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Belarus strongmen face mass protests after jailing their main rival



Belarus strongmen face mass protests after jailing their main rival

Lukashenko has ruled the former Soviet republic with more than 9 million people since 1994 and ran for the sixth time in elections scheduled for August 9. He has long drawn international criticism for suppressing dissent, and the country’s secret police – still known as the KGB – often detain and harass opposition activists and independent journalists.

Demonstrations on Friday, in which thousands of people lined the streets of 10 cities, were prompted by a series of arrests, in what opposition activists called an attempt to eject popular candidates from the presidential election. Two of Lukashenko’s main opponents are currently in the KGB and police detention: popular YouTube blogger Sergei Tikhanovskiy, who was detained in late May, and former Belgazprombank chairman Viktor Babaryko, who was arrested on June 18 along with his son and campaign manager, Eduard Babaryko, according to the campaign they.

Following the latest arrest news, activists began forming “chains of human solidarity,” some of which stretched for several kilometers, according to organizers and local media reports.
Independent non-governmental organization Viasna, which monitors protests in Belarus, reported Saturday that at least 120 people were arrested overnight, including many journalists.

On Friday, Lukashenko said the protest was a foreign plot and claimed that the country’s law enforcement “frustrated a Maidan,” referring to the 2014 revolution in Ukraine which toppled the country’s pro-Russian president.

“We managed to take a few steps ahead of schedule and cancel a massive plan to destabilize Belarus,” Lukashenko said according to a government-run news agency. BELTA. “We show the true face of the dolls that we have here and dolls that sit outside Belarus.

“Don’t make me choose. If I behave democratically, if I show them that I am very warm and unclear, I have the opportunity to lose the country altogether,” Lukashenko added.

Babaryko is considered the main opponent of Lukashenko in this presidential election. The campaign said they had collected 425,000 signatures to support his candidacy, passing 100,000 signatures.

The country does not have a reliable independent political poll, but in early June, the “Sasha three percent” meme was trending on Belarusian social media, referring to the low number for Lukashenko in an informal poll from an independent online outlet. Sasha is a nickname for Alexander.

Boyfriend Eduard Babaryko said in a Facebook post on Thursday that he was being interrogated at the KGB detention center on charges of tax fraud. Lawyers for Viktor Babaryko say they have not been able to visit their clients. Until Saturday, Babarykos has not been released.

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The arrest was preceded by a series of police raids on the office and Babaryko’s apartment from a family member. Belarusian State Control Committee head Ivan Tertel said that 20 current and former bank executives related to Babaryko had been arrested on various charges, including tax evasion and embezzlement, and acknowledged that “Babaryko is the organizer of a criminal scheme.”

Babaryko has denied making mistakes and said the accusation politically motivated.
Demonstrators held their hands in the air during a demonstration in Minsk on June 19.

Lukashenko has claimed that several candidates who opposed him in this election have relations with Russia. Belarusian outlets called Babaryko “a candidate related to the Kremlin” when he was managing Belgazprombank, a subsidiary of Russian energy company Gazprom, for the past 20 years. Babaryko himself denied the allegations and asked the media not to call him a pro-Russian candidate. Lukashenko has long fostered close relations with Russia, which has close economic ties and a customs union with Belarus.

“[Lukashenko] “It did so because of the road map of deep integration with Russia … where Belarus lost its sovereignty, and it sparked a wave of public anger,” Babaryko said in an interview with independent Russian parties. RBC news outlet. “So now there are indications that something is being done to benefit Russia or other national causes [negative] Reaction in Belarusian society. “

The Kremlin also denied supporting Babaryko and rejecting allegations against Gazprom.

President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a summit on December 20, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“The Kremlin has no candidates in the Belarusian elections,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said earlier this week.

Putin and Lukashenko exchanged phone calls this week but did not discuss the situation around Belgazprombank, according to Peskov. Lukashenko is expected to visit Moscow next week to attend the Victory Day parade rescheduled on the Red Square.

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The British and US governments condemn the arrest and urge Belarusian authorities to respect the rights of their citizens to peaceful protests.

“The United States urges the Belarussian government to uphold its international commitment to respecting fundamental freedoms by allowing the Belarussian people to freely, peacefully gather and release those detained, including journalists who cover the peace meeting tonight,” the US Embassy account in Minsk said. Twitter Twitter in a statement. tweet.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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