Bush, Havel, Rice, Sikorski, and others read messages of solidarity with Belarus

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FreeMediaOnline.org Logo. FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, December 31, 2010 — The George W. Bush Presidential Center announced that on New Year’s Eve, President Bush joined former Czech president Vaclav Havel, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, other world leaders, and dissidents from across the globe to voice their support for the future of a free Belarus. In solidarity with the country’s pro-democracy advocates, and broadcast by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, they read the names one by one of 700 detained individuals.

Free Media Online (FreeMediaOnline.org) applauds the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the initiative’s participants for organizing this effort to express solidarity with the people of Belarus.

According to Free Media Online president Ted Lipien, this public diplomacy action is in many ways similar to the American expressions of support for the Polish people after General Jaruzelski’s imposition of martial law in Poland in December of 1981, except at that time President Ronald Reagan, the White House staff, the State Department, and the now defunct United States Information Agency (USIA) were all in the forefront of numerous U.S. government and private sector efforts to expose human rights violations and publicly condemn the communist regime in Warsaw. The absence of high-profile figures of the Obama administration in this latest action in support of democracy in Belarus is quite telling and confirms that East-Central Europe and defense of human rights abroad are a much lower priority for President Obama, said Lipien.

We are disappointed that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not join other world leaders, former statesmen, and dissidents who took time from their busy schedules to record their messages of support and solidarity with Belarus.

Read the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s announcement here.

To listen to the solidarity reading on Radio Svaboda [Radio Liberty Belarus Service], click here.

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