Is this a revolution? Only time will tell, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say no. A revolution brings regime change. It involves opposition players rising to power while incumbents retreat. That seems far from the case here.
Why have some called it an orphan revolution? Because under the current communist regime over a third of Moldovan citizens (many of them parents) went abroad to find work. Orphanages are bursting at the seams – not just with orphans up for adoption, but with orphans who are waiting for their parents to return for them. Other orphans are being raised by grandparents or neighbors. The economy, facilitated by communists, has created orphans through a mass exodus of people from their country.
The people protesting are in large part youth and students. Whether or not they’re actually orphans is anyone’s guess. Regardless, what they’re protesting is the system that created the high number of orphans. They’re protesting a system driven by poverty, lies, and fear. And as they proceed, the communist regime counters with lies and the promotion of fear, and the local economy falls deeper into poverty as international investors hesitate to pump funds into instability.
I’d expect to find nothing but ‘Exclusives’ on the news when I turn on the TV. Instead, I find comedy shows. When there’s news it’s innocuous stories about a car accident that involved an injury or a school that received new cookware for their kitchen. It would seem as though nothing is actually happening here.
On the other hand, when I open the Twitter page I get a better idea of what’s happening – only in the form of unconfirmed rumor, thereby creating fear – just what the authorities want. Facebook is inaccessible, blocked by the government. They are using censorship to eliminate what doesn’t serve them, and telling lies on other outlets.
The communist government has used students as pawns in their game, and unfortunately the students aren’t sly enough to fight back strategically. The students’ peaceful protests escalated when older, Russian-speaking non-students (communist sympathizers) instigated the violence. European and Romanian flags raised by protesters were done so with official help, allowing Moldova to break ties with Romania (read: strengthen ties with Russia). The vandalism and fires in the Presidency and Parliament buildings were instigated by someone who had keys to access individual offices (thereby earning the communist party sympathy from the West).
President Voronin said when this began that it was a well-planned and well-paid attack. We’re supposed to believe that Democratic interests planned and funded it. Evidence is showing up of quite the opposite though.
Further evidence is surfacing that the election really was fraudulent. I hope that the evidence currently coming to light will bring lasting change. According to Moldova’s constitution, it’s time for Voronin to step down. Hopefully that will be accompanied by a recount of the votes, including an examination of the list of voters. We’d like to see things settle down here, but what we’d really like is to see is Moldova living up to its potential, rising up out of poverty and corruption, and figuring out who it is as a nation.