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Address of the Georgian people to the Vice President of the United States of America, Mr Joe Biden

Wednesday, July 22
Today is a historic day for Georgia. We are assembled again in Freedom Square, in order to once more reaffirm Georgia’s attachment to Western and democratic values and to greet and welcome America’s Vice President Mr. Joe Biden.

For more than a hundred days we have been demanding the very same changes that President Barack Obama’s new administration has set as a goal for itself and for the world. It can be said that Georgia today is the country which more than any other needs these changes. It is time for change in Georgia.

On Freedom Square we again assemble today - political parties, nongovernemental organisations - Georgian society, pluralist and multifaceted, but united around the very same demand for which we stood here at the time of the Rose Revolution, during an American President’s last visit, and at the time when the Soviet Union was collapsing: “To be able to live in a free and democratic society.”

We are the same people who in 2003 during the Rose Revolution called for a Government elected through free and fair elections, democratic state institutions as a condition for the nation’s strengthening and for justice and freedom as the only way leading to the development of the country.

Despite the unconditional support of the United States of America, to this day this aim has not been achieved. For state institutions do not yet stand at the service of our citizens, because our democratic institutions, the media, Parliament, the judiciary, private business, are still usurped by a corrupt and clannish governing team.

Over the years, instead of consolidating state institutions, the unconditional support given to a limited group of people has thrown Georgia back to the days of authoritarianism, which in itself was one of the main causes of destabilisation. This authoritarian trend created a rift between society and the Government, and left the country unguarded against the foreign enemy while the emerging crisis became almost irreversible. The consolidation of personal ties at the expense of political principles raised questions as to American intent. It fostered among the governing few an unchecked self-confidence and assertiveness, among the consequences of which we can count the tragic August 2008 war.

Mikheil Saakashvili has failed the ideals of the Rose Revolution and betrayed the course chosen by his own people. He has set himself on the path towards authoritarianism And with his adventuristic actions, he has lost for Georgia the prospects of real independence and swift integration into the Euro-Atlantic family. Instead of restoring, as promised, the territorial integrity of the country, he dragged Georgia into a war which led to the loss of additional territories. Instead of the promised free economic development, the main assets of the Georgian economy have been handed over to Russia and its capital. Every day the Georgian state gets weaker and the trust in Georgian institutions more fragile.

The help and support provided by the United States of America for Georgian independence and sovereignty have proven invaluable and unprecedented. It is only natural that Georgia expects from the new administration concrete measures in order to revive its democratic institutions: the Army, which as a result of the war and political repression is on the verge of destruction; the Police, which as a result of ultra-politicisation is terrorised and has lost its capacity to function; the Judiciary, which as a result of political interference has turned into a repressive machine in the hands of the governing team; the media, which is simply dying; private property, which is totally undefended, and the free economy and business, which find themselves under the constraints of state racketeers.

Expectations are high!

Hope in Georgia remains alive!

The struggle for real democracy goes on!

We are awaiting your visit to Georgia with the greatest hope and believe that the new posture of your administration is what we need in order to return to our people the right to free choice and free elections which will help to bring the country once and forever out of its dark past.

We express the hope that America will support the will of the people so that in Georgia a democratic system is restored, early, free and fair elections are appointed, the media is freed from Government censorship, citizens are allowed to defend their elementary rights through a fair process of law, and we can reach our objective – free elections - not from the street, but through a normal political process.

Political parties, members of the April 9th organisation.

This address will be adopted by the Georgian people on July 22, at 19:00, on Freedom Square.