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The Real Axis of Evil Part 1

This is a new series on the blog to educate the viewers of this site on the evil nations led by their evil leaders. Axis of Evil is a phrase that George W. Bush used in his 2002 State of the Union Address to describe accused governments of supporting/sponsoring terrorist groups and seeking weapons of mass destruction. This was part of a response to the 9/11 attacks. The main three nations accused by the U.S. were Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Iran, and North Korea. Another classification was “Beyond the Axis of Evil” which described by John Bolton: Cuba, Libya (under Muammar Gaddafi), and Syria. The last classification was the ‘outposts of tyranny’ described by Condoleezza Rice: Belarus, Burma, and Zimbabwe. The outposts of tyranny included all of these countries stated regardless of their main distinction. There are more nations that are truly part of the axis than we might think or know so far. The list includes current and former governments and their ties with one another.

Belarus

This is the last dictatorship in Europe. The country was founded in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. The country is led by Alexander Lukashenko who has been the first and only president of the country since 1994. It was previously led by the Supreme Soviet of Belarus to maintain order before an official president took office. The country has continued some Soviet Union style policies. Those include state ownership of large sections of the economy. Elections have been unfair, and political opponents have been violently suppressed. He is described as a Hitler. He has formed better relations with Russia since independence with some hints of forming a Union State. It has tense relations with the much of the western world except Russia. It has established better relations with Iran, Libya (under Gaddafi), Syria, Venezuela (under Hugo Chavez), Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Cuba.

Burma

Burma has been a country where so many problems exist that war is still a daily occurrence. The reason Burma ended up on the list was not because of its capability to achieve nuclear weapons or an attempt to, but over its oppressive military regime. The State Peace and Development Council committed so many human rights violations from when it took over the government on September 18, 1998 until it dissolved on March 30, 2011. They controlled everything from the media, press, speech, religion, and protests. The election of Thein Sein, current president, brought the regime to end its rule because the head of state, Than Shwe favored Sein and retired. The regime further violated rights in the 2007 protests which was the theme in the 2008 film, Rambo. But today Burma is no longer part of that distinction and begins a long road toward democracy.

Cuba

We all know the story of Fidel Castro. Castro’s leadership in the Cuban Revolution, which brought the country to being the communist dictatorship today, brought the previous dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee. The reason the U.S. supported Batista was because it was to build a relationship to stop the communist’s from taking over. Batista violated many human rights policies, but Fidel Castro was worse. Because of Fidel, Cubans have to swim or take a boat to Miami to flee the dictatorship. The Cuban Missile Crisis proved to be how the world came to the brink of a nuclear war or a nuclear holocaust. But for some reason the country was placed on the Axis of Evil list with the distinction of “Beyond the Axis of Evil” for trying to achieve nuclear weapons. But their last supply was back during the missile crisis. Cuba has been accused of sponsoring terrorism when it was added to the list by the U.S. State Department back on March 1, 1982. But for communist groups in parts of the world and providing them safety, weapons, financial support, etc… But there was no evidence linking them to it. Cuba has asked the U.S. to be removed from the list. It’s not likely going to happen anytime soon.

Cuba has maintained strong ties with North Korea, Iran, Syria, Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Belarus, and Libya (under Gaddafi). Castro left office in 2008 and his brother Raul took over. Raul has still kept the way things are run the same, but has eased in recent times. He shook hands with Barack Obama during Nelson Mandela’s funeral which has opened more roads to peace between the U.S. and Cuba.

Eritrea

This nation has been accused in recent years of helping Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate mainly based in Somalia. The nation is a single-party state which has dominated the nation when it became officially independent in 1993. The country has a dictator named Isaias Afwerki, who has been in power as president since 1991. He led the country to independence during the war for it. Elections are forbidden for the most part, the legislature is weak and the judicial system is corrupt. Afwerki acts as the legislative branch and the constitution has not been enacted even when a 2002 law allowed national elections. Afwerki has violated human rights and the world has done nothing to stop him. Political oppression exists as it is one of the few nations with a single-party system other than Communist nations. The national assembly has not met since 2002, and many of its members are either in prison or have fled the country. The assembly is responsibly for deciding internal and external policy, approves the budget, and elects the president. The country continues to have a conflict with Ethiopia and other neighbors where more violations of rights occurred and it gets worse and worse. This nation has jailed more journalists than North Korea (surprising).

The country has a terrible economy and many people are malnourished. With that, he believes he is the only one that can lead the nation. But it’s under his rule that this is happening. He also denies many facts about his leadership, although negative but it remains true. People can’t leave freely just like in Cuba and North Korea. People of all religion’s are jailed without a trial just like any other person accused or not accused of a crime. During the beginning of the George W. Bush administration and the US War on Terrorism of the early 2000s, the US still considered Eritrea a friendly state and US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld paid Eritrea’s president a visit in Eritrea. Relations ultimately worsened in October 2008 when U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer called the nation a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ and stated that the U.S. government might add Eritrea to its list of rogue states, along with Iran and Sudan. The stated reason for this was the presence of Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, an exiled Somali Islamist leader, whom the U.S. suspects of having links to Al Qaeda, at a Somali opposition conference in Asmara. The country has a close relationship with Iran and Sudan.

Part 2 will continue with Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe in that order.

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