Autocratic Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is bringing a special guest with him as he visits Latin American leaders in Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela — his 7-year-old son, Kolya. While Lukashenko has two adult-aged sons, it is his youngest son that is most frequently in the public eye, accompanying his father for official visits — including a recent meeting with the Pope — and casting his father’s voting ballot.
At a recent meeting with Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Lukashenko seemed to reveal his plans for Belarus’s future leadership, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
"You’re correct in pointing out that my kid is here alongside us. This shows that we have seriously and lastingly established the foundation for our cooperation, and that in 20 to 25 years there will be someone to take over the reins of this cooperation."
Leaders are usually a bit more coy about designating future heirs — especially at Kolya’s age — but subtlety isn’t really Lukashenko’s style.