One of the political mastodons of the current Slovak left, the blogger, parliament member, and deputy chairman of the SMER-SD (Direction – Social Democracy) party Ľuboš Blaha, began his public career as a supporter of communist ideas, writing graphomaniac texts about Marxism in the 90s. For a few years he served as the Secretary for International Affairs of the Communist Party of Slovakia. As a result of the 2006 elections, this party managed to infiltrate parliament for four years, after which it sank into oblivion without a trace. However, Blaha, after the political fiasco of communism, began his own parliamentary career, appealing to the new speaker of parliament and deputy chairman of SMER-SD Pavel Paška, who offered him the post of his foreign policy adviser.
The “Soviet-ness” did not stop there. Blaha joined the new party. Having become its candidate in early elections in 2012, he was elected a member of parliament, gradually reaching the position of deputy chairman in the party hierarchy. Blaha astutely rebranded himself a Social Democrat, but apparently not completely, and the red communist banner still shines through.
In 2016, Prime Minister of Slovakia and SMER-SD leader Robert Fico nominated for the post of chairman of the parliamentary committee on European affairs Ľuboš Blaha – an implacable critic of “neoliberalism,” the “capitalist and imperialist” West, an “aggressive” NATO and the United States. Foreign diplomats accredited in Slovakia, as well as European politicians visiting Bratislava, shook their heads after meetings with Blaha. When he was the main representative of the Slovak parliament responsible for relations with the European Union, Blaha, for example, called the European Commission “a gang of notorious losers.”
But when he spoke about Russia and China (and from time to time also about Venezuela, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other similar states), he spoke with undisguised sympathy, noting their progressive role in the development of the planet, in the struggle for the true liberation of mankind, pointing out their successes in social, political, and economic development (albeit without bothering to pick out even the tiniest bit of convincing evidence). Blaha has spoken about Vladimir Putin without sparing compliments. Based on what he has written and said about Putin, it would not be an exaggeration to think that Putin for him is the great helmsman and hope of all mankind, truly a ray of light in the dark kingdom.
In 2014, Blaha unequivocally sided with Russia in its war of conquest against Ukraine, welcomed the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of Donbass, and accused Ukraine of oppressing Russians living there and the Ukrainian army of committing war crimes against the “people of Donbass.”
Although the elections that were unequivocally lost in February 2020 tossed Blaha out of his comfortable position as chairman of the parliamentary European committee and sent the SMER-SD party into the opposition, Blaha’s position within the party itself was strengthened, becoming its vice-leader. The current events in Belarus gave him the opportunity to show off his not insignificant vision of the situation (not insignificant, first off, in its amorality).
All of today’s democratic Slovak political elite – the ruling coalition and top officials – President Zuzana Čaputová, Prime Minister Igor Matovič, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár, Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok – took the side of the people of Belarus in the fight against the dictator following the rigged elections and brutal beatings of citizens. Slovakia became the first country in the world to refuse to recognize Lukashenko’s legitimacy after his secret inauguration. Slovak democrats have shown themselves to be supporters of freedom, human rights, and democracy – in contrast to Blaha. He, supposedly a leftist politician, a “social democrat,” turned out to be closer to Lukashenko rather than the Belarusian people.
Svetlana Tihanovskaya, who came to Slovakia and for whom millions of Belarusian voters voted in the elections, according to Blaha, “does not represent anyone.” During her visit, he wrote with theatrical anguish on his Facebook: “Go home, Mrs. Tikhanovskaya, go home.” Blagha called Tikhanovskaya “an activist greatly assisted by American NGOs,” a “fabricated celebrity,” a “woman legally persecuted abroad who does not represent anyone but herself and a few hangers on.” Tikhanovskaya, supposedly, is “nothing” – she “has no right to speak for the Belarusian people” and is “a puppet in the hands of Western powers, which parade her like a monkey at a fair.”
Calling the meeting of the Slovak leaders with Tikhanovskaya a “farce,” Blaha wrote: “Belarus has its own president and his name is Alexander Lukashenko,” and that the Slovak leaders “humiliate our state, accepting all sorts of illegitimate freeloaders, rushing around with them as if the boss of the world has arrived.”
Blaha knows in advance what will happen to Belarus if the opposition wins there (that is, if a united people displaces the brutal dictatorship): “The country will be plunged into chaos and bloodshed, ‘experts’ from the West will take control of the state, everything will be stolen and privatized by using local puppets trained in Washington, D.C. or London. Belarus will be counseled to hate Russia, and the kind and peaceful Belarusian people will suddenly begin to learn that Putin is to blame for all the evil that exists in the world and that Russians should be hated.”
He called the colors of the white-red-white Belarusian flag a symbol of “collaboration with the German Nazis when the country was occupied by the SS” and demanded that the police open an investigation into the case of the President and the Speaker of Parliament for “propaganda of fascism” when they ordered the creation of a white-red-white illumination on the Presidential Palace and Bratislava Castle as a sign of solidarity with the people of Belarus.
It is impossible to read the opuses of a pro-Putin anti-Western communist who has rebranded himself in the colors of social democracy without a feeling of aversion and disgust. The source of his knowledge of what is happening in Belarus is obvious – it is the brew of the Kremlin propaganda kitchen that is spewed out into the surrounding world.
Blaha is not the only politician in Slovakia who hates the current struggle of Belarusians for freedom. In this with him are the Slovak fascists from the right-wing extremist People’s Party Our Slovakia, known for its pro-Russian stance on foreign policy. And they define their positions on the events in Belarus according to the propaganda patterns of Lukashenko’s and Moscow’s regimes, which are close to them in their authoritarianism, anti-democracy, and suppression of human rights. Unlike people like Blaha, the fascists do not feel a special emotional connection with Lukashenko and are ready to admit that he has made some mistakes during his rule. But they, too, are unequivocally on his side since they consider him a real fighter against the West. It is precisely the anti-Western attitude, along with Lukashenko’s dictatorial habits, that are the cornerstone of the Slovak fascists’ support for the repressive regime in Minsk.
People’s Party leader Marian Kotleba said in the middle of August: “When I see a huge mobilization of all these liberal trolls and lumpen and hear the furious howling of tabloid rats, I have a strong feeling that the West is preparing a new Maidan in Belarus. That NATO killers and gentlemen from Brussels see a chance to seize another independent state, its natural resources, and its people.”
Kotleba, a COVID-19 denier and an opponent of safety measures, did not fail to recall that “President Lukashenko was one of the few leaders who, not succumbing to the corona madness, saved their country from COVID propaganda. Maybe that is why those who wanted to take us under full control under the pretext of fighting corona attacked him the most in Slovakia.”
In September, People’s Party Our Slovakia MEP Milan Uhrík described the visit of Tikhanovskaya to the European Parliament as follows: “Today, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the leader of the Belarusian opposition and the self-proclaimed winner of the presidential elections in the country, visited us in the European Parliament. The discussion with her was not objective, as opinions were almost exclusively in favor of the protesting Belarusian opposition supported by the U.S. and the EU. The leader of the Belarusian opposition came to the European Parliament for flowers and instructions.”
Uhrík did not support the resolution of the European Parliament condemning Lukashenko, stating that although there is “violence from both sides” in Belarus, the resolution “unilaterally supports the opposition forces and does not seek a diplomatic solution or dialogue with both the state authorities and opposition structures. Instead, it unilaterally supports the opposition’s seizure of power, regardless of the consequences for the segment of the Belarusian population that rejects the escalation of tensions and destabilization. The alarming example of Ukraine has shown what a situation when foreign pressure acts in support of only one side can lead to in a sovereign state.”
Milan Mazurek, a member of the Slovak parliament from the fascist party, wrote on his social media site: “Belarus is going through a classic color revolution like we saw in Ukraine, which plunged the brotherly peoples into a bloody civil war. The opposition in Belarus obeys the Western states’ every word and, after the resignation of Lukashenko, it can turn Belarus into another puppet state in which mass privatization will take place and lead to the de facto theft of national wealth, as we saw in our country.”
The attitude to what is happening in Belarus threw Slovak fascists and communists (partially rebranded) into mutual embraces. This is not the first time that traditional enemies of freedom have shown their true colors at the same time.
Материал доступен на русском языке: Фашисты и недоперекрасившиеся коммунисты Словакии вместе за Лукашенко