Huge irony for US as American man flees ‘Beacon of Democracy’ to Belarus
Published: Nov 09, 2021 11:27 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

"Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution… due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion," according to the official website of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. For a long time, the US has become a "paradise" for so-called "dissidents" who go against their own countries' systems.

But now, an American man has escaped this "paradise," heading for a country long regarded as a "dictatorship" by the US. According to a state TV report from Belarus, a US citizen charged with participating in the January 6 Capitol riot and wanted by the FBI is seeking asylum in Belarus. The man claimed that he is being politically persecuted by the US.

Why did a person from a so-called free country choose to seek asylum in an "authoritarian regime" Washington regards? This is a huge irony for the "democratic" US.

If the same thing happened in China or Russia, it is not difficult to imagine the US' reaction. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken may quickly make an announcement to "stand with" this man and condemn the government of the country concerned. But the incident actually happened in the US, and of course, Blinken has remained silent.

The US has been playing double standards, which shows that it does not care about democracy, liberty or the civil rights it claims at all. What it cares is geopolitical interests.

"The US is not a sanctuary where it protects human rights and freedom. Just the opposite, it is a perpetrator to a large extent. The US has tried to position itself on the global moral high ground, which is completely untenable. There will definitely be voices in the US that accuse the man of being a traitor. This incident is a stain on the US image," Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.

During the Tokyo Olympics, Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya expressed her dissatisfaction with her coaches and she was then persuaded to recant and go home. She refused to return to Belarus and went to Poland where she was offered a "safe haven away from Belarus," according to the New York Times. She was hyped as "a symbol of the repression in her native Belarus."

Now, can we say that the American man is "a symbol of the repression in his native US"? Washington has widely criticized countries with different ideologies, but there has always been an inerasable stain on the US itself.

Like what it did in Hong Kong of China, Washington has also tried to instigate a "color revolution" in Belarus. The National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress, contributed to the outbreak of protests in Belarus last year. By fostering pro-Western forces in the country, the US has intervened in Belarus' internal affairs and created chaos. 

Now, the situation has turned ironic - some Hong Kong rioters have fled to the US to seek political asylum, while this US citizen who participated in the Capitol riot went to Belarus. What a backlash for the US. 

"This shows that some American people vote with their feet. They do not agree with the US government's acts, and believe they are more likely to find justice and security in Belarus and other countries. From this point of view, it is a huge slap on the face of Washington. If the US wants to further promote its 'democracy' on a global scale, the effect will be greatly reduced," Zhang said.

"Lady Liberty stands as a beacon, welcoming you to begin a new chapter of your life," the Political Asylum USA website says. As some people are fleeing the US shrouded by the torchlight of Lady Liberty, more countries will understand that what Washington claims as "dictatorship" is not really dictatorship, and "freedom" is not freedom. The US' true face has been exposed to the world.