Journalist from Belarus surprised by promotion of anti-immigrant laws

By Juan Miret

TULSA, Oklahoma - A blogger who was visiting Tulsa on Feb. 24 with four other journalists from Belarus said he was surprised to find that in the United States "there are people promoting laws against minorities, against immigrants."

Victor Malishesky was among five journalists who attended a meeting at the Radisson Hotel in east Tulsa as part of the international visitors program promoted by Tulsa Global Alliance and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The group was here to learn about media that focus on minorities.

Margarita Vega-Trevino, editor-in-chief of the Hispano de Tulsa, spoke to the group about the history of the newspaper and its format.

"We are part of the community. We are like a bridge between newcomers and those already settled," she said. "At the same time, we are a link with other communities that want to learn more about Hispanics living in Tulsa."

The issue of immigration in Oklahoma was of interest to Malishesky, considered one of the most influential bloggers in Belarus. His fame began with strong criticism of the eccentricities of President Alexander Lukashenko, especially for his expensive watches and designer suits.

"I do not understand how come, here in the United States, there are people promoting laws against minorities, against immigrants," said Malishesky. "This is a surprise for us."

"Writing for minorities must be something very complicated," said Svetlana Kalinkina, editor in chief of the Hapodar Borr newspaper. "Because in Belarus it is very complicated to do so."

Kalinkina is a journalist who has confronted the dictatorial regime of Lukashenko, who has held the presidency of Belarus for 17 years.

For Anatoly Bukas, editor of the Borisov daily newspaper, and who has been persecuted regularly by the Lukashenko regime...

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