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

Blessed and Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a Blessed and Merry Christmas 2020 from the joy of nurturing Croatian culture and traditions in Australia since 1850’s!

Blagoslovljen i Čestit Božić 2020. iz radosti održavanja hrvatske kulture i običaja u Australiji od 1850-tih!

Croatia And Psychological Importance of History And Its Facts

 

Psychological importance of history and truth
Click on image to enlarge

National identity is the pillar of individual affiliation with a state or nation. It is the catalyst that drives people to do their best for the sake of the homeland, including sacrificing their lives in support of a country and protecting its achievements. In this strong affiliation lies, absolutely, the success of Croatian people’s magnificent victory over the brutal and genocidal Serb-led aggressor in the 1990’s.

It is without doubt that national identity plays a vital role in guaranteeing progress, prosperity, security and stability of any country. It is a homeland that, in its truest sense, safeguards human dignity, ensures happiness and a decent livelihood for its citizens, who, wherever they go, have pride in belonging to that homeland, which, in turn, is proud of its people. Globalisation has contributed to changes in both the notion and nature of national identity across the world. With technology and communication advances and freedom of movement, with globalisation came the so-called global society but this new global society is no alternative to national identity.  It bears no hallmarks of individual sacrifice for greater good, it bears no sense of belonging, which is one of the basic needs human beings have in life.

But, in Croatia, things have gone terribly wrong especially since the minority governments started forming governments with Croatian Serb minority leaders who did not (during the 1990’s Croatian War of Independence) and still do not see Croatia as their homeland but rather see Serbia as their homeland. Hence, even the age-old Croatian greeting and salute “For Homeland Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) has been the target of vicious attacks, constant bombardments and barrages of humiliation and bullying aimed at Croatian people who hold their homeland dear; these bombardments come and came through historical lies devised by no other than the Serb-led communists of Former communist Yugoslavia.

At this time in particular, when the Croatian government has evidently dropped the superior importance of Croatian homeland for Croatian national identity and callously works hand-in-hand with the Serb minority leaders in Croatia to run to the ground the very positive and elating emotion in loving the homeland that had preserved and saved from perish the Croatian nation through centuries and particularly the 20th century, it is good to remind ourselves of the importance of knowing our true history.

Serbia has not given up its sights on access to the sea – the Adriatic Sea! Since 1918, when it managed to create a Kingdom that would include Croatian territory even though the Croatian Parliament never wanted nor ratified that it be joined to Serbia in the kingdom, through WWII and after it, when it held wielding power within the Yugoslav Army and ruling communist party and in 1990’s when it brutally attacked Croatia because Croats wanted out of Yugoslavia – Serbia has demonstrated over and over again that it would do anything and everything to have access to the Adriatic and retain command over the fate of Croats in Croatia (and in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

As human beings progress through life building social attachments in order to fulfil their basic needs developmental theories such as those of Jean Piaget suggest that children undergo a socialisation process that moves from the egocentric to the sociocentric. From the perspective of a nation the group satisfies and fulfils sociocultural, economic, and political needs, giving individuals a sense of security, a feeling of belonging, and, of course, prestige. We find that Psychology’s leading theorists (e.g. Abraham Maslow, B,F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud …) agree that the need to belong is a fundamental human motivation; national attachment can fulfil that need and help individuals construct their identity. Henri Tajfel’s social identity theory suggests that a person’s identity is based in part on his or her group (nation), so a group’s status and importance affect the individual’s own. In other words, you want to view your nation as being superior to others to increase your own self-esteem, creating “in-group favouritism” that drives enthusiasm for life and work (example: the classic “U! S! A!” chant; for Croatia “Za Dom Spremni” [For Homeland Ready]).

It would be, therefore, justified to say that we all as human beings have an existential interest in history. Compare a nation which has no interest in its own past with one which has a very pronounced interest in its history and the conclusion usually reached is that the latter may be humanly progressive while the former cannot truthfully be so designated. The knowledge of the past is not only of critical value to the fundamental needs of human beings but also to dealing with the modern problems human beings encounter, for if history does not repeat itself, there are undoubtedly some very striking analogies. If experience is the best teacher for an individual, the same may be said to apply for a nation, which is only an aggregate of individuals. Whether in classrooms or within family unit or on the streets education and knowledge we gather on the history of our and other nations impact significantly on personality and character development of each individual, and, therefore, the nation. If that knowledge is healthy, if it is commensurate with the sense of justice, which all human beings possess albeit in myriad ways or nuances, then a sense of pride is that harmony that defines a progressive nation that satisfies the basic needs of a just and good life each individual within it has.

The English historian Edward Augustus Freeman defined history as “Politics of the past” and Sir John Seeley extended the concept into saying that “History is past politics; and politics present history.” In the case of May 1945 Bleiburg massacres, as well as massacres and murders of multitudes of Croatian people who fought for or were associated with the efforts for an Independent State of Croatia by Yugoslavia’s communists after World War Two, the fact that often vocalised reasons for these mass murders and massacres remain to this day uncondemned on a national level speaks volumes into the truth behind Freeman’s and Seeley’s above mentioned phrase. By the end of the 20th century there was much talk worldwide of the decline of the nation-state: the institutions that had once defined politics appeared to have been bypassed and undermined by ‘globalisation’ on the one hand and consumerist, empowered individuals on the other. It is in this that I argue there is, in this period of the 21st century, significant potential for the “people” to be active in the making of their nation’s history.

We have already experienced the use of the word “revisionism” in a negative, reprimandable, sense when any scientific researcher attempts to look into the history with view to either confirm existing historical records or to disprove them – to set the record right as the popular phrase would say. For the case of a great percentage of Croatian people (who either fought for or yearned for an independent Croatia as the most important parameter defining lasting happiness of Croatian people) revision or research into the history is not only paramount for the Croatian human spiritual and existential importance of truth and facts but also for refusal to live a lie. Limiting history to the 20th century in this article, Croatian people thriving on pride arising from being seen as Croatian nation have suffered greatly, whether by being unwillingly pushed into a union of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia or whether subsequently being persecuted and oppressed by Yugoslavia’s communist regime. As the European Parliament has declared (September 2019) that the Communist regime was criminal regime (as well as Nazism) it is absolutely necessary and essential to research the history of Croatian suffering because it is a fact that hundreds of mass graves of communist crimes victims, hidden and denied by the communists during Yugoslavia era, have been discovered since 1991, i.e. since Croatia seceded from communist Yugoslavia.

Revision and research of history is vital for and meaningful particularly to a nation that has spent the 20th century being denied historical truth and fact. World War Two Jasenovac and Bleiburg massacres have divided the Croatian nation during that century and continue to divide it in the 21st largely because the presented truth and available facts are not something people can safely rely on in formulating or planning for a better future. Put in terms of psychological factors of individuals making up the nation the sense of belonging to a nation is dichotomous; the sense of belonging under one umbrella – Croatian nation – is difficult to develop a sense of belonging when one part of that nation does not see the other as one of their own, and vice versa. This dichotomy within the same nation of people can easily be attributed to the fact that much of the official history of 20th century Croatia has been written with political pen and fabrications and lies, and as such taught at schools and in life. Mixed with home or non-mainstream teachings (teachings by family members of a child, of an offspring or by activists in society) that either differ from, or are same as the claimed official version of the history are a consideration towards a national harmony in belonging for the Croatian nation, indeed, for all former communist countries undergoing transition towards actual truth, whether historical or current.

Challenging the historical events and accounts by Yugoslav/Croatian communists isn’t just an academic issue but has profound implications for the way a Croatian person understands his/her own nationhood. The decades of commemorations of mass murders of Croatian people by Yugoslav communists, the decades of discovering new mass graves of communist crime victims – a thousand of these so far and only a few days ago another one was discovered, the decades of commemorations of thousands fallen at the hands of Serb aggression for the Croatian homeland are our courage and strength to pursue the truth of history and reject the deceit in it injected by the Greater Serbia politics and die hard communists of Yugoslavia/Croatia. Ina Vukic

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