The Right to Revolt

Posted: 27 Nov 2010

The international media doesn’t pay too much attention to us, probably for good reasons - it's not just that we live in a small country, I think we also are not capable of generating news, especially positive. Meanwhile, clichés have proliferated: the poorest country in Europe, human trafficking, etc. But the latest article published five days ago in Newsweek ("Discolored Revolution" by William Schreiber, 22 November 2010, lick-election.html) excels among superficial articles, misleading readers and promoting two theses absolutely unacceptable for our democratic development.

The first one relates to our youth.

The author in question claims that Moldova “is a country where the Communist Party could prove democracy’s greatest hope – and pro-Western youth its greatest threat”. Schreiber also argues that these protesters (who took to the streets on April 6-7, 2009) could, allegedly, repeat the same, they are "looking towards Europe, but do not call them Democrats." Also: "Moldovan youth seems to have forgotten that the loss of fair elections is not an opportunity for revolution."

Schreiber, probably, did not read the reports of international organizations on human rights violations in Moldova, Schreiber, probably, does not know that the Public Television was poisoning viewers during eight years of Communists’ rule while the independent journalists were beaten over their heads with metal bars, Schreiber, probably was not aware that Moldova is under the Council of Europe’s monitoring, Schreiber, probably did not know that Moldovan Communist Government has paid tens of millions of Euros after losing cases at the European Court of Human Rights that were based on Articles concerning inhuman and degrading treatment (alas! read torture), Schreiber, probably, was not informed that the non-Communist rayons were disadvantaged when it came to the state budget transfers, Schreiber, probably, was unaware that La Familia* took by force every successful business of entrepreneurs, Schreiber, probably, was unaware of criminal cases fabricated against leaders of political opposition, Schreiber, probably, saw no connection between the situation in the social-economic and justice fields and the rate of migration of Moldovans abroad.

All these facts mean election fraud - a process that lasted a long time. Ah! Someone is bothered that criminal files have not been put forward that would have proved that in some forgotten village an exact number of votes were falsified? In a judiciary system built and strengthened by the Communists?

Youngsters had every right to revolt on 6-7 April 2009. Although in my previous posting "They Hate Us. What Do We Do? I argued that we can’t respond to hatred with hatred, I want to state now clearly: young people have the right to revolt regardless of the regime’s color, if it steals their democratic, prosperous, and European future. We understand very well that popular uprisings or revolutions are dangerous, but no totalitarian regime can be tolerated indefinitely, expecting its "transformation" in some indefinite future.

This leads me to the second thesis voiced by the author of the Newsweek’s article, as harmful to the democratic development of Moldova, as the first one. Schreiber makes the reference to Damon Wilson, Vice President of a U.S. think-tank, who in turn, begins by mentioning the rivalry between the Prime Minister Filat and the acting President Ghimpu, arguing that it undermines the democratic legitimacy. He goes on by asserting that the West should support “the strongest politicians (meaning Voronin, indeed) to become better state builders”. The same Wilson says that the center-left European socialists could coach Moldovan communists, so that they would evolve into some sort of garden-type social democrats.

I don’t know whether the author of this article and the expert mentioned above are familiar with an obvious fact – in any coalition government there is a competition of ideas and there are debates, and the modern history of coalition governments in Western countries proves this point. Also, I don’t know if these individuals are aware that the Communist Party has been eight years in power - enough time to modernize any party. The fact that it didn’t happen shows the intention – no one wanted to do it. Theses stated in the article (with a reference to an American expert based in Washington and a fresh Moldovan graduate with an undisclosed location, without interviewing any Moldovan politician or representatives of civil society and media) drive us to the assumption that these theses have been simply taken from publications of the Communist Party. It’s a pity that a prestigious publication, as Newsweek, lowered the standards of journalism to this level.

Otherwise, there is nothing left to us but a repetition of what we believe in: while we prefer a democratic evolution that leads to a greater freedom and prosperity, in a country with a totalitarian regime the youth has the right to revolt. No one can steal indefinitely its future!

P.S. The Newsweek’s article was gladly translated and published by the media affiliated to the Communist Party as a proof of their righteousness.

La Familia* - a political-financial group led by billionaire Oleg Voronin who used to control the state institutions, including law-enforcement, to maximize it’s profits and to ensure the support for the authoritarian regime led by his father, Vladimir Voronin, the former Moldovan President, ousted from power as a result of a violent popular revolt in April 2009 and subsequent elections.

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