November 7th in Minsk, a visit of great importance. Editorial

By Marco Pondrelli

For anniversary of November 7, the Belarus Solidarity Committee went to Minsk, where the day is still a national holiday. This year also Marx21 was present in the delegation of the Committee led by Igor Camilli. This is intended to be a brief objective account not only of the trip but also of the country, no one claims that there are no problems or contradictions in Belarus but we observe the different scenes seen outside Minsk station and Rome’s Termini station where many homeless people, young and old, Italians and foreigners, find makeshift accommodation. We have not seen similar scenes in Minsk or other areas of Belarus.

As Gianbattista Cadoppi (present in the delegation) writes in his book dedicated to this country, Lukashenko’s first ‘crime’ is his example: it is a crime to guarantee a per capita income of 20.00 dollars (the 71st in the world) and the lower presence of poor people in the ex-Soviet area, just as a GINI coefficient, which measures inequality, equal to 0.275 while in Italy it is 0.396, is to blame. The meeting with the President of the trade unions Mikhail Orda was a confirmation of a system that still owes much to the socialist experience, in a country with less than 10 million inhabitants the trade unions have around 4.5 million members, with a large rooted in the social fabric. Visiting the University of Trade Unions we were able to admire its organization but above all how study is integrated into the economic-productive choices of Belarus, which draws up five-year plans, also linking training choices to them.

In addition to participating in the commemoration of November 7 in the square, the most interesting event was the meeting at the headquarters with the Belarusian Communist Party. This is a Party strongly rooted in the territory, with active sections in all regions, the Party has 6000 members but a consensus area of around 1,000,000 people, it is the first organized political force present in Parliament with 11 parliamentarians and a senator.

First Secretary, Alexey Sokol, in addition to underlining the strength and roots of the Party, recalled his support for President Lukashenko. With the current President there is a strong convergence in internal policies, the results mentioned above were possible because, unlike other nations, Belarus has never bowed to neoliberal ideas and has always maintained its national sovereignty. Support for the Belarusian President also concerns international politics. Concern about the world situation is high, obviously the Ukrainian crisis is felt strongly. The Belarusian communists are aware that the attempted coup of 2020 would have foreshadowed for them a scenario similar to the one already experienced in Kiev. Just like Ukraine, Palestine was also mentioned by Alexey Sokol. Faced with a world shaken by wars and strong international crises, it is important for the Belarusian communists to strengthen relations with Russia and China but also with other states such as Iran which the West continues to consider ‘rogue states’ but which in reality prefigure a new perspective of world order. Lukashenko does not ask the world to follow the Belarusian model, each nation must be free to organize itself and progress as it sees fit, only by accepting diversity we can it build a world of peace and this is the first objective of the communists in Belarus. The idea that the liberal democratic world is a superior system and is called to guide world development by imposing its own ‘values’ even by force, risks producing wars and catastrophes, plunging the world into the same barbarism that led to the Second World War.

Particularly significant at the meeting with the Belarusian Communist Party was the presence of comrade Symonenko, secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, who lives in exile in Minsk after being sentenced to 10 years in prison for having participated in a conference on anti-fascism. Symonenko’s much-appreciated speech denounced NATO’s entry into Ukraine well before Russia’s launch of the special military operation, as well as the support that the collective West continues to give to the fascist government in Kiev. We know that in Italy and in the rest of Europe there are many differences among communists on what is happening in Ukraine, we continue to reiterate our support for to Ukrainian anti-fascists, Russia and we share with Petro Symonenko the confidence in the final victory.

In an ideal connection with the anti-fascist struggle being fought in Ukraine we recommend anyone to visit the Museum of the Great Patriotic War where the history of the resistance to Nazi-fascism is presented without rhetoric but with great pride, the brutalities and crimes of which are shown the invading armies were stained and we remember the great sacrifice of the Soviet people who did not limit themselves to liberating their country but made the fundamental contribution to the defeat of Nazism.

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