaya, saying such a meeting would "send a message to Lukashenko, his allies, and the world that the United States will not tolerate such political repressions and state-sponsored violence that have taken place in Belarus."
Russia Says West Created Migrant Crisis at Belarus-Poland Border Through Middle East Wars
"As if the collective West had no role to play in this, and everything was done by other people who are not connected with 'their' countries," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.Asked by Newsweek on Moscow's position on the thousands of refugees who have attempted to enter the European Union via Poland by way of Russian ally Belarus, the Russian Foreign Ministry referred to comments a day earlier by President Vladimir Putin at the ministry's collegium.
But Tikhanovskaya's meeting the with President had not been previously confirmed. Two weeks ago, a senior administration official said "senior officials at the White House look forward to meeting Ms. Tsikhanouskaya next week when she is in Washington. The United States stands with her and the people of Belarus, and will continue to support their democratic aspirations."
Tsikhanouskaya previously called on the administration to issue stronger sanctions, giving the Biden administrationShe said earlier this month that the list includes companies that are monopolized by the regime of Belarus' strongman President Alexander Lukashenko "and his cronies," including Belaruskali potash as well as oil, wood and steel enterprises.
Sanctions and support for civil society were brought up during her meeting with Blinken, she said, adding that"that there will be strong actions in the nearest future."
Migrants in Belarus Allegedly Beaten by Military Guards, Won't Let Them Return Home
"They don't care if you live or die," one migrant told Al Jazeera about the Belarusian border guards. "They have no empathy."According to Al Jazeera, the migrants said that they were "trapped" in the less than two-mile-wide zone, which is being called an "exclusion zone" by Poland. The report said the migrants were being transported back to the zone by Polish officials after they sought entry into Poland, and then detailed stories of migrants who alleged they were beaten back by Belarusian officials after they attempted to return east.
Tikhanovskaya is a former teacher whose husband was jailed by the Lukashenko regime. She's been living in exile in Lithuania after she opposed Lukashenko in their fraudulent 2020 presidential election.
The US and international community have taken a series of actions against the Lukashenko government in the wake of last August's election, in which "Europe's last dictator" refused to step down and initiated a violent and ongoing campaign of crackdowns on protesters, dissidents and journalists in Belarus.
In June, the US, European Union, United Kingdom and Canadain a coordinated response to the Lukashenko government's forced landing of a Ryanair flight and arrest of an opposition journalist last month as well as the "continuing repression" in the former Soviet state.
Venezuela opposition says it must rebuild after heavy election loss .
Venezuela opposition says it must rebuild after heavy election lossCARACAS (Reuters) -Venezuela's opposition needs to rebuild and reflect on its strategy after suffering a heavy defeat in regional elections at the weekend, its leader Juan Guaido said on Monday, calling for unity among the fragmented movement's leadership.