‘The People Will Guide Me to the Summit’: An Interview with Raffi Hovannisian

It is just after 9 a.m. on day six of Raffi Hovannisian’s hunger strike in symbolic Liberty Square, in protest of the elections the opposition believes were stolen from the Armenian people—who Hovannisian insists are the victors. A few of the thousands of visitors he will receive throughout the day linger nearby, in support of his protest and the movement known as the “Barevolution,” supported by his Heritage Party, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun, and various dynamic political figures, including former presidential candidate Andreas Ghukasian and Nikol Pashinian, who is affiliated with the Armenian National Congress. The metal park bench on which he sits is draped with a crocheted red, blue, and orange quilt sporting the same colors of the Armenian flag. At arms length a crackly radio plays Armenian popular and folk music, while he thumbs through a newspaper and is briefed by one of his sons sitting beside him.

Hovannisian on Freedom Square (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)
Hovannisian in Freedom Square (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

Hovannisian is clothed in his now trademark revolutionary uniform—a navy blue wool turtleneck sweater and matching scarf with narrow orange and red stripes running its length. His face is tanned from prolonged exposure to the sun, as there is virtually no shade in the spot where he sits most of the day, not that he is complaining. For him, it’s all about being there for the people, and his nourishment is the unwavering support they give him around the clock. The authorities, led by incumbent Serge Sarkisian, continue their refusal to compromise with Hovannisian—and thus the people—and to hold a second round of presidential elections and snap parliamentary elections after switching to a fully proportional system of representation, and to bring election violators, namely public servants at various levels, before the law. I sat down with Hovannisian to probe the mind of a man that is emphatically dedicated to the pursuit of Armenian citizens’ rights to a lawful, free democratic society.


Christian Garbis—The constitutional court has rejected the opposition’s appeals, and now you plan to hold public forums at Liberty Square for five days straight, starting on March 17, where views can be exchanged about Armenia’s future. But that still leaves us with your ‘over my dead body’ quote in reference to Sarkisian taking the oath for a second term on April 9. You have also said that you were ready to die for this movement. This suggests a forewarning that there could potentially be an outbreak of violence. Do you think it will come to that?

Raffi Hovannisian—No, it won’t. We will continue very steadily and constitutionally toward the end of a de jure presidency, regardless of the constitutional court’s decision.

This movement, the ‘Barevolution,’ belongs to the Armenian people, which is so intangible and unpredictable for so many people who two months ago did not at all believe in themselves or each other, that they could emerge from their fatalism and hopelessness and take their destiny and constitution into their own hands. I am very proud of this movement and proud to be a part of it.  I’m ready not only to die, but to live for it. I plan to serve the people for a long time, but as I’ve said, this is not a fast or a hunger strike, this is the last stage in returning Armenia to the people and taking the victory of Feb. 18 to a final summit on April 9, when together we will realize the inauguration of a new Armenia.

C.G.—Nevertheless, there is a segment of society that believes the only way to get through to certain members of parliament and the government with reputations for being heavy handed is through violent means.

R.H.—I rule that out. Whereas five years ago the call ‘until the end’ meant blood or revolution, today based on the people’s candidacy that same slogan means a peaceful, constitutional quest for a de jure presidency. There shall not be blood, and I will not allow it. My initiative is not an ultimatum to anyone. It is a self-cleansing process for myself, and the entry to the final decisive stage in the struggle toward registering the victory of the Armenian people delivered on Feb. 18.

C.G.Wilfried Martens, the president of the European People’s Party—of which both the Heritage Party and Republican Party of Armenia are member organizations—warmly congratulated Sarkisian and praised the conduct of the elections while shrugging off claims of gross violations, insisting that he won fair and square. Similar glowing statements were made by leaders of the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), the Armenian delegation to which includes Heritage Party MPs. In your opinion, why are relations between those entities and the authorities so cordial to the extent that they would not take a more objective, diplomatic stance on the election outcome?

R.H.—What concerns me more is that we—the Armenian people who have brought democracy, the rule of law, and faith in the homeland—are the masters of our own destiny. Although they [world leaders who have congratulated Sarkisian] stand against the people of Armenia and the democratic movement for their own geopolitical concerns and interests, and support the candidacy of a gentleman—whose official results as registered by the Central Election Commission were actually delivered by fraud, falsification, intimidation, multiple voting, taking soldiers to the polls, threatening teachers, using hospitals, schools, town halls and village cultural centers to post campaign materials of the incumbent president—there clearly is no basis to recognize the illegitimate official winner of the election. But as someone born in the U.S. who has been educated on the values of democracy, civil rights, and constitutional law, I can say that these statements from world leaders fly in the face of their own principles. Armenia is one of the earliest sources of Western civilization. Let no one sermonize the Armenian people on democracy because they have delivered on their own constitution.

C.G.Some believe that for this movement to have broader support the Armenian National Congress has to come on board. What is impeding that from happening?

R.H.—The Heritage Party and I have always been in favor of consolidation in all the elections in which we have participated. Right now I am open to discussing matters with anyone. [Former President] Levon Ter-Petrosyan has acknowledged that I indeed won the election, but the Congress hasn’t sought to deepen that relationship.

But what’s important is that on Feb. 18 the political model of Armenia changed. Citizens faced with a boycott of the elections by many political and civic groups said, ‘No.’ I believed in them, they believed in me, and together we brought victory. At this point it would be a sign of strength for political parties or civic movements, whether they participated in the elections or not, to announce that they are part of this movement. As I’ve said from the podium, the Heritage flag has been lowered because the people recognize that after a long period of labor we are about to deliver the new Armenia, in which political parties have to play a secondary role. They must know that no political party can be the pivot for Armenia’s future. Citizens and political parties have to reassess their roles to serve society. So I don’t think it is key that any two organizations come together. People should understand the gravity of the moment and come together. The people have spoken and we have to respect that choice.

C.G.While you continue to protest the presidential election outcome, discussions are being held about forming a unified opposition bloc for the Yerevan municipal elections. Yet the same violations that the opposition cited will undoubtedly be repeated. Why have the municipal elections become so important while the presidential vote is still being contested?

R.H.—I wouldn’t say they’re so important, but I am in favor of participatory democracy. You can’t curse the darkness, you have to light a candle, and the experience of the last two months demonstrated very well that by sitting on the sidelines you cannot bring about change. You have to participate and mobilize. I think the Yerevan elections are an opportunity not to replace this movement but be an offshoot of it. We will put together a broad-based list, which I anticipate will include members from civil organizations and other political parties, and the mayor and the majority of the city council will be appointed from that list. We’re going to every city and village that has an election, and we’re going to return public service to the people.

C.G.What message can you give now to both your staunch critics—those who believe you have no plan, that your current action is a sign of desperation, and that the movement will not get anywhere—and your loyal supporters based abroad who are genuinely concerned about the direction in which the movement is headed?

R.H.—I believe in free speech and I respect their opinions. I sometimes learn a lot from criticism when it’s founded and honest, but when it’s based on partisanship and hatred, that is not acceptable to me. Everything is going according to plan, and the plan belongs to the Armenian people. What differentiates today from five years ago and beyond is that this movement is no longer an individual-based quest for liberty and the presidency. This movement takes on the legacy of the past, the struggle of the Armenian people over the last 21 years to have a state that is democratic, rightful, and sovereign in pursuit of its national interests. While I am the elected guide for the movement, it is not a one-man show, and it’s greater than Liberty Square. If you were to travel with me to the villages and cities of Armenia, to the concerts, theaters, weddings, and university squares on bus rides all around the country, you would see that there is a great sense of empowerment.

Before he died the poet Yeghishe Charents wrote in his acrostic, ‘Oh Armenian people, your salvation is in your collective strength,’ and on election day the people put his message into action by saying ‘yes’ to Armenia’s future. That future is based on a brand new plan that is not 100 pages long, but in terms of its implementation let it be clear that I know exactly where I am going. I also know that the Armenian people will guide me to that final summit.

Christian Garbis

Christian Garbis

Christian Garbis is a writer and experimental filmmaker born and raised in Greater Boston. He received his BA in English and Certificate in Film Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has been contributing to the Armenian Weekly since 1994 and has served as an assistant editor for the paper. He lives in Yerevan with his wife and son and maintains two blogs documenting his impressions: Notes From Hairenik and Footprints Armenia. His first novel is partly based on his experiences in Armenia.


  1. {“The authorities led by incumbent Serge Sarkisian continue their refusal to compromise with Hovannisian—and thus the people—to hold a second round of presidential elections and snap parliamentary elections after switching to a fully proportional system of representation, and to bring election violators, namely public servants at various levels, before the law”}

    Is this supposed to be an unbiased, neutral interview ?

    In the same sentence he advocates violating the Constitution of RoA and then wants to bring alleged election violators “before the law”.
    How about we bring those who advocate violating the RoA Constitution before the law first.

    And how absurd that President Sargsyan, who got 58% of the vote, is expected to, quote, compromise with Mr. Hovannisian, who got 37% of the vote, and whose Heritage party has all of 5 seats in the Parliament (a loss of 2 seats, btw, from previous Parliamentary election).
    When was the last time a landslide winner with 21 point difference compromised with the loser ?
    After his first election, when assembled Republicans, including John McCain asked him if he would work with them, Obama said, “I won the election, John. Elections have consequences.” (2008: Obama 53%, McCain 47%. Turnout 62%)

    And apparently 860,000 Armenians who voted for Pres Sargsyan are not “people”, because not ‘compromising’ with Mr. Hovannisian is “—and thus the people—”.

  2. If Hovannisian has been able to neutralize the poisenous political ideas that were injected into the brains of the people of former Soviet Armenia, he must have done a great enough service to our brothers and sisters who refuse to leave the Fatherland.
    I am hopeful that people of Armenia will reject the political status quo, and assume their sacred responsibility in self government with Democracy.

  3. My extended family and I look upon Raffi Hovanisian as a contemporary political hero at a time when Armenia calls out for a transitional and visionary leader who can bring the homeland to a market economy platform. For the homeland to sustain the legal and structural economic adjustments required for the nation to succeed, his leadership agenda is critical.
    We applaud his courage and diligence in his mission and observe that many in the diaspora support his cause. The one element that would galvanize further support for his mission would be evidence constituting actual election fraud.
    I pray for Raffi and his noble family at this time.

  4. Armenian population decreased by 130,000 people during the first nine
    months of 2012


    The National Statistical Service of Armenia has summarized the results
    of the first nine months of 2012. Head of the Census and Demography
    Karine Kuyumjyan and Head of Department of Statistics Nelly
    Baghdasryan presented the report details.

    According to official figures, the population has declined by more
    than 130,000 people compared to the same period in 2011. The number of
    births in the Republic fell by 3%, the number of deaths fell by 0.8%.
    Armenia continues to remain an aging country.

    The number of marriages and divorces decreased by 6.6% and 3.1%
    respectively. People tend to marry at a later age.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013,
    Stéphane © armenews.com

  5. While I appreciate what you people opine above,I ahve this to say.
    within brackets now(((((I am glad to see on some threads here , a few only beginning to catch on as to my advocacy of:- A regime like in Denmark Sweden CH(Switzerland) My versiaon UNGERVAR ZOGHOVRTAVARUTYUN(Democratic Socialism) like in said countreis!!!!!
    1.A Concilliatory-Transitional Gov.t formed , no , not only by RAFFi and a fdew that lately have come up beside him like thos of LTP followers, but , NEW New Blood and why not people like Paruyr Hairikian that in their time did plenty for the re independence of this New reborn Republic…..forget him so easily,even by RXaffi whom I respect, would show that Armenians as yet are very forgetful and NOT COMPROMISING…(in my version
    2.I shall only add that Armenia at this juncture ,if you know and understand that other (actors) pout of R.of armenia are in a race,I call regional hegemony.No need to name them.Andwhat Raffi has said once ,twice that ain´t no good either…meaning I AM NEITHER PRO RUSSIA NOR PRO AMERICA…This should not be said if we wish to head twards my envisaged above Mode of Government and Regime….it is understood without saying it.otherwise those actors will step in aznm dpull pour ears(like in georgia)
    3.So I trust Raffi and his companios,. PLUS,don´t be surprised his lopponents comprehend the seriousness of the moment.RA,at this juncture is at the threshold of CHANGE,even if its in the form of Barevolution whatever…and it will be untill the present regime heeds the OUTCRY OF ITS PEOPLE AND DOES SOEMTHIGN A BOUT IT. bY MERE MAKER OVERS …
    IT AIN´T NO GOOD. FINALLY A CONCILLIATORY , TRANSITIONAL, mode of Governance is what RA requires now.let´s hope those at the helm, heed that and begin to serioulsy think…
    No Not just for Raffi´s hunger strike and its aftermath but WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE (TRAMANDO) A SPANISH WORD THAT CONVEYS sort of contemplating but a bit more seriously rather than what Raffi does!!!!
    After all, the whole of those (like one here on this forum wrote )outside of Armenia closse toa million,let´s say HALF OF THEM. half a million..if they had voted…it is anybody´s guess against whom that would have been???????
    Thence my hope is that the situation be handled very carefully nad cautiously ,lest it gets out of hand.Time for president Serge Sargsyan to call for a NEGOTIATING TEAM , a Council, call it whatever you lie and DISCUSS remedies, cures, compromises(again call it whatever you wish)
    For if we insist like my very closse KIN says and avery here, that all is well and that PRESENT Regime is O.K. , been ratified (even the Catholicus they,añll respect to him, congratualted S.SARGSYAN before the official results!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 nOW THAT IS A BIT HURTING it hurts my old man´s heart…imagine while the world welcomes a NEW POPEm who is to be the opposite of all previous ones , tending to the pueblo and helping the downtrodden ,ours upholding the ISHKAHNNER(HATE THAT WORD MY GUTTS))))) WE ARE NOT A COUNTRY OF iSHKHAN S BUT WE CHOSE A GOVERNMENT RIGHT FROM 1918…never Bdeshkh Ishkhan(now called Oligarks)..
    Best hasgcoghin

  6. [Armenia hosts record number of visitors in December 2012]


    {A total of 845,700 people departed from, but 846,100 people arrived in, Zvartnots in the year past. This is the first time, in the past five years, when more people arrived in Armenia’s main airport than departed from there. }

    — This is the first time, in the past five years, when more people arrived in Armenia’s main airport than departed from there. —

    {To note, however, the January 2013 balance was in negative territory again, as 60,100 people departed from, whereas 52,300 people arrived in, Zvartnots. This negative balance is expected to grow in the coming months and on the account of those who head on to work abroad.}

    — on the account of those who head on to work abroad —

    Seasonal migration of people going abroad to work, then come back to Armenia at the end of the year.
    Shocking news.

  7. To
    Robert Avakian et al..
    But Armenia is already in a free market economy(a wild one at that).Right now Martch 18, a.m USA Eastern time yerevan H1 T.v. channel showed the Japanese regional of Toyota cars inaugurating with prime Ministre(proudly) the new showroom of said vehicles.The former stating that we have INFO that Armenia imports new,MARK THIS… new cars each year….
    May I add that twice that many is probably the qty imported of USED ones from EU and USA…there you have it!!!!
    A country that its farmers to NOT HJAVE CONVEYANCE MEANS(read AGBU qrtrly magazine Las year´s ) wherin the villagers complain that ¨as we cannot bring our agricultural products to market(NO CONVEYANCE MEANS) THE BUYERS COME AND BUY A KILO OF GRAPES (NO SE QUE) DONM´T KNOW at ten 20 cents a KILO!!!!!
    I am the official rep. for a EU Construction,agricultural raod making, vehicles for the Republic of armenia.have participated in relative FAIRS…..not much have I been able to do , since the banks(then were loaning at 14% and our farmers could not buyand pay..) but indeed those who are in a position buy like above CARS and or such ….
    CThat´s why, I advocate for a Sandunuvian governance,the FREE MARKET one is good for the Upper very upper crust sector….exactly what the producers of Honda Toyota, GM,plus clothing, watches you name it wish ..to dump in Armenia and make profit sharing it with local OLI´s or now some rich filthy rich importers of such…the farmers????
    Ask Mr. Minsitre of agriculture (to who´s inferiors i visited with my represented co, offers catalgoues…any order ? nada, they still use..
    They (one of confied, we have old but sturdty Soviet equipment*let me add, that is true-when these break down then we shall biuy NEW ones…
    in short they wish to squeeze whatever they can out of those that were sort of TAAKEN OVER, or bought at nearly free….yrs ago…
    AT present …I am nearly convinced that it is going to stay as it is…the very low class getting out of RA, because not much attn is paid to them, the BOSSES do as they please(like kin says with humility and obeyance…thinking it will never change and the ABLE BODIED AND JOBLESS LEAVING THE FATHERLAND …
    This is the picture…and I admit Armenia is in that sphere now.
    Raffi is indeed very kind and well natured and conducts the way he does.
    That is he is not familiar with the Scandinavian shall we say middle of the way governance,i.e., 60% or more of profits of a Co. there goes to Gov. rest to owners(still capital istic you can call) but a lot more HUMANE AND THINK FOR THE SYSTEM OF (NO NOT A dOWN OF tANKIAN) BUT upwards,WHILE THE OTHER ONE IN FORECE goes on reaping 95% OF PROFITS OR MORE…THIS IS THE PICTURE MY DEAR COMPATRIOTS….
    vERY REGRETFULLY , OU tASHNAGS DID NOT WISH TO JOIN UP WITH HUNCHAGS AND ALL OTHERS THAT THINK MORE OF THE THICK OF THE PEOPLE AND THOUGHT THEY ARE AS YET GOING TO BE the leading one..thius we lost a chance to have armenia become a mildly …Democratically Socialist country like Denmakr, Sweden etc.,
    Cary on let ´s see when you can stop the outflow of immigrants PRESENT ISHKHANUTYUN!!!!hate this word to the gutts.GOVERNMENT IS THE RIGHT ONE WHICH IS AS DESCRIBED NOT FOR THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

    • No, gaytzag, Armenia does not have free market economy and never has. It has a monopoly-based economy, otherwise known as crony-capitalism, which is the very opposite of a free market economy. Until we have tried free market capitalism, which turned the U.S. into a superpower, we should not discount it for Armenia.

    • This “free market” nonsense is a “talk for the poor” – real free market economy only existed in 17th century England. It’s long gone.

      What we have now in the US is an imperialist robbery of other countries. Funny money aside, America contributes significantly less to the world than it consumes. It’s simple as that! How is it possible? Well, destabilizing whole regions helps as people try to “save” what they have in US paper money which are Uncle Sam’s IOUs.

      Armenia is not set up for free market economy because of the NATO imposed and supported blockade. Imagine both coasts of the United States with all their ports (equivalent of Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Axerbaijan) completely blockaded by some superpower.

      Than imagine that Canada (NATO puppet Gurdjistan in Armenia’s case) in charging an exorbitant amounts of money for transit because it is controlled by that superpower.

      And Mexico… (Iran for Armenia) is also blockaded and threatened by that blockading superpower and allows small amounts of goods to pass its territory.

      In such drastic situation would there be talk about “free market” in the United States? I don’t think so.

    • Actually, that scenario (U.S. being blockaded) happened once, with spectacular results, which shows the miracles that democracy and free market can achieve. During the war of 1812, Britain completely blockaded the United States’ Atlantic coast, and the north was still Britain. The western and southern borders were Spanish Mexico, which was in the middle of a revolution, and at any rate it didn’t even come close to the eastern coast in terms of volume of trade with Europe. The blockade actually helped the U.S. by cutting off trade with Europe, which stimulated manufacturing in the United States (Americans had to produce things that they could not buy from Europe). After the war, this helped turn the U.S. form an agricultural country into an industrial giant.

      Just because there is restricted trade with other countries does not mean there cannot be a free market internally. If there is rule of law and proper legal environment, internally there will be free market. It’s a win-win situation. When there is a blockade, domestic industry will develop. When the blockade is over, free market and trade will turn a country into an economic powerhouse.

    • Well, lets compare the War of 1812 and Armenia’s situation:

      Blockade started because:

      US started the War of 1812 by attacking Canada, Native American tribes and Great Britain – stabbing it in the back while Britain was fighting Napoleon in Europe.

      Armenia was not directly at war and is punished for being too close to oil and gas pipes, supporting Artsakh and having ethnic Armenians living there.

      Blockade lasted:

      US eastern ports were blockaded for 20 something months.
      Armenia has been under blockade for more than 20 years now.

      Impact of the blockade:

      US was temporarily prevented from free market access to Ottoman and French Empires supply of African slaves as Great Britain prohibited such trade by the time it was attacked by US.

      Armenia is prevented from getting almost anything on a free market basis and cannot restart its traditional industries as there is no free market way to export its products cost effectively.

      The result of the War for the US was that Native American population that used to be protected by the British was subjected to further genocide.

      Great Britain was forced to pay billions of $$ in today’s money for freed/escaped/lost slaves (that’s a boost to the free market economy!) and was able to continue to import human beings as merchandise for 60 more years at free market prices.

    • the notion that the blockade of US Atlantic ports by British Navy remotely resembles the situation Armenia finds itself in today is so absurd that clearly the poster’s bias has a deleterious effect.
      For one thing, US is the one that started the war in 1812.
      American privateers easily circumvented the blockade: it is not possible to completely blockade the Atlantic coastline of the US.
      And the British blockade lasted less than 3 years.
      Blockade of Armenia is 20 years long and still going strong.
      And apparently the slave labor is part of the democracy that supposedly made US an industrial giant ?

      Regarding the Blockade:

      This what you wrote {“ The blockade actually helped the U.S. by cutting off trade with Europe, which stimulated manufacturing in the United States (Americans had to produce things that they could not buy from Europe).”}


      [The blockade nevertheless resulted in American exports decreasing from $130 million in 1807 to $7 million in 1814. Most of these were food exports that had gone to Britain or British colonies, which suffered when their supplies were cut off]

      Got that ? the blockade prevented export of US food exports, not imports of supposed products that US had then to supposedly produce because of the blockade.

      One more thing about the hallucination that Democracy is some kind of a miracle that will achieve spectacular results:
      China and India clearly disprove that theory.
      China and India have approximately the same population size.
      China is a one party autocracy.
      India is a true democracy.
      China GDP: $12 Trillion
      PPP: $9000
      India GDP: $4.7 Trillion
      PPP: $3,900

      By all metrics for a healthy population – such as infant mortality, physician density, life expectancy, food consumption, etc – China leaves India in the dust. It is not even clsoe. There is your miracle of democracy.

    • The “differences” between Armenia and U.S. listed by the two anti-democracy apologists above are a classic case of “whataboutism”–i.e. mostly irrelevant to the issue at hand. My favorite was “The U.S. started the war of 1812 to backstab Britain,” or “The U.S. did the genocide of Native Americans after the war.” So what? The point is not the moral superiority of one country over another, but the fact that democracy and rule of law can benefit an economy even during a blockade. Here is another difference: “United States” and “Armenia” start with different letters. I am surprised you two did not mention that.

      The first statement that should be debunked is Avery’s point that “the blockade prevented export of US food exports, not imports of supposed products.” That is absolutely wrong. The blockade reduced both exports and imports, which in turn stimulated American manufacturing. The same Wikipedia article that you quoted also states the following: “The blockade devastated American agricultural exports, but it helped stimulate local factories that replaced goods previously imported.” Did you miss that part in your obsession to oppose me, or conveniently ignored it?

      Here is what another article says: “The War of 1812 gave a dramatic boost to the manufacturing capabilities of the United States.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_War_of_1812

      The fact is that the presence of democracy and free market in the United States ensured that there was an economic benefit even in the presence of a blockade. Had the U.S. been like Armenia, the corrupt oligarchic/monopolistic system would have smothered the economy and doomed the country. A valuable lesson for Armenia to learn.

      Just to address the irrelevant “differences” for fun. True, the blockade of U.S. was not airtight, but no blockade is. Armenia is not completely blocked off either from the rest of the world. Clearly, there is an economic activity going on. In the absence of the smothering effect of the authoritarian and oligarchic system, the activity would be much more vibrant and beneficial to the country.

      The slavery issue is also irrelevant. Slavery did not stimulate the manufacturing during the war, the blockade did. By the way, Armenia has its own slave trade going on with Turkey despite the blockade–the trafficking of women.

      The fact that Armenia’s blockade has lasted for 20 years is not a rational argument against the benefits of democracy and rule of law, unless you are a devoted apologist for Serzh’s regime. Armenia may not be able to change the blockade, but it can change its legal environment to benefit the economy. Whether a blockade lasts 2 years or 20 years, a corrupt oligarchy will smother whatever economic activity there is, and the absence of it will allow the economy to grow. Diasporans who refuse to invest in Armenia are citing the lack of rule of law as the primary reason, not the blockade.

      As for the U.S. committing the genocide of Native Americans after the war (as if that had anything to do with the issue), well, we got rid of our Azeris. I am not saying we should not have, but if your argument is that, to be successful like the U.S., Armenia has to do ethnic cleansing, well, that box is already checked.

      Finally, the ludicrous idea that India’s and China’s case somehow disproves the benefits of democracy is an extremely poor example. First, India is a flawed democracy, as labeled in EIU’s Democracy Index, and has often been described as a chaotic democracy. Sometimes a flawed democracy can do worse economically than a dictatorship. In India’s case, the cause is the way its parliamentary system is set up, numerous parties and unstable coalitions. This results in inefficiency, instability, and widespread. Which is why I am in favor of the U.S. model of democracy. The framers of the U.S. constitution outright rejected the potentially unstable parliamentary system and chose a model with clearly separated powers and effective checks and balances. Certainly, the logical thing to do is to model a country after a successful democracy (whether it’s the U.S. or another country), not a flawed democracy such as India.

      Regarding the comparison of health-related statistics between India and China, of course China is going to put emphasis on public health–it’s a Communist country. However, one crucial metric, that is also extremely important for Armenia, is the net migration rate. China’s net emigration rate, at 0.33 per 1000 persons, is nearly ten times greater than India’s .05. In absolute numbers, about 450,000 people (after taking account both incomers and outgoers) leave China, as opposed to 62,000 from India. This means that about 8 times more people do not want to live under China’s authoritarian regime than under India’s democracy. Which makes sense, because people do not want to live under a brutal dictatorship.

      In the end, even with its flawed democracy, India has better prospects than China. Dictatorships may have temporary periods of economic and military strength (case in point, Hitler), but in the end they crash and burn because they make mistakes or people just become fed up. China’s 30-year old economic growth is still new. It was preceded by devastating mistakes such as “Great Leap Forward” or the Cultural Revolution, which resulted in tens of millions of deaths. Many experts have predicted that if China sticks to its authoritarian model, its current economic growth is not likely to continue. India, on the other hand, is less likely to go through an socio-political earthquake that is probably waiting China.

      The bottom line for Armenia is that it does not have the population of China, which means that unless it becomes a democracy, it will likely have a tragic end.

    • Well, since Vahagn switched to name calling and labeling, I will stop replying to his points in this discussion.

      One thing I just have to address for others who are at loss with their identity like him. It’s about this phrase: “As for the U.S. committing the genocide of Native Americans after the war (as if that had anything to do with the issue), well, we got rid of our Azeris.”

      No, Armenians in 1812 were to Turks what Native Americans were to WASPs in America. Azeris did not exist at that time. I think Vahagn and Raffi have a common identity crisis. They can’t decide who they really are.

      When it’s convenient they pretend to be Armenian, but quickly change back to “American.” It is understandable. Growing up in a racist society that is intolerant to minorities and just recently stopped lynching, mass killings, medical experiments on human beings of other races, etc. they learned to survive by being more American than the WASPs themselves.

      They can identify themselves with whomever they want and change their self identification as often as convenient, but they have NO RIGHT to smear the memory of Armenian freedom fighters with their racist beliefs.

      Armenians did not use biological weapons of mass destruction as WASPs and Turks did. Armenians did not exterminate entire ethnic groups to grab their lands – WASPs and Turks did that.

      How one can expect WASPs to recognize Armenian Genocide while denying what they did to Native Americans? WASPs can easily understand Turks and will not recognize Armenian Genocide because they view Armenians somewhere between Blacks and Hispanics and do not accept them as equal.

    • {The British blockade of the American coast created a shortage of cotton cloth in the United States, leading to the creation of a cotton-manufacturing industry}

      Oh wow, that must have been some dramatic manufacturing advancement.

      Producing iron ? Manufacturing of cannon ? Muskets ?
      Producing gun powder ? Building man-o-wars ?
      I guess America continued manufacturing those before and after the blockade: No ?

      Manufacturing of cotton cloth: whoop dee doo.

      And Barevcadres still woozy from the Hovannisian Kool-Aid they have been gulping down with abandon are too enamored with the fake ‘democracy’ their BarevaMessiah has been preaching to accept the undeniable fact that Authoritarian China has Democratic India beat by a mile by any measure and resort to ludicrous excuses like “30 year old economic growth is too new” or ‘flawed democracy” and such. You forgot the excuse that Indians are vegetarian: that must be why their PPP is 2.3X less than China.

      The bottom line is that Armenia is a democracy and its democratically elected leaders have been guiding it steadily since its Independence. Its democracy has survived a long war of survival, an attempt to overthrow its government by foreign agents, a blockade, and many other challenges, and is growing stronger and more democratic every year.

      And if Barevacadres ever manage to steal the country from its true owners, it will most certainly have a tragic end.

    • Let’s debunk Avery first (as before). So, you admit that you were wrong for claiming that the blockade of U.S. reduced only exports and not the imports. But now your claim is that only the cotton cloth manufacturing was boosted. Let me educate you some more. The textile industry was extremely crucial to the start of the industrial revolution in the United States. In fact, the industrial revolution in the U.S. started with the textile industry, which was dramatically boosted by the blockade. Minimizing the importance of cotton manufacturing for the early history of the United States either demonstrates ignorance or extreme obstinance for the sake of sticking to one’s loser argument.

      We don’t know what industries in Armenia would have been boosted due to the shielding effect of the blockade and by how much, if there was rule of law. We don’t know that precisely because rule of law has been denied to the Armenian economy by the regime. Without the smothering effect of the corruption and monopolies, however, more investors (both diasporan and domestic) would have had the incentive to develop domestic industries and create jobs.

      No, India’s GDP is not lower because Indians are vegetarians, it is lower because of the high inefficiency instability, and corruption resulting from its flawed political system. Besides the multiplicity of political parties and the instabilility resulting from it, another deficiency in the Indian democracy is its flawed federalism, where governors are appointed and state constitutions are prohibited, resulting in a top-down centralized and inefficient governance. I have never advocated modeling Armenia after a deficient democracy, I have advocated that it should model itself after a successful democracy, as would be logical.

      Anyone saying that Armenia is a democracy is either joking or delusional. Even the foreign monitors did not go that far, instead settling on “Armenia moved closer to democracy.” Intentionally soft diplomatic statements aside, Armenia has been correctly characterized as a semi-authoritarian state, which is actually worse than an authoritarian regime. At least authoritarian states (while they last) can force its subjects to further some objective. Armenia cannot even do that.

      Voskanapat, regarding name calling, its telling that you forgot to mention Avery’s puerile attempts at name calling. As he attempted to habergate (an anglicized version of an Armenian slang term meaning “to cross the line”), some slapping around was in order.

      Yes, of course we did not exterminate the Azeris, we just gave them the famed Soviet/Caucasus-style death stare, and they packed and left. The point is that your comment about the genocide of the Native Americans irrelevant to the topic (the positive effect of rule of law on U.S. economy even in a blockade). If you don’t want one to bring up the sensitive topic of the Azeris, I suggest that you don’t make irrelevant whataboutist points.

      The idea that Raffi is not sure of his Armenian identity is absurd at best. A man who leaves the comfort of the United States to devote his life to Armenia has much stronger Armenian identity than some fake “patriots” that I have encountered.

      Your irrational hatred of the United States aside, your attacks at the U.S. are typical of those who resist democracy in Armenia by making irrelevant observations about the established and successful democracies. I am offering the path for Armenia to become powerful and prosperous, and your response is that Americans lynch minorities? That’s a loser’s response, and that is not what we Armenians are. When I show you how to become successful, you can either accept the suggestion, or continue your miserable existence while pointing fingers at those who are successful. Armenians cannot afford to choose the second path.

    • Let me debunk and educate Vahagn some more:
      [In 1790, Samuel Slater built the first factory in America, based on the secrets of textile manufacturing he brought from England. He built a cotton-spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, soon run by water-power. Over the next decade textiles was the dominant industry in the country, with hundreds of companies created.]
      [In the iron industry, Pennsylvania’s furnaces and rolling mills were fast supplanting small local forges. In 1804, Oliver Evans of Philadelphia developed a high-pressure steam engine that was adaptable to a great variety of industrial purposes. Within a few years it powered ships, sawmills, flour mills, printing presses as well as textile factories.]
      [In 1798, Eli Whitney, who had invented the cotton gin in 1792, contributed one of the most important elements of the industrial age. He came up with the idea of making guns using interchangeable parts. The idea of interchangeable parts had been raised in Europe, but it took an American to successfully commercialize the concept.]

      I could educate you some more with some more examples, but doubt it will register: Barevacadres firmly believe 37% is a larger number than 58%.
      Nevertheless, notice the dates: I will point out the obvious, just in case; 1790, 1792, 1798, 1804 are all before the date of 1812.
      Industrial revolution in US was well under way long before the blockade of 1812 supposedly kicked if off.

      Do you now concede you were wrong, or you want me to educate you some more on US Industrial revolution of 1800s ?

      {“ either demonstrates ignorance or extreme obstinance for the sake of sticking to one’s loser argument.”}
      You should know: still desperately trying to prove to someone that Democracy is necessarily superior ? Still desperately trying to find excuses to explain away the hard facts staring in your face: that Authoritarian China has 2.5X the GDP and 2X+ the PPP of Democratic India ?
      Not surprising that numbers have the opposite meaning in the Bizzaro world of BarevaUniverse: if you get 37% of the vote you are the winner, and the guy that gets 58% is a loser.

      Name calling ? your side has been name calling since day 1: what are some of the names you guys – Barevacadres – call President Sargsyan ?
      And someone who brings up circumcision at the mere mention of ‘Jew’, should be last person to bring up name calling: do you know what people who have a knee jerk reaction like that to the word ‘Jew’ are called ?
      Name calling ? who was it that name-called our Armenian brothers and sisters in Artsakh ? me or Voskanapat ?
      Not only you attempted to habergate (an anglicized version of an Armenian slang term meaning “to cross the line”), but you actually habergated.

      {“ Anyone saying that Armenia is a democracy is either joking or delusional.”}
      Delusional ? Moi ? who is the delusional one: someone who thinks Armenia is a democracy or people who think 37% is a larger number than 58% ?
      Some more education for you, Professor: in case you didn’t grasp the concept, democracy is not a binary condition. There are degrees of democracy. For a former Soviet South Caucasus republic, 22 year old Armenia that barely came of a war of survival in mid 1990s is very democratic by the standards of the region. (side note: Barevamessiah was conveniently absent from that war; President Sargsyan is a genuine, bona fide war veteran who put his life on the line for this democratic 3rd Armenian Republic).

      Let me educate you some more and then some more: even Europe has levels of democracy , did you know ?
      Or your irrational hatred of Armenia and Artsakh has blinded you to that fact ?
      France, Italy, for examples are ranked as ‘Flawed Democracies’. Surprise, surprise.
      Here is some more education for you self-declared expert on non-binary democracy:

      Democracy Index Europe:
      Finland 87.7
      Norway 82.1
      Sweden 82.9
      Denmark 88.3
      Netherlands 79.0
      Germany 73.2
      Austria 63.1
      Switzerland 67.8
      Belgium 85.1
      Ireland 67.0
      Great Britain 44.6 (only ½ of Finland ? Shocking )
      France 42.8 (only ½ of Finland ? Shocking )
      Italy 57.0
      Portugal 66.7
      Spain 66.6

      Finally: {“. I am offering the path for Armenia to become powerful and prosperous”}
      Wow: the Barevamessiah complex has finally fully engulfed his Barevacadres in Glendale.
      Next, you will declare: “…I represent the will of the Armenian people….”, “…I am the elected President of Glendale Armenians…”

    • The seeds of the Industrial revolution were laid before the war of 1812, but the war, including the blockade, provided a major boost to it. Here is some more education to you:

      “One of the real impetuses for United States entering the Industrial Revolution was the passage of the Embargo Act of 1807, the War of 1812 (1812-1814) and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) which cut off supplies of new and cheaper Industrial revolution products from Britain. The lack of access to these goods all provided a strong incentive to learn how to develop the industries and to make our own goods instead of simply buying the goods produced by Britain.”

      The fact that the war of 1812 stimulated American industry is so basic that it is amazing that anyone would actually try to argue against it.

      Democracy is indeed a sliding scale, I was the one who taught you that India was a flawed (as opposed to a full) democracy. It’s good to see that you are being a good student. The problem with Armenia is that it is way down the scale, below Turkey and slightly above Egypt:

      Turkey: Rank: 88, Score: 5.73
      Niger: Rank: 110, Score: 4.16
      Armenia: Rank: 111, Score 4.09
      Iraq: Rank: 112, Score 4.03
      Egypt: Rank: 115, Score: 3.95

      I am sure Armenia is slightly freer if the “regional” standard is Azerbaijan and Iran. However, choosing Armenia’s worst neighbors as a standard for democracy is absurd. The goal of the Armenia people is not to have a state somewhere between Turkey and Azerbaijan, it is to have a state that is strong and wealthy where people actually want to live.

    • {“ I was the one who taught you that India was a flawed”}

      You are the one that taught me about India ? Not surprising coming from a Barevacadre: living in a delusional world is the hallmark of the inhabitants of BarevaUniverse Go back to the begging of this thread and educate yourself about who said what.

      You lost the intellectual joust, buddy boy. You were crushed in a fair match like your Barevamessiah.
      What are you going to do next, go on a hunger strike in front of the Consulate of Armenia in Glendale ?
      Accept your crushing defeat and retire gracefully.

    • Avery, your claiming of “winning” after I debunked over and over only makes you look more desperate. I understand that your ego is bruised, but you are only humiliating yourself further.

      Since you are asking to be humiliated some more, I will remind you how you were debunked.
      – You made the ludicrous claim that India’s shortcomings somehow prove that democracy is not superior to dictatorship
      – I then explained to you that India is considered a flawed democracy. In other words, not all democracies are created equal, i.e. there is a sliding scale of democracies.
      – you then repeated my point (as your own), arguing that democracy is not a binary concept, that there is a sliding scale. At which point I kindly reminded you that you were merely repeating an idea stated by me.

      Here is another way you were debunked:
      – you made the ridiculous argument that the blockade during the War of 1812 only reduced the U.S. exports and not the imports.
      – I presented multiple evidence that it reduced both exports and imports, which in turn spurred U.S. manufacturing, debunking you over and over.

      I like how you are begging me to “retire,” as if my posts have become a thorn to your side. You are hoping and praying that they will disappear.

  8. Dear Raffi,

    I wish you strength and perseverance to guide the Armenian people to complete Democracy. The people of Armenia has spoken, and we must all side with the people of Armenia for wherever their rightful wishes lie.

  9. “That future is based on a brand new plan that is not 100 pages long, but in terms of its implementation let it be clear that I know exactly where I am going. I also know that the Armenian people will guide me to that final summit.”

    As others have said before, please show us this “plan.” Raffi is like a broken record at this point. I won’t take seriously somebody who says “Just trust me that I know what I’m doing and don’t ask questions.” it’s all very poetic isn’t it? Reaching the summit, people’s victory, etc etc. What are you going to do?!!

  10. What Raffi’s plans are, certainly not in parallel with the plans of the oligarchal regime that is in place today in RA, and it has been for the past 21 years. Raffi wants to put a stop of today’s oligarchal regime that are carrying on with the old soviet mentality. Raffi wants to put a stop to the cheatings, the lyings and the stealings of the few elites, be it within the ranks of the government or their friends and acquaintances. A new regime must take over for the benefit of the RofA. Otherwise let’s all say goodbye to our Republic, because that’s where it’s heading. The general public knows this as they are living in poverty and despair every day of their lives. They want true Democracy to reign in the country, otherwise they will find a way to get the heck out of there, surely we can understand them, couldn’t we? When in the heart of Yerevan, there is a radius of BMW’s running around, high calibre stores, nice cafes, restaurants and bars that are occupied by the sons and the daughters of the so called oligarchs and the so called elite, while the rest of the country is dirt poor, waiting for some tourists to come by and hopefully buy their homemade preserve jars, so they could feed their children for a few nights. When their are so many orphanages full of children who’s parents are not dead but alive, and they are forced to put their second or third child in the orphanages, because they cannot feed the second, third or the fourth child. Today’s government and their buddies (the oligarchs and their extenstion) have made beggars out of our people and they don’t seem to care. I was approached by a European couple, who were outraged that it is disgraceful that some are so very rich in the center of Yerevan, yet the majority of the population in the country are dirt poor. Anybody visiting Armenia could see this in plain sight.

    What Raffi and with him, the majority of the people of Armenia who are outraged, desperately want a change in the existing regime and finally Democracy to reign in the Republic of Armenia.

    • That’s not a plan, those are lofty objectives. A plan is how to reach those goals. I want Armenia to be the best, most fair, most happy country in the world. Should I run with a campaign like that but not bother about how I’m actually going to do it.

  11. Vahagn,
    I agree and know what free market economy is …if you read my posts carefully you will note that I write ´´WILD FREE MARKET ECONOMY¨,which measn it went out of hand.
    I lived in a country for a qtr century,namely Spain that before going to free market economy WENT THROUGH A transitional period. That is , the Don Felip Gonzalez´s Socialist party rule for 13 and half yrs.Then by and by after eliminating the casi(quassi) landlords, dictatorial Franco regime, when individual persons had huge swats of land , like near a province…by adn by entering into the Common market, then the EU…
    Armenia plus the other 14 other ex-soviet republics overnight from communist ruled entered into the Wild freemarket rule.Which is what you write about .Oligarks that have monopolized important sectors of commers industries etc.,.etc.
    Anyhow,I do maintain my position that for a country such as Armenia that can really work its way up TO BECOME THE SWITZERLADN OF THE REGION,best would be to switch over to the Scandinavian one.
    However,if too lñate for that then by eliminating the monopolies and very low TAXES LEVIED ON THE OLIGARKS AND by adn by stabilize the economy.
    I do not believe you have a good idea of the Denmark ,ÇSweden, Finladn kind of democracies , indeed but with a touch of socialism(not soviet socialist at all).Countries such a sSweden are capable of prodeucing cars and jet fighters of the Volvo and SAAB type. My fridnm´s father had the SWEDA cash register factory .He explained to me how his father had d to pay the 60% and over Taxesw on income(no escape) and thus theri country did not have the poor ,the homel.ess that the other overcapitalistic countries do…..
    IO believ e I have said enough check it out yojurself.
    Armenia at present neeeds some sort of curbing the outrageous ´FREEMARKET ECONOMYU GONE …WILD….

    • Wasn’t it under Jose Maria Aznar’s government (which was more free-market friendly) that the unemployment in Spain really dropped in late 90’s and early 2000’s? I think Franko’s dictatorship put Spain far behind the rest of Europe, forcing it to catch up. Don’t you think, though, that if Spain did not go through Felipe de Gonzales’ long socialist rule, Spain would catch up sooner with Europe?

      The Swedish system may help its people feel financially secure and happy, but there is a possibility that it prevents Sweden from becoming a larger and more active economy. I watched a documentary, where this Swedish guy explained that even though people in Sweden get free health care and other benefits, it has been a while since Sweden had its own “Rockefellers” and other large industralists (like Ericsson, the founder of the phone company). Whereas in the U.S., giants like Google and Facebook are being established before our eyes by kids. Meaning, the successful enterpreneurs and the innovators prefer to start their businesses in countries like the U.S. than Sweden.

      People in the U.S. may be less happy and more stressed than those in Sweden, but I think they have more hope and opportunities for growth, which is why more people want to move to the U.S. than any other country. The U.S. has 1 million net migration annual migration (those who come minus those who leave). No other country even comes close. And immigration is very important for Armenia.

      As I have said before, these are issues that a democratic Armenia can decide. The political system and the economic system are different issues, and Armenia can have, for example, a U.S.-modeled political system and yet choose to have a socialist economy. The important thing is for Armenia to adopt a successful political system, which will enable its leaders to debate and make better decisions regarding the economy.

  12. John,
    If you do wish Armenia to be the most fair and a very happy country in the world, then like my friend Gaytzag Palandjian very soberly and very knowledgably suggested above, let Armenia be like Great Britain, who at one point taxed their mega wealthy people and industries with almost 90% taxation, as well as Sweden and Denmark as Gaytzag suggested, to at least tax the Oligarchs 60%, to get rid of the free market regime in Armenia and let the dirt poor people, who are the majority, have better jobs and better opportunities to profit from the resources and the economy in our country. If you e-mail Raffi Hovannesian and ask him, he will tell you that he will make Armenia a Socio-Democratic country, which means to stop the free market regime and start acting on behalf of the people, but not siding the rich and famous, who are already rich, are totally controlling all of Armenia’s resources and economy and letting the rest of the population run around poor, desolate and disgraced.

  13. What Armenian people need in the Republic is a new government that both well taxes the rich elites as well as do away with the monopoly-based economy and put in tact real law and order in the country. For that they need a Socio-Democratic or a Democratic country to rule it.

    • The problem with taxing the rich 90% or even 60% is that there would be no rich people in Armenia, which means there would be no successful businesses, which means that there would be no jobs. After all, those with money would not invest in Armenia but would invest and create jobs elsewhere, where the taxes would be lower. Armenia needs rich people, it just needs to get rid of bad rich people (those who break the law) and encourage good rich people to invest.

      The issue of how much to tax or regulate the economy is a difficult one, and it is a decision that needs to be made by competent elected authorities. That is why I think it is important for Armenia to have a political reform first and then an economic one. When Armenia has a fair political system, with a reformed constitution and laws, the new authorities will be able to make a better decision regarding the type of economy that is best for Armenia.

  14. When he says “the people” is he serious ? Is he sure he’s talking on behalf of all the Armenians ? And he continues believing that those few thousands of people on Liberty Square, are all his supporters !? He’s so ridiculous!
    STOP this silliness Mr Hovannissian, STOP IT!
    You’re waisting people’s precious time.

  15. For those who are listening,one such multi millionaire(wont name)purchased hotel in foregin country worth 60 million dollars….
    I respect those that atleast build open 2 storey restaurants in Armenia(compare that to Maxim´s of Paris),because the riches stay in homeland…
    Definitely there is difference between rich adn rich(like just said),but taxes are to be levied on big GAINS, also capital gains tax on holdings(real property).Otherwise how can Armenia progress.If you wish to rely on int´l loans )long period low intersts, these are Kick back based ones,meaning if 34 million whether Euros or dollars are loaned there are strings attached to it….
    Capiche ? some part of it goes straight back to brokers who got the Loan!!! capiche? this is how dirty capitalism works……
    I don´t mind to say that a Democratic socialism is the Best for RA…
    I am dead stunned why on earth the ARF does not begin to inject the REal good Democratic Socialism that curbs atrocious capitalism in a poor country like Ar,mneia???? at least conditioning it for A TRANSITIONAL PERIOD,say of 10 yrs…so as those FILTHY RICH WILL NOT TAKE MONIES ABROAD…
    After that Transitional period , when we have a majority of MIDDLE CLASS in armenia , O.K. to bring back the SO CALLED FREE MARKET ONE…

  16. Before anything I wish to convey my meagre knowledge of everything concerning Armenity to friends…
    BLOCKADE by Truco azeris..of Armenia HAS NOT affected Armenia,the overland truck and passenger vehicle Road to Iran is WIDE OPEN!!!!whjich connects sothward to Iranian port cities of Bandar Abbas, Khorramshahr,where….ocean going vessels await to load and unload goods for Ar,menia!!!!!!!
    Upwards to North and North West,i.e, RFederation and europe via Poti,Batumi be steamers to other sie of Black sea European Russia or Ukrain etc., also WIDE OPEN. The other option via Abkhazia, S.Ossetia, lately becdause of Independencde of these from good ol Georgia, faltering a bit .biut there!!
    Now the other BARZAMID ARMENIANS WISHED ONE VIA great Turkey.
    Wife of a repatriate in yerevan in from of husband and me declared..the moment That border is opened and Turkish BIZmen come and start buying land homes apartments ,stores in yerevan ,I leave!!!!!!
    That is what will happen.The simpleton Armenians there(still with RUSSIAN SOVIET SOCIALISM residue…think the sugar coated nice wordie of the turks of Kars etc., are true and they will act BROTHERLY WITHOUT AFOREMENTIONED ,govt. sponsorted(great Turkish dilpmacy) intervening…
    Whereas that is what will really happend and what´s more at present (I am not jealous) great Turkey having received billions of dolalrs and Eiuros , started producing goods that are good actually and low priced..(if not so htey will intentioanlly lower these .govt subsidized to choke the Armenian products adn/or those from Thailand Hong kong and China…such is the evil gret Turkey mindset.You don´t believ e it go ahedad open borders and <LET THEM IN!!!!!
    Armenia is better off with these remaining closed.What´s more howcan any armenian with right mind not ABush….think that a country who confiscated,evicting lawfull owners of lands homes businesses there, be OTHERWISE intentioned…they did that before this time without force!!!!

    • Good point, Gaytzag. While I do not always agree with Armenia’s Armen Ayvazyan, he says that the opening of the border will probably have very negative effects on Armenia. I think this is especially true in the absence of democracy. Turks will easily buy corrupt Armenian officials and tear the country apart one by one.

  17. Addendum,
    I forgot to add, taht indeed BORDER OPENING would be O.K…..
    However if great Turkey condescended gave in to admitting Gult culpability of their previosu Gov.ts having committed the Crime of the century and asked for pardon, made restitutions THEN ONLY …
    Even then only after estgablishment of Diplomatic relations think of Opening borders..
    For without above, Armenia AND ALL OF ARMENITY WILL BE THE STOCK OF THE WORLD …as nincompoops NUTTS, crazy people …
    This is absurd. the protocols I mean.what javier Solana, Miss clinton and lavrov had thought of to make us friends with THE VOJRAGORTZ CRIMINAL, without latter repenting and begging pardon.
    I tell you hayun Khelke Oush guka(The armenian reflect is very slow) Thank God we d o have non so in Paris and L.a. who gave it to Serge Sargsyan that we aint´in conformity with these protocols.pack them up!!!!!
    if , for diplomacy sake Serge and Co. are not annuling these , (so they think) to be complacent with afore TRIO…he mistakes.latter know full well what they had prepared was a TRAP..so they won´t mind at all if FINALLY REFUSED BY THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE!!!!
    oH I AM EXHAUSTED.PICK IT UP FROM HERE AND MAKE ALL UNDERSTAND what is going on in this clumsy sort of wrodl politics..
    Each only thinking for their benefit thaty world is calm Kurds are not to be attended to ,Armenians have to make do with what they have already..etc-.,etc

  18. Vahagn,
    Jose Maria Aznar´s success WAS BUILT ON FELIPE GONZALES´s Peaceful Transition from tight Franco Regime by and by(curbing all pfevious wild ones).Once Spain was in a condition to be accepted in the euroepan commmon market ,then indeed the Free market one set in…
    Point I wish to make is that not only Armenia but all pother 14r ex soviet republics very fast 8overnight) changed sytem,which caused these polarized governemtns being popped up.I know same is true in Russia .Moscow hasw quite a few of their Oligarks,Much more important capitlawise actually Billionaires(thanks God a couple aArmenian ones too).If you wish to imply I am against freee market economy, you err. I am for it but provided it WAS done gradually…
    Anyhow let´s forget that .Concentrate on what´s much more important and VITAL now, that the Kurds are so to say NEVRUZ in great Turkey..
    latter is boiling with rage.Just listen to what Ocalan has said…
    First he mentiones Ermenis(Armenians) why for Gods´ sake go think of your own problen with great Turkey.
    Or is it that latter is more concerned about those Ermenis that are preparing to commemporate the 100th Anniversary of the Genocide perpetrated on us by them????
    Now that is the question.Ask ocalan why do you bother about us.go fix your problem mr.!!!!!

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