Croatia: Covert Communist Diplomacy Against Diaspora Patriotic Community

MT4YYW flags of Croatia and Yugoslavia

Messages are circulating, becoming louder, that for true independence from communist Yugoslavia to flow among the people the Croatian patriotic diaspora community must wage a strong political war against the political parties that have held government and presidential candidates in office since year 2000. This, under the understanding that politics is the foundation of all good and all bad things that happen to people and that everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not, is a political being.

7 June marked Croatian Diplomacy Day! Official events were held in Croatia for it. This Day traditionally marks a historic event from 879 when Pope John VIII sent a letter to the Croatian prince Branimir informing him that he had blessed him and the entire Croatian people in Rome and acknowledging his “earthly authority over the whole of Croatia”. At that time, it was the highest international recognition, which, in today’s sense, recognised Croatia as a sovereign state. This is a traditional event in June when the achievements of diplomats are discussed, and guidelines are set for the next one-year.

The Croatian patriotic communities in the diaspora would have quite a lot to say about the achievements, the failures, the backward or forward milestones that the Croatian diplomatic relationship with its own diaspora has been put through since 1992 when Croatia was internationally recognised and confirmed as an independent country – an enormous gratitude for that goes to the Croatians living and being active abroad at those times. As far as the Croatian public is aware no one from the Croatian corridors of power has asked a representative sample of the Croatian patriotic diaspora community to provide the government with feedback regarding its performance on the diplomatic sphere.  So, I think this is an opportunity to look at what is happening in 2022 with regards to diplomatic currents official Croatia sends and maintains in the diaspora.  

Out of its own choice Croatian patriotic diaspora communities that rejected communism and Yugoslavia since the end of World War II have always, while former Yugoslavia lasted, lived without a relationship with the Yugoslav diplomatic and consular missions. Only those who lived in the diaspora and supported Yugoslavia had a relationship with Yugoslav consular and diplomatic missions and simply never interested in nor cared about an independent Croatia and frequently worked against such an idea. A mutually respectful, cordial, and beneficial relationship between the Croatian patriotic diaspora communities and official Croatia cemented roots in the early 1990’s, 1992 to be exact. This lasted until late 1999 when the first president of independent Croatia Dr Franjo Tudjman passed away. In many cases, Croatian patriotic communities throughout the world donated funds and worked hard at helping Croatia establish its diplomatic missions abroad, including purpose purchasing of land, purpose building embassy and consular buildings or purchasing premises and equipping them with the charitable fundraising monetary results. One would be correct in saying that in many places across the world when the Croatian Embassy or Consulate organise an event within their official building, a celebration, a soirée, they are drinking and feasting under our roof – the roof that the Croats in the diaspora erected, purchased, and paid for!   

In his speech at the official celebration of the Day of Croatian Diplomacy in Zagreb, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic referred to the beginnings of Croatian statehood and the role that diplomacy played there and spoke about the present when Croatia has a completely different position and role. The worst thing is to have a state whose position is unknown, said also Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, emphasising that Croatia must be a “reliable country” at the international level.

Well, the only Croatian government reliability that the Croatian patriotic diaspora community has seen since year 2000 is that both SDP/Social Democratic Party and HDZ/ Croatian Democratic Union governments have been engaging in is their reliable pursuits, both overt and covert, in the diminishment and the degrading of the value of the Croatian patriots living in the diaspora who contributed the most to the creation of the independent state of Croatia during 1990’s! That, in simple words, is a continuance of operations, covert or overt that communist Yugoslavia engaged in across the world where Croatian patriots lived.

The Croatian diaspora has during the past five years or so, been seeing the emergence of new, quite small, so-called Croatian community organisations sponsored and highly supported by the Croatian diplomatic corps, filled with people or members that have never been a part of the Croatian patriotic community that fought for today’s Croatia away from the communist regime of Yugoslavia. Large majority of them also did not contribute any funds whatsoever to the war efforts to defend Croatia against the Serb/Yugoslav aggressor; in the homes of many a portrait of the mega murderer Josip Broz Tito hung in prominent places. The Croatian diplomatic corps across the world has been declaring such people as Croatian community leaders even though they have never been that nor will they ever be simply because they do not appear to have in them what it takes to love and promote a Croatia for its secession from communist Yugoslavia. The extent to which such phenomena of setting up or inserting new associations among emigrants, where career diplomatic and consular personnel are key in creating them, may be considered by some as kind of suspicious attempt to disrupt the character of the Croatian patriotic community in emigration by the Croatian government for its own political party gain.

There is a visible trend of a dirty political game of this scenario where the Croatian diplomatic and to some extent consular corps have started to call these people, who in their organisations may have a hundred or less or slightly more members, “Croatian community leaders” while at the same time ignoring the real Croatian patriotic community leaders who always stood by and sacrificed for a Croatia free from communist Yugoslavia. Hence, trying to create a new (false or partially true) profile of the Croatian community in the diaspora of “yes” people to the ruling political party, or those who for personal gain do not criticise the government for the betterment of Croatia for all! This was the modus operandi that communist Yugoslavia employed against patriotic Croats in the diaspora, and it is the covert politics that the communist-mindset-laden Croatian governments since year 2000 have been utilising and putting into practice. Run down the true Croatian patriots and at the same time uplift those who never lifted a finger for independent Croatia! Do not misunderstand me or the Croats who are very unhappy about this trend – we all love new people of Croatian descent to join the true and sincere patriotic community but when this is attempted through running down or degrading the existing patriotic community, those who always stood and fought fiercely for an independent Croatia, and pushing up front those who did not, then Croatia has a huge problem in the foundations of its sovereignty. Croatian governments must learn to accept and respect all its citizens and the roles they played in creating the state, even those who criticise them – otherwise democracy becomes a mere face mask; progress towards a good livelihood for all becomes a one-way street with a dead end. Ina Vukic   

Mate Granic et al. – You Will Not Succeed In Denying The Croatian Diaspora Its Rightful Place In Foundations Of Independent Croatia And Its Diplomatic Missions

Sydney Australia 1991 – one of several peaceful protests against war in Croatia and for Independence of Croatia Photo: Ina Vukic

15 January 2021 marks the 29th Anniversary of the International Recognition of Croatia as an independent and sovereign state. Although other countries followed during the ensuing months of 1992 an overwhelming number of countries had announced their recognition of Croatia on 15 January 1992 (Australia on 16 January 1992, United States 7 April 1992…).

A child might use prevarication to avoid telling the whole truth about how the kitchen window got broken. Croatia’s Mate Granic, former communist Yugoslavia operative, former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Croatia uses prevarication (on the 29th anniversary of the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia as an independent and sovereign state) to purposefully avoid the truth and facts about the key elements and players in the creation of the independent state and its diplomatic missions across the world. It is an absolute truth and fact that after the Croatian Independence Referendum (to secede from communist Yugoslavia held on 19 May 1991) between June 1991 and around June 1993 the path was set to establish permanent premises of Croatian Diplomatic Missions throughout the world and in particular there where a relatively large and influential Croatian diaspora lived (E.g., Germany, Australia, Canada, United States, Argentina, Chile etc.).

In those crucial years during which the foundations for the sustainability of an independent Croatia were laid, war of Yugoslav Army and Serb rebels was raging against Croatia, lifeline funds were alarmingly scarce for Croatian independence plights and the Croatian diaspora poured in with enormous financial help through fundraising efforts and lobbying their local politicians and parliamentarians towards recognising Croatia as sovereign state as well as local communities via many peaceful mass protests against the war in Croatia and supplying Western media outlets with factual reports from War zones in efforts to correct the Yugoslav/Serb lies and half-truths TANJUG News Agency was feeding to the world.  

It has been 29 years since then and Croatians witnessing and participating in those events are significantly reduced in number as coming to power of many former communists after Franjo Tudjman’s death in late 1999/2000 also and regretfully  meant that the Croatian Homeland War saw increasing efforts for it to be criminalised with lies and fabrications, a multitude of Homeland War generals were forced into retirement, Croatian Generals sent to the UN International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague on trumped up politically driven indictments, Homeland War veterans in general degraded and their deserved welfare ignored and their pivotal place in the foundations of Independent Croatia almost obliterated, the recognition of the role of the Croatian diaspora in creating an independent state of Croatia systematically and increasingly ignored and downplayed by those who seized power in Croatia after year 2000.

Sadly, this also means that these same politicians and former Yugoslav communists or their children together with their Serbian counterparts have been during the past two decades “writing” a history of the founding of the independent state of Croatia with lies and prevarications, just as they did about the WWII Independent State of Croatia after the War had ended. And so, those born during and after the 1990’s Croatian Homeland War are fed more and more lies and half-truths and are in danger of not knowing the most relevant truths about how and why the independent Croatia came to be. How and why their independent state was created.

The Croatian television Studio 4 program televised for the occasion of the 29th Anniversary of international recognition of Croatia’s independence featured none other than Mate Granic and his appearance there demonstrates so clearly how lies and prevarication regarding the establishment of the Croatian diplomatic missions throughout the world, the international recognition of Croatia, create a false picture and false record. Granic purposefully omitted to talk truthfully about the period June 1991 and June 1992 that was critical for the international recognition of Croatia and for the preparations for the establishment of permanent Croatian Diplomatic Missions throughout the world (up to June 1993) – he blatantly ignored the fact that Dr Zvonimir Separovic was then a very Croatia-minded Foreign Minister. Whether this omission on Granic’s part was related to the fact that Dr Zvonimir Separovic was one of the leading Croatian public figures to pursue truth about Communist crimes and mass graves of their victims had anything to do with Granic’s disregard is a question I believe many Croats will know how to answer or contemplate upon. In the same television program by plucking out individual cases of diaspora contribution to the establishment of Croatian Diplomatic Missions Granic completely omitted to talk and recognise fully the crucial roles Croatian diaspora played in the processes of international recognition of Croatia and the establishing permanent Croatian Diplomatic Missions throughout the world.

Generally, let me present here some absolute facts Mate Granic (and those in power in Croatia or around them who are, shamelessly “carrying the can” for communist Yugoslavia) is avoiding talking about or recognise:

  • Not only did at that time Serbs with the help of the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army occupy and ethnically cleansed of Croats one third of Croatia but also Yugoslav (Serb) diplomatic missions across the world were occupied by Serbian diplomacy under the thieving claim that Serbia (with Montenegro, called then and until 2003, FRY – Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) was the heir to communist Yugoslavia and, therefore, rightful owner and occupant of the diplomatic missions’ premises throughout the world kept operating (without Croatia) in premises acquired with a great deal of Croatian funds that were syphoned off from Croatia during the decades when Croatia was part of communist Yugoslavia federation;
  • Coming out of a totalitarian communist regime Croatia needed and relied upon its democratically-minded and experienced diaspora to step in and help drive the establishment of its Diplomatic and Consular Missions including securing new premises for which Croatia had no funds at the time (Australia serves as a bight example where the Croatian communities raised significant funds to purchase premises and equip them for future diplomatic-consular permanent mission);
  • Croatia needed and relied upon the democratic systems knowhow, connectedness and influence of its diaspora to establish diplomatic core ties and good will on the ground for diplomatic networking – and the Croatian diaspora delivered gladly and professionally “big time”;  
  • Coming out of the totalitarian regime of communist Yugoslavia Croatia needed and relied upon its diaspora to drive and establish operational framework of its diplomatic missions on the ground of most foreign countries and individual Croatians did just that, without remuneration but with a huge love for democracy and freedom from communist mindset.  
  • Documentary, verified and verifiable evidence still exists in the Croatian Diaspora regarding the Croatian Diaspora input and role in the establishment of Diplomatic/Consular Missions of Croatia on the ground in various countries. When Mate Granic became the Foreign Minister of Croatia in May 1993 there were attempts by his diplomats to get hold of all the documentary evidence pertaining to diaspora role in setting up the Missions – they were not afforded that privilege – it was justifiably feared they would destroy the evidence.

29 years after, it is evident that the Croatian Diaspora has been placed on the same trajectory of disrespect and disregard as the Homeland War veterans when it comes to upholding the very foundations of independence! Croatian communist mindset still littering the corridors of power, hand in hand with Serbian aggressor operatives and clan – continue with their degradation of values the Croatian people had set for themselves when they overwhelmingly decided to secede from Yugoslav communist regime. Mate Granic and all of the communist Yugoslavia apparatchiks and apologists – you will not succeed in denying and downplaying the Croatian Diaspora and its rightful place in the foundations of the Independent Croatia and its Diplomatic Missions across the world. Ina Vukic

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