August 13, 2020
Open letter to Representatives Eliot L. Engel and Marcia Carolyn Kaptur
The Hon. Mr. Eliot L. Engel Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives
The Hon. Ms. Marcia Carolyn Kaptur Co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus United States House of Representatives
Dear Mr. Engel and Ms. Kaptur:
As you know, the Republic of Belarus held its presidential election on August 9, 2020. Unsurprisingly, the election has further proved the Lukashenka regime’s disregard for democratic values and free and fair elections. The opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya has left the country for her own safety. For several days now, we have watched demonstrations fill Belarusian streets, and hundreds of videos on social media from Minsk and other major cities have shown how police are arresting and using violence against peaceful demonstrators.
In addition, several Ukrainian journalists and civil rights activists have been arrested, including Ukrainian activists of Euromaidan SOS Konstantin Reutski and Yevhenii Vasyliev.
The situation in Belarus is critically important for all Eastern Europe as well as for Ukraine’s long-term national security. Ukraine and Belarus share over 670 miles of the border, which Russia could potentially exploit against Ukraine.
We believe that the United States can and should take a more proactive stance, in solidarity with the peaceful protests in the Republic of Belarus, by providing its people and activists more support while taking positive diplomatic actions.
In 2013, when Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity began in Kyiv, Ukraine, Western countries, the European Union and the US, had long expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine but took no more meaningful action. As a result, hundreds of people lost their lives. We believe that Western countries should learn from that Ukrainian example and more proactively support the Belarusian people. For example, sanctions should be imposed as soon as possible, in addition to more diplomatic actions.
QUA - LGBTQ Ukrainians in America, as an American grassroots LGBTQ organization, strongly supports our Belarusian brothers and sisters. We see the similarity of events in Belarus and on Euromaidan of 2013-14 in Ukraine and believe the entire democratic world must take action now before more innocent people are killed.
Bogdan Globa President
We seek to assist Ukrainian LGBTQ + individuals living in the US and Canada to integrate, adapt, and productively contribute to American society.
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