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Exporting Ukraine Miracle to Cuba
Friday, December 31, 2004 By: Juan Paxety
Max Boot writes in the LA Times that the miracle of Ukraine democracy should be exported:
The triumph of the Orange Revolution should dispel the quaint notion still prevalent in many Western universities and foreign ministries that democracy is a luxury good suitable only for rich countries with a tradition of liberalism stretching back centuries. Ukraine fits no one's criteria of a promising democracy: Its per capita income of $5,400 a year is lower than Algeria's or Turkmenistan's; it has a history of despotism and corruption and a short history of independence. The only less-likely democracy is Afghanistan. Yet Ukraine, like Afghanistan, held free elections this year.
Boot points out that committed democrats need the help of outsiders - help that can come in many forms from the military to money.
In Ukraine, the U.S. government spent $58 million on democracy promotion in the last two years. European states and various nongovernmental organizations, such as George Soros' International Renaissance Foundation, contributed millions more. These donations raised the ire of anti-democrats like Vladimir Putin and Pat Buchanan, who conveniently overlooked the far more generous support given to Yushchenko's opponent, Viktor Yanukovich, by Moscow and Kiev.
Read the whole thing. Then let's help the committed democrats and see free elections in Cuba.