Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Meets Belarusian Diaspora in New York, Calls for Solidarity
September 21, 2023
New York, NY — Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya convened with representatives of the Belarusian diaspora from New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey during a high-profile meeting that coincided with the United Nations week in New York. The gathering was an integral component of Tsikhanouskaya’s diplomatic outreach, which included meetings with politicians from across the globe. At the heart of the discussions were the pressing issues of supporting the Belarusian democratic movement and championing the cause of Belarusians in their struggle for freedom.
Understanding the Belarusian Diaspora:
Mikhail Charopka, Deputy Chairman of the Belarusan-American Association (BAZA), provided a window into Belarusians’ lives in the United States. He illuminated the vibrant Belarusian community that thrives in America, recounting the monthly events and activities that Belarusians organize in their local communities. These gatherings celebrate Belarusian culture and act as a platform for the diaspora to support their compatriots in Europe and Belarus.
Charopka underscored the importance of European Belarusian media shining a brighter spotlight on the stories and experiences of Belarusians living in the United States, fostering a deeper connection between the two diasporas.
Practical Support and Questions:
The meeting witnessed a palpable desire among the Belarusian diaspora representatives to provide concrete assistance to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s office and the wider Belarusian democratic movement. Inquisitive minds sought answers to queries about legalization and the practical instruments through which they could extend their support.
Tsikhanouskaya and her advisors reassured the diaspora of their vital role in furthering the cause. They discussed strategies to harness their collective strength.
Valery Kavaleuski, the Representative for Foreign Affairs, offered an update on the ongoing negotiations with foreign governments and international organizations. His insights into the state of diplomatic efforts and the potential for international support resonated with the Belarusian diaspora, providing them with a clearer understanding of the global landscape surrounding Belarus.
Warmth and Solidarity:
The meeting bore witness to a remarkable display of warmth and camaraderie. Attendees expressed their concerns and supported Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, particularly inquiring about her husband’s well-being, Siarhei Tsikhanouski. Tsikhanouskaya shared that she had not heard from him since March 9, emphasizing the emotional toll this ordeal has taken on her.
Belarusians from New York and Philadelphia united in a touching display of solidarity with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, capturing the moment in a collective photograph.
Kate Nikitenko expertly organized the meeting. Gleb Ivashkevich skillfully moderated the meeting with Tsikhanouskaya, ensuring a productive and constructive dialogue among all participants.
In a world marked by geopolitical tensions and shifting alliances, the meeting in New York exemplified the enduring strength of the Belarusian diaspora and their unwavering commitment to supporting their homeland and fellow Belarusians striving for freedom and democracy in Europe and Belarus.
Text by Marlon Parker
Photos and video: Yurii Eber, Artsiom Danilchik, Siarzhuk Shaliga, Nadzeya Shykalovich