Help Support Democracy and Free and Fair Elections in Belarus

-Co-Sponsors Urgently Needed for H.Res. 673-

February 22, 2006
contact: Karl Altau (tel. 301-340-1954)

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- The Belarus Presidential election is fast approaching and the international community needs to strongly urge Alexander Lukashenko, "Europe’s last dictator," to hold free and fair elections on March 19. The Lukashenko regime has been increasingly and aggressively suppressing dissent and freedom of speech in that country in what observers believe is an effort to intimidate voters prior to the election.

Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), House Baltic Caucus co-chair, has introduced a resolution expressing support for democracy in Belarus and for free and fair elections. H. Res. 673 was introduced on February 14 and was cleared by the Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats that same day. A vote is expected by the week of February 28.

Before then, the resolution needs to have at least 25 co-sponsors to move to the floor for a vote. The Shimkus resolution has four original co-sponsors: Congressmen Elton Gallegly (Chairman of the Subcommittee), Thaddeus McCotter, Darrell Issa, and Mike Rogers. More co-sponsors are urgently needed.

Congressman McCotter participated in a February 16 demonstration in support of democracy in Belarus. At that rally Rep. McCotter stated "We want to make the Belarus authorities understand that…we will never abandon or forget the nation of Belarus."

  • Please contact your Member of Congress, and ask them to co-sponsor H. Res. 673, which supports the people of Belarus and emphasizes fair and free elections in the upcoming March 19 election.
  • Belarus neighbors the Baltic countries, and autocratic rule and suppression of human rights cannot be tolerated anywhere in Europe.

  • Text and details of the legislation can be found at the Library of Congresses Thomas site by typing in the bill number "H. Res. 673" in the search field:

    Other useful links for contacting your Member of Congress:

  • Congressional contact information is available from online sources such as:
  • House Baltic Caucus member information:
  • Other relevant contact information is on the JBANC “Baltic Links” webpage:
  • Capitol switchboard, for the telephone number of your Member of Congress at: (202) 224-3121

  • JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc. and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.

    Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
    Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

    I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

    The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
    400 Hurley Avenue
    Rockville, MD 20850-3121
    tel. 301-340-1954
    fax: 301-309-1406