It would hardly be incorrect to say that practically nobody under the sway of Western media influence has ever heard of Jānis Urbanovičs, the man who heads the “Saskaņa” (Concord) party in the Latvian parliament. Urbanovičs’ odd absence from the Western media and political radar screen is all the stranger considering that the “Concord” party holds 24 of 100 seats in Latvia’s parliament. And it is utterly astonishing when due note is also taken of the fact that, given his anything but negligible support, Urbanovičs could soon become the Prime Minister of Latvia.
Urbanovičs’ out-of-the-box political views in a country doubly entrapped in NATO and EU are a giveaway clue to his “non-person” status in the official political space of newly “independent” and “democratic” Latvia. About that, a bit later. First, some background about this deliberately marginalized, but anything-but-marginal politician who just might upset the NATO applecart in the Baltics or come very close to it.
Jānis Urbanovičs was born in 1959 in the east Latvian town of Rezekne. Latvian is his native language, but he shares Russian heritage together with about 35% of the largely disenfranchised citizens of post-Soviet Latvia. Shamefully many of them are denied citizenship and voting rights in the country of their birth and residence only because of their failure to pass the Latvian language test, which is mandatory for those purposes. Urbanovičs, by contrast, could not be excluded politically on such contrived grounds, hence his successful political career. He received his university education in Latvia and holds an engineering degree.
If nothing else, Urbanovics is as brave man. Defying the international Washington-led mafia in a critical outpost for the empire is asking for trouble—from character assassination to the real deed.
The language issue, it should be noted, has played a disproprionately large role in Latvian politics, mainly as a crude tool for controlling the political process by banishing from meaningful participation over a third of the population. Their civic failing, as noted, is inability to express themselves in Latvian with the eloquence that is expected by the new, pro-Western establishment’s stern linguist authorities. After independence from the USSR in 1991, the new regime flatly refused to grant official status to the Russian language insisting, instead, that regardless of the huge number of its speakers it should be treated as a foreign tongue. The fact that in several cities, such as the capital Riga, Daugavpils, and Rezekne, Russian speakers happen to be the majority of the local population had no impact whatsoever on the discriminatory policy of the new “democratic” regime. As a result, 15% of the population, even though their roots are incontestably in Latvia, meaning Latvia’s Russian-speakers, are denied citizenship, a Latvian passport, and the opportunity to participate in the governance of their country and local communities. They are also excluded from practicing a number of professions, and if that harks back to 1930s Germany and the status of one of its minority populations, the obvious analogy definitely stands.
Urbanovičs believes that such status imposed on the Russian minority is harmful to the interests of Latvia. The government, he says, must demonstrate the intent to integrate all non-citizens, instead of treating them as “aliens, enemies, and fifth columnists.” The leader of the party which has garnered about a quarter of the seats in the Latvian parliament has strongly criticized politicians who exacerbate divisions instead of healing them. In that context, Urbanovičs vigorously opposed labelling the Soviet period as “occupation,” a favorite slogan of nationalist politicians, many of whom obviously take their cues from Ukranian pro-Nazi crazies.
In fact, official Riga has generally behaved with exemplary moderation by comparison to some of its NATO-zealot neighbors such as Poland or Lithuania. By all accounts, it has not completely burned its bridges with Russia and some sort of dialogue could yet be jump started. And that is one of Urbanovičs’ subversive ideas, precisely: “We should be looking for ways to cooperate with Russia,” he recently, by Baltic standards very eccentrically, opined.
It turns out that under Urbanovičs’ leadership the “Concord” party is advocating accelerating Latvia’s industrial development, setting up development banks under government control, and reinvigorating economic relations with Russia and Belorussia. All obviously repugnant and heretical positions for an Eastern European NATO and EU vassal. But the best (or worst) is yet to come. Inspired by South Korea’s disruptive peace initiatives, the uppity Urbanovičs envisions a potential role for Latvia not as a springboard for NATO’s drang nach osten, but as a mediator in the Baltics.
Commenting on the unexpected (and to some probably unwelcome) détente on the Korean peninsula, Urbanovičs publically dreams in Latvia that “our relations with Russia could also quickly be normalized. What is required is a change in the Latvian political class and a desire to change things. Willpower decides everything. South Korea demonstrated such a will. Latvia could learn from South Korea how to go about normalizing relations with its neighbour.” Hardly likely to win him brownie points in the West.
And then, to add insult to injury: “I do not expect any quality solutions from Western politicians. It is deplorable that Baltic countries are seeking protection half-way around the globe instead of seeking a peaceful compromise with their neighbour. Russia will not launch a war. Nobody will attack Latvia with nuclear weapons. It is the US ruling elite that cannot stand the idea of Europe and Russia finding a way to peaceful dialogue.”
Paradoxical as that may seem, the perhaps up-and-coming Latvian heretic goes on, during the Cold War the world was safer and more stable than it is today. There was mutual deterrence and mutual respect. Limits were clearly marked. The end of socialism was one of the most alarming moments of the last century, the dream of world peace was shattered.
“Now I see that it was a very naïve dream,” concludes the man who has a fair shot at becoming prime minister of a frontline NATO land.
What is Urbanovičs up to? Keep tuned. If he does not turn out to be quite the man who pulled the rug from under NATO in the Baltics, we can bet that at the very least he will give the Gladio people some unpleasant headaches. One way or the other, he is bound to get some media attention soon, and it may even be garnished with some grudging respect.
^5000The mainstream imperialist media lie CONSTANTLY. Literally 24/7. And it's getting worse.
All of them do it: radio, tv, the newspapers, the movies. The internet. No exceptions.
The corporate Big Lie is pervasive and totalitarian. CBS does it. NBC does it. ABC does it.
CNN does it. FOX does it. NPR does it. And of course the NYTimes and WaPo do it.
Thousands of "diverse" voices telling you the same lies. Enough to convince anyone.