Proving he can still put the “dic” in dictator, Belarus’s despot President Alexander Lukashenko yesterday said he’d rather be a tyrant than a queen.
Lukashenko was responding to a recent comment by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who had called him “Europe’s last dictator.”
“Having heard that,” Lukashenko retorted, “I thought to myself: Better to be a dictator than gay.”
It was clearly a direct swipe at the openly gay Westerwelle, who Lukashenko admitted last year to advising that “he must lead a normal life.”
Lukashenko uncharacteristically later apologized for his comments, but reminded everyone for the record that he “did not like gays.”
Lukashenko has been ruling the Eastern European republic of Belarus since in 1994, just three years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. His tight fist has been blamed for an atrocious human rights record, especially in relation to gay issues.
Belarus accordingly has found itself increasingly marginalized by Western powers, who have targeted it with rounds of sanctions.
In 2005, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice called Belarus “the last remaining true dictatorship in the heart of Europe.”
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