That sits oddly with his earlier support for communist causes, given the lack of rights or democracy in such countries. But even more so it sits oddly with his recent comments about political opposition to the policies of Barack Obama.
This is what Belafonte said in an interview:
Interviewer: You've fought for decades for some of the entitlements that the right-wing wants to balance the budget off of...How do you view this?
Belafonte: What's attracted me most to this process is watching the political maturity of the American people, because it was a question during the first election whether Barack would even be elected, and after the turnout so emphatically put him in the presidency, it's interesting to watch the second turnout, when everybody didn't quite know what the game would be. But the American people in their maturity declared themselves fully "We want what Barack Obama is talking about, we want the country to go in that direction". And what fascinates me is that in the midst of millions of Americans expressing their desire, the whole political establishment defining its game, that there should be this lingering infestation of really corrupt people, who sit trying to dismantle the wishes of the people, the mandate that has been given to Barack Obama, and I don't know what more they want, the only thing left for Barack Obama to do, is to work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail. You're violating the American desire.
The way Belafonte describes it there is an "American desire" which has defined what American politics is to be and only a "lingering infestation of really corrupt people" stand in its way and the only thing left to do is to repress them.
There's a lot to unpack in all of this. I've already pointed out how incongruous it is for Belafonte to win awards from organisations promoting living democracy and domestic human rights and then to hear him talk about jailing "really corrupt people" who dare to be a democratic opposition in America.
But there's more. Belafonte's views in some ways show a danger within democratic politics. One way to understand politics is that it is an effort to order society according to right principles. Democratic politics would be one way of choosing which policies were thought to be most in accord with these right principles.
But this isn't how Belafonte seems to understand democracy. He seems to take seriously the idea that the ultimate standard is not a set of right principles that different parties try to get closest to, but instead it is the "will of the people" itself. The fact that something is desired makes it right.
So if two elections have returned Obama and the Democrats, then the American desire is that of Obama and the Democrats, and that becomes the right by which politics is defined, and then only those who don't accept the right (and who are therefore corrupt) would remain in opposition (i.e. an opposition can't say "Well I think something else is right", as what is right is what is desired and it is Obama and the Democrats that are desired).
In short, there is a danger in making the ultimate standard "the will of the people," particularly when the left senses that it is politically ascendant in the long term.