While Americans and Belarusians are carrying on protest movements for different reasons, Americans should take interest in knowing why Belarusians are protesting. Trump and Belarusian president have a lot of things in common, the first of which is their openness to forming an alliance with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
That is regardless of the fact that Western and the EU Commission have issued political sanctions and economic restrictions against Russia for Putin’s continuing disregard for international laws; and for acts of aggressions against neighboring countries, first with Crimea and currently with Ukraine.
Trump may even turn out to be worse than the Belarus president, because while President Lushenko is trying to maintain diplomatic relationships with the EU Commission, Trump has been continuously eroding diplomatic relationships with other countries. One of Trump’s most controversial international actions was the voluntary withdrawal of U.S. membership from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The stance placed the U.S. country in the same league as North Korea, Iran and Eritrea, being the only countries that refuse to be under international laws and policies on human rights.
Trump Appears to Be Adopting Lushenko’s Political Strategies
Like President Lushenko, Trump openly hopes to become the U.S. president for a longer period, forever if possible. Lushenko has been the country’s president for 23 years and has been enjoying 5 uninterrupted terms as president of Belarus. Lushenko made this possible after succeeding in having the presidential-term limits removed from the Belarusian Constitution. Trump is capable of doing the same, since he has been continuously defying constitutional laws with the help of Republican lawmakers who are as power hungry as Trump is.
The similarities do not end there. The main reasons why Belarusians are now taking to the streets in protest of Lushenko’s 6th term, after allegedly winning 80% of the votes in an election was fueled by Lushenko’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Trump is still tied by democratic laws that prevent him from taking the same courses of action that Lushenko made, he nevertheless showed little interest in protecting the health and welfare of the American public.
Why Belarusians are Strongly Protesting Against Lushenko’s Sixth Term as President
In mid-March when the whole world, including the U.S. went into lockdown as a way to prevent the COVID-19 from threatening the well-being of the global population, Lushenko chose not to join the lockdown bandwagon.
Although the protests started in February, Lushenko’s refusal to issue lockdown mandates angered the protesters even more, considering that the effects of the pandemic is directly linked to Lushenko’s oppressive employment laws.
In Belarus, there is a so-called anti social parasites law, which requires citizens to work for six months at the least during the year. Otherwise, they will be considered unemployed and be slapped with a €180 fine instead of getting unemployment support as taxpayer benefits. That is why Belarusians who lose their job prefer not to make known if they are currently unemployed.
Currently, there are 72,191 active COVID-19 cases in Belarus, 691 of which have led to fatalities. Since Belarus citizens do not receive unemployment assistance and at worst, be fined for losing their job, those who have to deal with the health problems caused by the coronavirus cannot afford to be absent, lest they get fired .
Similarly, Trump wanted the American people to weather the effects of the pandemic just to keep the economies going and to keep intact his claims of being the only U.S. who has provided the highest number of jobs. If Trump had his way, he’d rather that the country does not spend money on unemployment benefits, as a way of forcing the American people to get out of their homes and find work.