Croatian Operation Storm 1995 and the Serb Self-imposed Exodus From Croatia

 

In honour of the 25th Anniversary of the Croatian August 1995 Operation Storm that within a matter of days liberated much of its Serb occupied territory I would like to share with the public and my readers the documentary film in the English language that clearly, verifiably and with absolute and irrefutable truth demonstrates the magnificent courage of the Croatian Defence Forces in bringing to the people a free and independent Croatia. This video focuses on some of the crucial military tactics employed by the Croatian Defence Forces, ensuring that there were no victims of the shelling of Knin, which was usurped by rebel Serbs as the capital city of the area they occupied via ethnic cleansing of Croats, via murder and destruction and gave it the name of Serbian Republic of Krajina. The video demonstrates with historic evidence that Croatia did not forcibly expel Serbs from Croatia in August of 1995 and is in itself a document of truth. Very worthwhile watching, and I trust you will watch this video and share it. It begins with:

“Hello and welcome to my Youtube presentation entitled “What caused the Serb exodus from Croatia during Operation Storm”. My name is Luka Misetic, I am an attorney in New York, I spent seven years before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as defence counsel in the case of General Ante Gotovina which dealt extensively with Operation Storm. So, I have spent many years looking at the evidence in the case. At the end of this presentation hopefully you will learn three important things about Operation Storm. The first is what caused the Serb exodus from Croatia during Operation Storm. The second important thing is that you will learn the critical role that General Ante Gotovina played in Croatia’s victory in Operation Storm and the third thing that you will hopefully learn is the importance of a little village in the Southern part of Croatia known as Otric and the importance that that village played in Croatia’s victory in Operation Storm and in the departure of Krajina Serb civilians and military from Croatia during Operation Storm.

As I record this in August of 2020 and we are approaching the 25th Anniversary of Operation Storm, which took place between 4 August and 8 August 1995. Every year around this time tensions rise between Croatia and Serbia over the anniversary of Operation Storm. There are competing narratives between the two countries about the Operation. Operation Storm is celebrated in Croatia because it liberated 10,400 square kilometres or 4,000 square miles of Croatia’s territory that had been occupied by rebel Serbs for more than 4 years. The territory liberated by Operation Storm accounted for more that 1/5 of Croatia’s overall territory. Croatia celebrates Operation Storm every year on the 5th of August as a national holiday. In Croatia it is known as Victory Day and Day of Homeland Thanksgiving.

In Serbia the anniversary of Operation Storm is a Day of National Mourning. The Serbians view Operation Storm is that it is the biggest ethnic cleansing in modern Europe with the claim that hundreds of thousands of Serbs were expelled by Croatian authorities in 1995.

It is true that many Serbs left Croatia during Operation Storm… many civilians packed up and left and exited Croatia in long columns that took several days, leaving for the Serb occupied territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina known as Republika Srpska (Serbian Republic) or going on to Serbia itself. But the key question that has to be asked is why did the Serbs leave during Operation Storm? The issues or questions are were they forcibly expelled by Croatia or were they encouraged to leave by their own Serb leadership which caused a panic among the civilian population and a mass exodus.

The fundamentally contradictory historical narratives are at the centre of the dispute between Serbia and Croatia which arises every year in August during the anniversary of Operation Storm. In this video I will explain the true reasons that caused the Serb population to leave Croatia in 1995….”

 

Thank you Luka Misetic for this detailed video of Croatia’s victory in its harsh path to independence, corroborated by facts, that stands tall in the line of magnificent Croatian truths. Happy Victory Day to all Croats around the world! Ina Vukic

 

 

HERE ARE SOME SCREENSHOTS FROM LUKA MISETIC’S VIDEO. PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE:

 

What advice would Nelson Mandela give to Julienne Busic?

Julienne Busic (L) Zvonko Busic (R)

Translation into English of article written by Ivan Pepic, Vecernji List 

„Julienne Busic is once again the target in certain media of cyber-bullying and false accusations. This time the impetus is her support for Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in the second round of presidential elections on January 5“, writes Ivan Pepic in his Vecernji List blog-sphere.

Certain journalists have defined Julienne and Zvonko Busic as terrorists due to their participation in the hijacking of an American passenger plane in 1976. It might seem incomprehensible today, but in the 1970s, there were over 60 recorded plane hijackings. They differed in goals, ideology, and, most of all, in their approach toward hostages, cooperation with authorities, and views regarding the murder of civilians and politicians.

The goal of the Busic hijacking was to throw leaflets from their plane over London and Paris describing the oppression of Croatians in Communist Yugoslavia. Witnesses claim that the treatment of passengers by the hijackers was excellent, as well as their behaviour toward authorities. This is confirmed by numerous letters from the plane passengers, many of whom still communicate today with Julienne Busic. Unfortunately, due to the proven negligent handling of the explosive (left in New York’s Grand Central Station) during the deactivation procedure four and a half hours later at the detonation site, an American police officer died. Zvonko and his then 28-year old wife were sentenced to life imprisonment in the U.S., with parole eligibility for Zvonko after ten years, and for Julienne after eight years.

Several Croatian web sites have described Julienne Busic as a „convicted terrorist“. The truth is that the Busics were never convicted of terrorism, nor did they intend to kill, in contrast to scores of other 1970s hijackers. Federal judge John Bartels stated in 1976 during their sentencing that „before I begin, it would be incorrect and unfair if I did not say that I do not consider Zvonko Busic, his wife, or the others war criminals or terrorists“.

 

 

United States District Judge John R. Bartels letter 1992 (click to enlarge)

He said the same thing in 1986, when parole was being considered: „there is no question in my mind that Julienne was not a terrorist in any sense of the word.“ And in 1992, he supported parole for Zvonko Busic, stating that he „was not a terrorist.“  The word „terrorist“ is also not mentioned anywhere in the sentencing statement.

However, when the Croatian media oligarchy promotes censorship instead of freedom of speech – assisted by immoral „paragons“ such as Vesna Pusic (who falsely accused Croatia of committing aggression against its neighbouring country) – and labels Julienne Busic a terrorist, as well as other Croatian defenders who took up the gauntlet outside Croatia and returned in the 1990s – who cares what the American courts have to say?

US District Court Judge John R. Bartels letter 1986:
“There is no question in my mind
that Julienne Busic was not a terrorist in any sense of the word…”

Telegram’s journalist, Jasmin Klaric, expressed no outrage when Karl-Heinz Dellwo, convicted member of the terrorist, Communist organisation Baader-Meinhof, which was responsible for the deaths of no less than 34 people and the wounding of 296 more in terrorist attacks between 1973-1995, gave an interview to Zarez and other media financed by Croatian taxpayers.  Karlic was mute when Dellwo held lectures at the Philosophy Department during the Subversive Festival in 2008, and actively participated in promoting Yanis Vaoufakisa in Zagreb in 2015. Dellwo was sentenced to life imprisonment for a hostage crisis and murders of two employees in the West German Embassy in Stockholm  He served 20 years, seven more than Julienne Busic, the object of their vilification.  On the other hand, Dellwo enjoys media and intellectual space in Croatia, although her liability is far less than that of the German terrorist group.

The same applies to the Italian Marxist, Antonia Negri, member of the Red Brigade.  Negri was convicted of terrorism and directly participated in murders and assassinations.  He went on the run, but ultimately served twenty years in an Italian prison. The Red Brigade is known for its cruel murder of the Italian premier, Aldo Moro.  Negri was presented recently in the Croatian media as, and I quote, the „guru of the post-modern left“.  He was also a guest at the Subversive Festival in Zagreb, as well as other events financed by the state budget.

These same people also glorify Nelson Mandela. Mandela received a life sentence for 221 acts of sabotage and terrorist actions consisting of the deaths of innocent civilians, and blowing up public and government buildings in the name of freedom from the ongoing repression of the South African apartheid. Amnesty International even refused to name him „Prisoner of Conscience“ in 1964 due to his advocacy of violence, in contrast to the Busics, who did not. His struggle left deep scars on South African society, which is today suffering from its own type of apartheid, but in the opposite direction.

For years Mandela was considered a terrorist, until the United States and several other countries began to militate against racial discrimination. Support for this effort was needed from leftist political organisations such as the French Socialist Party of Francois Mitterand, who also offered assistance to members of the Red Brigade through the „Mitterand Doctrine“; it offered political asylum which was enjoyed predominantly by Communist fugitives.

Mandela went to prison in 1964 and was released in 1990, after serving 27 years. Ten years later, in a Larry King interview on CNN, Mandela had this to say about whether he was a terrorist: „Well, terrorism depends on…who wins…I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.”

The accuracy of his statement was illustrated by Bill Clinton’s clemency for members of the Puerto Rican terrorist group, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), in 1990. The FALN was responsible for 130 terrorist attacks, murders, and wounding of scores of people.  It is noteworthy that the clemency was granted just before Hillary Clinton’s election to the American Senate. More Puerto Ricans reside in New York, the state in which Hillary was a candidate, than in Puerto Rico. The clemency guaranteed Hillary their votes.

The same applies in Croatia.  Ideological apologists on the left, usually blind followers of Yugoslav-style censorship, control who gets „pardoned“, who is censored in schools, and which subversive guests appear in public. For these kind of people, Julienne Busic will always be a „terrorist“, although she never was.

Busic’s actions cannot be compared with the actions of the convicted terrorists and guests of Zagreb salons, Negri, Dellwo and others, but a lot of time will apparently have to pass before the anti-democratic journalists indoctrinated in Yugoslav press schools will accomplish what Mandela envisioned.

Charles Sullivan, President of International CURE letter 2019 (click to enlarge)

 

Croatia: In The Throes Of Threat Of Illiberal Democracy

 

Dr Franjo Tudjman
Ushers Croatia Out Of Communism – 1991
Photo: http://www.franjotudjman.hr

November 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. While for Germany it meant reunification of the country, for communist countries in Europe it meant fall of communism, fall of totalitarian regime, was imminent. For Croats living abroad at the time who pined for democracy and freedom, who fled communist Yugoslavia due to political oppression that made living in Yugoslavia virtually a harsh battle for mere survival and even life-threatening the fall of the Berlin Wall echoed with real prospects for Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia. Sweeter echoes could not have reached their ears and hearts and minds.

Personally, my greatest hope was for Croats living in Croatia and those living outside it to experience freedom. The freedom experienced by people living in full democracies laced richly with opportunities for advancing own life and pursuit of individual expression without fear of reprisals that threaten one’s existence and progress in life. My greatest concern, though, was to experience the brutality of power, and in general, of human nature once harsh communist operatives and pro-Yugoslavia apparatchiks start feeling the heat of rejection.

I recall three key moments from that time. Reading Croatian press published in the diaspora with Dr Franjo Tudjman (the first president of independent modern Croatia) writing about real possibilities of seizing the moment (of the fall of Berlin Wall) and going head-on together with Croatian diaspora in the move to establish a free and independent Croatia. Formation of multiple political parties in Croatia and first multi-party election to form the new Parliament in 1990 after 45 years of communist Yugoslavia totalitarian rule. The independence or secession from Yugoslavia referendum in May 1991 and the phone calls I received from Croatia which all in sweet excitement said words to the effect: “it’s all going to be alright; Croatia will be independent.”

My response was always – I fear all is not going to be alright; the communists are a wild, brutal lot and will not relinquish their power just because 94% of voters voted “Yes” to independence at the referendum. And so, all was not alright – Serb and Yugoslav Army onslaught against Croatia unleashed a horrific war of aggression in Croatia, murderous taking of tens of thousands of lives, ethnic cleansing of Croats from one third of Croatian territory, vicious destruction of Croatian homes, religious and cultural buildings and property.

My biggest hope was that Croatia would adopt the Western democratic values. That Croatian youth will have the same opportunities to advance in life as our children living in the West had.

Thirty years on and Croatia in independent and a member state of the European Union. Democracy seems to have won, but recent political developments and revival of nostalgia for the former communist rule indicate a path towards illiberal democracy. Former communists, or their kin, sit is chairs of power; mainstream media is controlled by those who continue smothering Croatian patriotism and love for Croatian people. One of the biggest challenges to democracy today is posed by the dramatic change in the political-party landscape. Attention understandably has focused on the rise of a variety of populist candidates and movements, but what has enabled their rise is the drastic decline in support for the parties that had long dominated the political scene. Without grossly exaggerating, one can say that for decades the modal configuration of Croatia’s political systems has featured strong centre-left and centre-right parties or coalitions that support the basic principles and institutions of liberal democracy but compete with each other in regard to a variety of specific issues within this larger framework. Current public recriminations that both centre-left and centre -right major parties have not delivered on the initial promise of full democracy and are equally guilty of holding tight to the processes and mindset commensurate with former communist regime and undemocratic mindset has particularly clipped the wings of popularity for the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). While left (whether centre or not) had always been seen as an extract from former staunch communist regime, HDZ is increasingly criticised as being the same with its apparent distancing from its original aim, a democratic state of Croatian people. These days virtually every new round of elections indicates that this longstanding pattern of dominance by the centre-left and centre-right is losing its hold.

Today, much of Croatian society is sick. What is worse, a significant part of it refuses to get cured from communist mindset; lustration has not occurred and every mention or attempt to usher in an organised lustration process is quashed or ridiculed. Communist nostalgic keep churning out fairy tales about how good life was in Yugoslavia, forgetting the cruel drop in living standards once Western financial assistance turned the taps off; forgetting the fact that Yugoslavia (and hence Croatia) had some 1300% inflation by 1989, which saw supermarket shelves bare, petrol severely rationed when available, thousands of companies and employers unable to pay wages to its workers for months upon months…

The source of this state of mind, the state of mind that refuses to be cured from communist mindset, seems to be a feeling that Croatia (and other former communist Eastern European countries, indeed) is just a buffer zone between East and West. Croatia, after 30 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall still levitates within parameters where either going forward into full democracy or moving backward into a state-controlled existence are possible. The vocabulary of totalitarianism is creeping back unnoticed, which is incredibly dangerous, and Croatia needs to revitalise and maintain with strong resolve the positions it reached in defending the idea of freedom and democracy it fought for in the Homeland War of 1990’s.

This requires a lot of efforts today.

The people of Croatia live in frustration. Victims and culprits became one. The people who have power are those who got rich during the communist Yugoslavia rule and those who got rich during the wild years of privatisation in the 1990s. The corruption and nepotism are still prevalent and the political will of the ruling castes to well and truly rid Croatia of this plague does not exist or is not visible at all. Former agents of the Yugoslav Secret Police (UDBA) are embedded at every level and avenue of society, people representing the former communist power are arrogant and their arrogance stifles progress to painful levels. The loss of Croatian identity is alarming; politicians on the path to preserving and strengthening that identity are mocked, to say the least.

The majority of politicians and people behave as if 1989 [the year marking the fall of communism) never happened. The majority of politicians and people behave as if the European Union had not recently condemned communism as a criminal regime of the past! The “comrades from the party” are attempting to build capitalism with a socialist face: it is the victory of the chosen ones, who operate outside the rules of competition and open tenders. They discard as frivolous the profound and selfless sacrifice for Croatia that Homeland War veterans made.

Judging from public mood expressed via mainstream, non-mainstream and social media, Croatian people are contemplating an essential question: do they want an open full democracy or a closed society, freedom of expression or censorship, rule of law or a new form of authoritarianism. This question cries for articulation, but who will be the brave one to ask it? Certainly, it seems that none of the Presidential candidates currently vying for the high office will ask that question publicly. With Presidential elections due on 22 December this year, it appears most candidates are playing it “safe”; casting their voter-catch net widely. Campaigns are riddled with confusing or unclear messages, with generalised catchphrases promising “something” must change in Croatia (e.g. the slogan of one of strong candidates “Now or Never”) but none are clearly saying what that “something” is and how exactly they aim to change things, even though that “something” gnaws at the bones of most. Given the real danger of illiberal democracy in Croatia and public mood of frustration or impatience for a better future that elections slogan “Now or Never” is a phrase that many Croats attach to the urgent need for lustration/decommunisation and full democratisation. But the bitter scent whiffed by apparent lack of needed “political machinery” and practical mechanisms disappoints deeply. Ina Vukic

 

Croatia – A Lapdog To EU

Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission

If being “a success story of the European Union and a role model for other countries attempting to get EU membership,” as the newly elected president of the European Commission said this week about Croatia, is an assessment reached through weighing an EU member country’s efforts to suck up to EU needs rather than needs of the same country’s people, then, yeah, with alternating Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) led governments since 2013 Croatia has been an EU lapdog above all else. Had von der Leven taken the effort to look at the widespread despair and political quagmire within Croatia itself that is seeing multitudes leaving their homes for other countries in search for work and a decent living then her appraisal of Croatia for Croatians would not include the words “role model”. But then again, she is about EU “political corporation” interests and not about the interests of individual nations making up the EU.

Given the past SDP/HDZ governments’ track record since Croatia joined the EU, unless the players making up the next government (2020 general elections) change, Croatia could become even more of a public acolyte (a lapdog, a disciple…)  for all things EU. In reality, most countries that supported Croatia’s inclusion in EU would have known that, in all likelihood and if not actively resisted, Croatia would remain lock step with the liberal political route largely paved with Soros funds, and so its membership was a way of extending EU influence into Eastern Europe where Russia’s political and practical backers maintain a constant air of communist nostalgia, resistance to true and full democratic change.  Had, during the expected  democratisation period after 1991, mainstream journalism evolved throughout Croatia toward an independent and aggressive style, more attuned with the role of the free press as a fundamental tool with the checks and balance necessary for a working democracy, then Croatia would have been a different environment to what it is today. It would have rid itself of most individuals in positions of power who held such position in communist Yugoslavia and that in itself would have been the main part of the formula through which corruption and nepotism, especially, are eradicated to, at least, a degree that does not negatively affect the livelihood of workers, of ordinary citizens.

With significantly eroded living standards, alarming emigration increase and pronounced economic development slouch coupled with large-scale corruption scandals, it is now more than clear that a small power such as Croatia should have never thought it could depend on building up brownie points for the benefit of its own people with superpowers (EU), as EU movers and shakers, by their nature and purpose, pursue their own interests without let or heed to so-called loyalties to lesser states.  Similarly, the dangers of continuing to be seen as an EU puppet and how this is inimical to Croatian interests within its own borders emerge as issues that must seriously be visited, particularly given the widespread fear among Croatian people that unless the backbone of political tides is changed, and Croatian politics turned inward more than outward, Croatia as a nation will disappear even in our own lifetime.

The lapdog to EU mentality becomes even more distressing when one looks at top-level, palpably autocratic decisions in Croatia to introduce the Euro, rid Croatia of its own currency Kuna despite the fact that opposition to this move is rather widespread among the Croatian people.

Given this, we can only hope the future government of Croatia will have something far more intelligent and more in Croatia’s long-term interests in mind. So far, membership in EU has, for Croatia, seen a perpetual politically-pitched promise of EU money that will change for the better everyone’s life and yet a widespread capacity to draw on those funds from Croatia has been kept at the lowest possible level. The road to EU funds grant applications remains a mystery and a closed alley for most individuals in Croatia; little if any public education has occurred. If we exclude the concept of being a lapdog from positive people-oriented politics, little, if any, assertiveness of Croatian interests has been witnessed in the EU corridors of power except individual politicians’ evident ambition to gain a position within the EU “corporation” power machine.

The lapdog mentality in aligning Croatia’s legislation with that of the EU has further eroded Croatia’s independence from communist Yugoslavia and Croatia’s absolute need to fully address the impact on itself of 1990’s Serb aggression. This alignment has meant that minority rights have developed not as rights within a majority setting, but as rights that are equal to majority rights. And so, one gets the soul-destructive outcome where Serb minority in Croatia (largely made up of individuals who were actively or politically associated with the 1990’s aggression against Croatia) are joined in holding the rudder of Croatian life. But then, this suits the EU as its eye of future expansion is cast on Serbia!

Politics is the art of the possible and this was clearly demonstrated through activism of left-oriented individual politicians in Croatia who pushed for EU membership to that degree where relative minority of voter turnout at referendum could carry the referendum forward! And so, Croatia’s membership in the EU may at this stage be its only short-term option.

But what about the future?

What happens when EU interests directly conflict with those of the Croatian people? The fact that they already do is palpable and the fact that they interfere or stifle the needed progress towards decommunisation (democratisation) of Croatia’s public services and administration, including legislation, has spread into a nationwide concern over the lack in meeting the needs and interests of Croatian people and their personal living standard. Do Croats, by staying lapdogs to EU, really want to be drawn into a regional conflict brewing as illegal migrants and asylum seekers clutter the borders and compromise national security upon which citizens depend for their personal safety as well as for the safety of national existence? And what of Croatia’s future economic prosperity? Will Croatia continue to allow EU-defined free trade agreements to be rammed down its throats at the cost of local jobs, local business enterprises growth and their viability in the face of EU quotas and standards? These are all serious questions which must be addressed with long term thinking. Unfortunately, Croatia’s elitist political class seem to have their fingers in the till (as they did during the times of communist Yugoslavia) or their heads in the sand, or both. Croatia talks of a saving potential ingrained in its diaspora or Croats living outside Croatia, yet the governments in Croatia have done their utmost to stifle adjustment of Croatia’s legislation to that potential.  Croatian politicians talk of being nimble yet do the utmost to stifle innovation in building a fully functional democracy well rid of former communist mentality and its destructive approach to creating opportunities for individual growth and expression in all walks of life. Instead of putting the welfare of its citizens first, Croatian corridors of power pander to EU interests and its rapacious greed for control and compliance to its own standards that have no regard for individual national identity and needs. Risk averse and too short sighted to see the car crash ahead of Croats, Croatian governments remain as ever the obedient servants of the EU. And yet, modern Croatia is founded on taking risks: risking human life for the glory of independence and democracy! What has gone wrong? Ina Vukic

Homage To Ante Starcevic – An Unforgotten Champion Of Croatian Independence

Dr Ante Starcevic 1823 - 1896 Croatian Rights Movement

Dr Ante Starcevic
1823 – 1896
Croatian Rights Movement

 

Today, 28 February 2016 marks 120 years since the death of Dr. Ante Starcevic, one of the wisest ever born among the Croatian people. Starcevic is referred to as the father of the free Croatian nation; a well of energy for freedom and democracy that lasted and lasts.
Ante Starcevic (1823-1896) was one of those Croatian politicians who had the strength to strongly resist all political parties in the then Croatia (swallowed as a territory of the Austrian and then Austro-Hungarian Empires in his lifetime). His political ideals and convictions remained consistent throughout his adult life and his assertion of Croatian rights as a distinct nation entitled to freedom and democracy of its own often left him alone and lonely in public circles. However, he did enjoy the support of only a few intellectuals, writers, youth and nationally oriented youth.
In 1861, he was appointed the chief notary of the coastal Rijeka county as well as being elected to the Croatian Parliament as Rijeka Representative; with Eugen Kvaternik, in that year Starcevic founded the Croatian Party of Rights (i.e. state’s rights) and was re-elected to the parliament in 1865, 1871, and from 1878 to his death. The founder and the leader of the Croatian Rights Movement, Starcevic was a persistent and staunch advocate of democracy, uncompromising fighter against slavery, a visionary Croatian freedom and independence, an anti-cleric and a rebel; Starcevic was sharp on the tongue and the pen as no one in his day in Croatia. The program of his Party of Rights was essentially in the tradition of the nineteenth-century nationalism and it called for the formation of an independent state of Croatia. In 1862, when Rijeka was implicated in participation in protests against the Austrian Empire, he was suspended and sentenced to one month in prison as an enemy of the regime. When he was released, Starcevic returned to working at Sram’s law firm in Zagreb, where he remained until 11 October 1871, when he was arrested again, this time on the occasion of the Rakovica Revolt. Croatian armed revolt against authorities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the revolt was soon quashed by the Imperial Austrian troops and Starcevic’s Croatian Party of Rights – abolished. Starcevic was released after two months in prison. He retained followers and after his death in 1896 his followers split and one may say it was by no surprise – the hardline to independence ideas seemed to punch wedges of divide as they did not seem to be capable of deciding which was the greatest enemy of independent Croatia: Vienna, Budapest or Belgrade. Almost a hundred years on Croats would learn, soaked in blood, that Belgrade was and had been the greatest enemy.

 

Ante Starcevic grave Sestine, Zagreb, Croatia

Ante Starcevic grave
Sestine, Zagreb, Croatia

As Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist after WWI, Croatia was forced into the Serb-led Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later/1929 renamed as Kingdom of Yugoslavia) Starcevic’s Croatian Rights Movement did not of course make any comeback; Croatia was more oppressed under the Serb dynasty than ever before and any whiff of freedom and democracy was fiercely quashed.

Starcevic’s Croatian Rights movement re-emerged during WWII within the complex of Independent State of Croatia movement under Dr Ante Pavelic who considered Starcevic as spiritual father of his Ustashe forces. Pavelic was a part of revitalising Starcevic’s Croatian Rights Movement since 1919, when Croatia was attached to the oppressive Serb-led Kingdom within the former Yugoslavia territory. The success of this attempt for Croatian freedom was doomed from the start as Ante Pavelic decided to side with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy as support for achieving the goal of independence. Hence, Starcevic’s name sunk into deep mud out of which it would not rise again for decades and when it did the mud from being associated with Pavelic’s regime would stick at home and abroad. At the same time Croatian (and Yugoslav) communists led by Josip Broz Tito fought against the Nazi’s, the Fascists and Pavelic’s Ustashi forces towards the aim of keeping Croatia within Yugoslavia and thus deny it independence and freedom. Hence, it was Communist Yugoslavia that once again quashed any ideas or attempts for independent Croatia, which of course, included the outlawing of the Croatian Rights Movement.

Monument by Ivan Rendic 1903 instead of a mere tombstone for Ante Starcevic grave Sestine, Zagreb, Croatia

Monument by Ivan Rendic 1903
instead of a mere tombstone
for Ante Starcevic grave
Sestine, Zagreb, Croatia

The Movement rose again in 1990 as part of multi-party democratic system drive led by dr Franjo Tudjman for a free, independent and democratic Croatia. Starcevic was among Franjo Tudman’s favourite politicians in the history of the Croatian people. Modern Croatian Party of Rights was established in 1990 without Tudjman’s membership, though. The modern Croatian Party of Rights and it’s various alternatives did not manage to muster wide support among Croats since 1990’s and that was perhaps because of the connotation associated with it from the terrible WWII crimes committed by those whose political fodder came from Starcevic’s grand and honourable ideas. An overwhelming number of Croatians chose in late 1980’s and early 1990’s to join Franjo Tudjman’s Croatian Democratic Union and achieve the honourable and deserved dream of freedom and democracy Ante Starcevic dreamed of more than a hundred years before and before him all Croats for more than nine centuries, since the Kingdom of Croatia perished at beginning of the twelfth century.
Given that Croatia is still much influenced by the communist Yugoslavia oppressive rut, there is little done to mark Starcevic’s life and anniversaries of his death. It would seem that Starcevic suffers today still (as he did 150 years ago) – his ideas purposefully misinterpreted and misrepresented in some circles especially the pro-communist or pro-Yugoslavia ones of today. In the space of wide political and ideological divide that has plagued Croatian public discourse and served obstacles and barriers for notable progress in democratic freedom and economic well-being one cannot but think that Croatia today needs politicians of Starcevic’s caliber. In saying that such a politician in the fashion imagined by Starcevic would cut short the politicians (parliamentarians’) preoccupation with political survival and get down to the roots: worry about and act for the betterment of each individual person in the country, regardless of his/her religion or ethnic origin. Talk about Starcevic, Starcevic’s works and thoughts should take a prominent place everywhere in Croatia for, as Starcevic thought, true national independence and freedom can only be sustained with the true independence and freedom of each person.

Ante Starcevic Mature years

Ante Starcevic
Mature years

“…Therefore, survival of the government, of the State and of the Nation depends on people,” Starcevic wrote. “And I judge every system that survives, no matter what kind it is or where it is, by its fruit and that fruit shows itself most clearly in the morality and well-being of the people …States are built and ruined by people, and people are guided by freedom, well-being – fortune. Where these do not exist there can be no survival of the State, no matter how old or recognised it may be. No one has yet succeeded in forming a State or keeping it upon misfortune of its citizens…fortune is, therefore, individual people that form a nation … I do not look to see how many souls there are in a nation or a State – I look to see if all the souls in that make up the nation are happy, that they do not suffer some injustice …”

Lest we Croats forget this champion of freedom, independence and democracy. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Happy Statehood Day

Franjo Tudjman

 

23 years ago, on 25 June 1991, the Croatian Parliament delivered a constitutional decision on the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Croatia, declaring Croatia an independent State. Croatia would sever itself from communist Yugoslavia.

 

As evidence in the above video-clip, on that day Franjo Tudjman, the President of Croatia and the driving force behind Croatia’s independence said: “We can no longer support the state in which hidden and public aggression and pathological hatred and evil exist towards everything that is Croatian, in a state community in which we are faced with continuous threats, the use of aggression both joint and illegal in the shape of rebellion and terrorism. Declaring the independence of Croatia we are doing the same as all nations of the world do in the path to their independence, from the same national reasons”.

Narrator’s voice in video: “The historical decisions about a free path to the future were based upon the results from the referendum at which 93.2% voters circled “Yes” for independence of the state. In such a way the Croatian people had democratically expressed their wish to manage their own future and destiny. The referendum rejected all other options offered, which placed Croatia in an unfavourable position, and the proposition made by the Federal Prime Minister Ante Markovic for some kind of a democratic Yugoslavia and Slobodan Milosevic’s Greater-Serbian concept of the so-called Modern Federation, that is, of a new Serbo-Slavia. Croatian Parliament has unanimously voted for the Declaration of Independence but that unanimity was somewhat eroded by the fact that the reformed communists, under the name of Parties for Democratic Changes, expressed their voice against the Constitutional decision and the law. The club of Social Democrat (SDP) representatives sought that together with the process of separation there be a process of joining with other Yugoslav republics. That proposal was rejected and the parliamentary majority within which the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) held most seats decided upon a full and unconditional Croatian independence. The same day the Republic of Slovenia delivered its own decision for state independence. Yugoslavia was no more, although international factors advocated for some new kind of a Yugoslav community. That was the reason why a three-month moratorium and arms embargo was imposed upon the new states, which left the new states at perilous mercy of Serb aggression. But in the Homeland War Croatia defended itself and in January 1992 the international community had no choice but to recognise the new political reality on the South-East part of Europe”.

The prelude to independence and statehood
Translation of narrative in video about the referendum for Croatian independence: “In the history of the modern Croatia 19 May 1991 is one of the most important dates. That day Croatia came out to vote at a referendum, at which it was deciding about its future. The ballot paper had two questions.

Are the citizens for that Croatia as a sovereign state can enter into an alliance with other sovereign states and other republics or to remain within Yugoslavia, which would be a federative state? 83,56% of citizens voted at the referendum and more than 94% accepted the first choice, which in effect meant they decided for an independent Croatia. 4.18% voted against. 1.2% ballot papers were declared invalid. The referendum was held in dramatic circumstances of Chetnik rebellion that were assisted by Milosevic’s Greater-Serbia regime and the Yugoslav Peoples Army as the last advocates of the weakening communist Yugoslavia …in the meantime the army leaders formed its own party Communist Alliance – Movement for Yugoslavia, which assessed the democracy in Slovenia and Croatia as a temporary victory of counter-revolution. Milosevic and the Yugoslav Army assigned to Croatia the destiny of a small state that can be seen from Sljeme (mountain above Zagreb) and under the leadership of people like-minded with them (former communists/Social Democrats) … ”

23 years after June 1991 it’s difficult to shake off the threat to Croatian independence and sovereignty that existed in 1991 from the communists and as described in the last words of the above passage. The threat has grown roots in the political maneuvers od all political parties that stay loyal to the communist or antifascist groups of former Yugoslavia and, hence, it can be felt to this day. Despite that Croatia is a lucky country for it has multitudes of courageous and determined citizens who fight for progress in democracy and for settling the accounts with the evil communist regime that was under Yugoslavia. God bless them and happy Croatian national day! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Internationally Recognised Croatian Independence Turns 21!

The Daily Telegraph Mirror - Australia - 17 January 1992

The Daily Telegraph Mirror – Australia – 17 January 1992

Following an overwhelming vote in favour of independence following a referendum on May 19, 1991 (93.24% in favour with a 83.56% turnout), Croatia declared independence on June 25, 1991, an act which did not initially bring much international recognition, as the European Community established the Badinter Arbitration Committee to investigate legal and compliance issues surrounding diplomatic recognition.

Slovenia was the first country to recognise Croatia as an independent nation, followed by a handful of other countries later in 1991 (including Ukraine, the Baltic states and Iceland), but the first major block of countries to recognise the newly independent state happened on January 15, 1992, when the 12 countries which then comprised the European Community (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal), as well as Austria, Canada, Bulgaria, Holy See, Hungary, Poland, Malta, Norway and Switzerland formally recognised an independent Croatia.

Nine more countries followed suit the following day (16 January 1992) – including Australia as the first non-European country to recognise Croatia’s independence – with the United States adding their endorsement three months later, and the United Nations in May 1992.

In summary the path to full international recognition of Croatia’s independence went like this:

Germany advocated quick recognition of Croatia, in order to stop ongoing violence in Serb-inhabited areas; Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl, asked on 4 September 1991 in the Bundestag that independence of Croatia be recognised.

Kohl’s position was opposed by France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands; but the countries agreed to pursue a common approach on the matter of Croatian independence.

After Croatian Parliament October 1991 confirmed its declaration of independence (25 June 1991) the European Economic Community (EEC) decided to postpone any decision to recognize Croatia for two months.

The two months EEC deadline for making decisions regarding recognising Croatian independence arrived and the war of Serb-aggression was still on in Croatia; the EEC showed no sings on making any moves or decisions regarding Croatia’s independence.

German foreign minister Hans Dietrich Genscher decided that it was, therefore, Germany’s policy and duty to recognise Croatian independence.

Italy and Denmark supported Germany’s position.

France and the United Kingdom set out to prevent German recognition of Croatian independence asking that no country make any unilateral moves on this as that, according to them, could worsen the situation (war) in “Yugoslavia”.

The EEC Arbitration Commission of the Conference on Yugoslavia, headed by Robert Badinter and set up in late August 1991, published its opinions. These opinions included:  that Yugoslavia was in the process of dissolution, and that the internal boundaries of Yugoslav republics could not be altered unless freely agreed upon.  Factors in the preservation of Croatia’s pre-war borders were the Yugoslav federal constitutional amendments of 1971 and 1974, granting that sovereign rights were exercised by the federal units, and that the federation had only the authority specifically transferred to it by the constitution.

Ultimately, France and the UK backed down during the UN Security Council debate on the matter on 14 December, when Germany appeared determined to defy the UN resolution. On 17 December, the EEC formally agreed to grant Croatia diplomatic recognition on 15 January 1992, on the basis of its request and a positive opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Commission.

In its Opinion No. 5 on the specific matter of Croatian independence, the Commission ruled that Croatia’s independence should not yet be recognized, because the new Croatian Constitution, in their opinion, lacked adequate protections for minorities required by European Community. In response to this decision, the President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman wrote to Robert Badinter, giving assurances that this deficit would be remedied.

Ukraine and Latvia were the first to react by recognizing Croatian independence in the second week of December. The following week, Iceland and Germany recognised it, on 19 December 1991, as the first western European countries to do so.

On 26 December 1991 Yugoslavia (by now comprising only of Serbia and Montenegro) formally declared the separation of the self-proclaimed Serb Republic of Krajina (RSK) within Croatia, which Serbs had by then ethnically cleansed of Croats and non-Serbs almost entirely. Yugoslavia announced its plans for a smaller state that would include RSK territory captured through aggression from Croatia. The UN General Assembly rejected this plan on 9 February 1995.

Franjo Tudjman

Franjo Tudjman

On the evening of 15th January 1992 President Franjo Tudjman, in his televised address to the nation, said: “Today’s day – 15th January 1992 – shall be engraved with gold letters into the entire fourteen centuries of the history of the Croatian people in this area, for us the holy ground between the rivers Mura, Drava and Danube and the Adriatic Sea. After it had proclaimed its independence and sovereignty, and severed its state-legal ties with the former Yugoslav state community, the Republic of Croatia also achieved the international recognition of its independence”.
On this 21st birthday of the internationally recognised Croatian independence I would like to add that, thankfully, many of Franjo Tudjman’s visions for democracy and freedom in Croatia have been realised, but also, some have not and others have been twisted and changed, particularly since his death in late 1999.  It’s time to take an analytical inventory of Tudjman’s visions, which in 1990 saw Croatia as member of the European Union and its laws modeled on the Western civilizations, particularly European and Northern American. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

The Relentless Betrayal

Great article from Mishka Gora – and again – Happy 21st Birthday Croatia!

Croatia: Josipovic’s helter-skelter politics

Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic

The palpably ever-present helter-skelter in the Croatian left-wing politics have shown their unsavoury face during the past week, again.

It’s blatantly obvious that the head of the Croatian state, President Ivo Josipovic, just like his predecessor Stjepan Mesic has absolutely no visible strategy or ordered plan for the integration of Croatian Serbs into a desired and needed homogeneity of Croatian citizenship. Furthermore, he, just as his predecessor Stjepan Mesic, shows that he has absolutely no strategy or plan as to how to afford the Croatian war veterans of 1991-1995 the status of defenders of democracy – for that’s what they were and that’s what they are. These two issues are paramount in Croatia’s progression into a fully fledged democracy.

On the belief that all Croatian Serbs as ethnic minority actually want to, after all, live as citizens of Croatia without many of them twisting their neck backwards in Belgrade’s direction, I must agree with Josipovic when he said during the past week that representatives of all Croatian Serbs must be heard and not just those of one group. The latter, of course, refers to groups huddled around Milorad Pupovac, president of the Independent Democratic Serb Party/SDSS in Croatian parliament who has used his parliamentary mandates and his “state funded privileged existence as wheeler and dealer of Serb issues in Croatia” to cause more damage than good for the process of reconciliation. In fact Pupovac has towed the Belgrade line always – still to this day denying and minimizing the horrendous damage done to Croatia by Serbs in early 1990’s.

So, when Croatia’s President Josipovic stood up to Pupovac, telling him there are other Serbs in Croatia besides the ones he represents who must be heard and everyone needs to be given an opportunity to be heard, I thought this was – finally – what Croatia needs. Indeed it was only relatively recently that all of the numerous ethnic minorities in Croatia got a mention in Croatia’s Constitution when the Preamble was amended from mid-2010. But until recently mostly the Italian minority and the Serb minority were the only ones that received decent public coverage and representation; due public care.

But the helter-skelter politics on ethnic minorities’ integration are not really abandoned by this seemingly positive move by Josipovic. Unearthing the likely roots of this public row between Josipovic and Pupovac revealed that it may well have been a bitter reaction by Josipovic to scandalous allegations made by Croatian Serbian National Committee in newspaper Novosti (enthroned years ago with anti-Croatian propaganda, with Pupovac grip but funded by the Croatian government!) against Josipovic that alleged Josipovic was closely associated in the ZAMP affair which looked at how a close personal friend of Josipovic allegedly secured enormous profits in heading the company that channeled royalties from copyrights into its bank accounts.

Josipovic accused Pupovac of having monopolised the dealings with Croatia’s Serb ethnic minorities and of having cemented an “ethno business” with this for personal gain rather than for the gain of Croatian Serbs.

The fact that in a bizarre and inconsiderate move Josipovic invited and brought Veljko Dzakula – rebel Serb leader from early 1990’s who was instrumental in injecting ferocious winds into the brutal Serb aggression against Croatia in early 1990’s – to the official commemoration of the 17th anniversary of Operation Storm in Knin on August 5 does not serve as supporting factor for an eventuality where Josipovic might be seen as having matured politically and abandoning his haphazard ways of addressing Serb integration into Croatian citizenship.

There is simply no plan or strategy visible; it’s all about grabbing headlines that linger on for a day or two and then – nothing! Well, not nothing, really, as people at large are quite annoyed with having to bear the picture which tells them that the politicians have done so little on such an important issue. Integrating ethnic minorities into a democratic Croatia is not something that’s achieved through sporadic public rows or sweeping statements. What on earth have the public servants and the politicians been doing all these years?

Holding onto tatters of communist Yugoslavia any which way?

It would seem to me that the strategy to achieve integration of Croatian Serbs into Croatian citizenship must start with the declaration of the righteousness of Croatia’s Homeland War. Instead of doing this Josipovic (and prime minister Zoran Milanovic) still pussyfoot around the fact that Croatia had to defend itself from brutal Serb aggression and – wait for it – brag to the world that Dzakula’s presence at the commemoration of the 17th anniversary of Operation Storm contributes to the legality of Croatia’s liberating military Operation Storm (1995).

To add to this miserable political show, Josipovic, instead of lifting Croatian war veterans of early 1990’s as the most deserving defenders of Croatian independence and democracy, reverberates the antifascists idiocy which attempts to brainwash the masses into thinking that Croatia’s war veterans of 1990’s are the same as the communist Partisans of WWII. The brainwashing attempts go even further as Josipovic claims that if it was not for antifascists, today’s independent and democratic Croatia wouldn’t exist.

It is no wonder that Croatia has so many difficulties in achieving homogeny among its people. People know only too well that communist Partisans fought for Yugoslavia and for communism, not for Croatian independence and democracy. People know that communist Partisans committed horrendous crimes against their own people and nothing Josipovic or his predecessor Stjepan Mesic say can bring Croatian war veterans of 1990’s to see themselves as same with Partisans. They are simply not the same; they are simply much better.

The helter-skelter politics of former communists, who in many cases have never accepted Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia, is thus a perfect breeding ground for continued unrest and disenchantment but also for extreme, unrepentant (for Serb aggression against Croatia) political nutters such as Dzakula and Pupovac to hold onto or gain greater footholds that stifle meaningfully lasting and real integration of all citizens into independent Croatia.

If Josipovic (and the Social Democratic Party/SDP led government) have a strategy for homogenisation and integration of Croatian citizenship that is expressed in abovementioned ways of public blusters then the strategy may as well have been drafted by Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon:

“When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide

Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride

Till I get to the bottom and I see you again.

 

Do, don’t you want me to love you

I’m coming down fast but I’m miles above you

Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer

You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer.

 

Helter skelter, helter skelter

Helter skelter”.

Josipovic may be a lover, a musician and a dancer, but he ain’t no strategist. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Happy Statehood Day!

Ina Vukic – Commemorative Medal of the Homeland War and Order of the Croatian Trifoil


Today, 25 June 2012 marks the 21st anniversary of Croatian independence.

“I declare to the whole world that on this day the Republic of Croatia is proclaimed sovereign and independent state,” were dr Franjo Tudjman’s words on 25th June 1991.

Video Transcript: “ In the surrounds of Greater Serbian threats and world diplomacy cynicism the historic 25th June 1991 the Croatian Parliament proclaimed Republic of Croatia, till then a part of Yugoslavia, an independent and sovereign state. With this act Croatia placed in motion the process of separation from other Yugoslav Republics and sought international recognition. 

Tudjman’s speech in parliament: We can no longer support life in the joint country in which there is constant secret and public aggression, pathological hatred and evil against everything authentically Croatian, in a state community in which we are faced with continuous threats of violence, both joint and illegal in the form of rebellion and terrorism. Proclaiming the sovereignty of Croatia we are doing the same as all nations of the world on their path to independence, and out of same natural and transcendental reasons.   

Historic decisions about the free path to the future were based on the results from the referendum in which 93.2 % of Croatian citizens chose independence and sovereignty. In that way, Croatian people had democratically expressed their will to govern their own destiny.  The referendum rejected other variations on offer which placed Croatia in an unfavourable position – including the proposition by federal Premier Ante Markovic for some democratic Yugoslavia and Slobodan Milosevic’s Greater Serbia concept, so called modern federation, i.e. new Serboslavia. The Croatian parliament had unanimously voted for the declaration of independence, but that unanimity was somewhat eroded by the fact that the reformed Communists, then named parties for democratic changes, stood against the constitutional decision and law. Parliamentary Social Democrats’ club sought that at the same time of secession the process of alliance with other Yugoslav republics commence. The proposal was rejected and the parliamentary majority, led by HDZ, decided for full Croatian independence, unconditionally.  On the same day Republic of Slovenia brought the decision for their independence and Yugoslavia was no more. Although, international forces, as remedy for the old, advocated for some new Yugoslavian community. That’s why they imposed a three-month moratorium and an embargo on arms import, which left them (Croatia) at the mercy and disfavour to Great-Serbian aggression.   Nevertheless, Croatia defended herself and in January 1992 the international community was forced to recognise the new political reality of South-East Europe.”

Croatian independence was not achieved peacefully. Indeed, between 13 and 16,000 lives lost in defending Croatian people and territory from Serb and Serb led Yugoslav Peoples Army. To preserve its people, its territory – its very life – Croatia paid dearly.

It is to the lives lost in the preservation of Croatian peoples’ right to self determination – in the Homeland War of 1991-1995 that I pay tribute and remain forever grateful. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb),; B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatian Anti-EU activists demand postponement of referendum while the Minister of Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusic says if people vote No to EU membership there’ll be no money!

Things are hotting up in Croatia as the designated EU accession referendum date (22 January) draws closer.

The “official” campaigns have started early this week.

Both the current and the previous government representatives are calling upon the citizens to turn up and vote “Yes” for EU membership.

Both governments had not in past years encouraged public dialogue on EU accession (the ex HDZ government was incumbent and today’s government’s foreign minister Vesna Pusic / member of governing Kukuriku alliance, was head of the National committee on EU negotiations), but rather communicated EU accession in a very top-down, state-centred manner, where they processed information and briefed the public in small meals of their successes.

Although the government has published a ridiculous and scanty publication “Myths and legends about the EU”, where some questions on national identity and sovereignty are answered with cartoons and few sentences barely fit for a grade 3 student at a Primary school, negative sentiments and possible negative consequences for Croatia as EU member were left to some media outlets, minor political parties and individual citizens. Their voices though were not as strong and their supporting funds relatively poor.

I find it repulsive that the foreign minister Vesna Pusic is using cold-cash as a carrot to secure the “Yes” vote. The way things are at dire disarray, EU is no longer the place where things run smoothly or where milk and honey run freely. It is absolutely irresponsible to bring money into the debate, leaving an impression that if citizens vote “Yes” to EU they may do it for the money, branding themselves as dependants, which they are not! Croatia is a nation of hard working people in essence – one only needs to look at the great successes multitudes of Croatians who fled Communism have made of their hard working life in the West since late 1940’s (and before).

It is widely accepted and known that many Croatian’s still suffer from “the-Government-will-get-the-money-I-need-to-live” aberrant mood, instilled during the Communist Yugoslavia reign (1945 – 1991). Instead of educating the people into self-reliance and the need for all individuals to contribute to the country’s wellbeing, the mainstream political forces seem bent on retaining the retardant remnants of that past.

It was a false economy used to brainwash the people to think how Communism was a great thing and it is a false economy now to tell the people that reforms and strengthening of the economy will only be successful if they join the EU!

The foreign minister Vesna Pusic said on January 2: “Should the citizens decide against EU, we remain where we are – without money”. She further explained that in case of “No” vote the government would continue with reforms but with much less money. That the referendum would need to be repeated in say 6-12 months or that EU could take the view for Croatia to be placed in the EU accession package with the rest of the countries from the region.

The Croatian government is thus killing Croatia’s hard-earned sovereignty pride for the Euro before it gives its people a proper chance to think about what joining the EU may mean to the hard earned sovereignty and self determination.

One would expect the former and current government representatives would at least mention Croatia’s War of Independence (1991-1995) in their leading campaign phrases or catchwords.

After all, thousands of Croatians were killed in battles, hundreds of thousands displaced refugees, many thousands still regarded as missing…

The question of sovereignty and self-determination had haunted Croatians for a thousand years! Independence was achieved with almost unfathomable costs to the human being and yet the government brushes this aside as it raises its EU campaign platform on “Yes” and money!

But there is hope for the ordinary citizen yet – the referendum may be postponed?

On January 3 the non-parliamentary political parties, civil society organisations and prominent individuals in Croatia that make up “The Council for Croatia – no to EU” movement have asked Croatian institutions to annul the decision on holding the referendum on January 22 and to organise a public discussion in which both the EU proponents and opponents would be given equal opportunities to express their position.

The movement is currently joined by 12 political parties, 11 organisations and several prominent individuals (including Prof.dr.sc. Davor Pavuna, Academic Prof. dr. Josip Pecaric, Dr, sc. Slaven Letica, Prof. dr. sc. Velimir Srica, dr.sc.Srecko Sladoljev, mr. Karino Hromin Sturm, dr.med. Aleksandar Soltysik, Vladimir Biondic…) who say that they’ve joined authentic forces with the goal of defending Croatia’s sovereignty.

Vera Tomasic, President of Croatian Party of Rights Dr Ante Starcevic, told the Croatian Times that “Croatia and its people are not ready to vote so soon. There should be a detailed and transparent analysis about the benefits and harm to Croatia by joining the EU”.

Referendums are a form of direct democracy. They decide on issues of national importance. The government would have the duty of putting before the people both the “Case For” and the “Case Against” and let the people decide. This has not happened in Croatia (yet). Perhaps the people of Croatia should truly exercise their direct democratic power and give a slamming vote of no confidence to the government forthwith! Ina Vukic, Prof.(Zgb), B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Related Posts: http://inavukic.com/2011/12/28/zoran-milanovic-not-flash-gordon-or-zorro-but-speedy-gonzales-perhaps/

Referendum campaigns Links:

No to EU/ or 22 January referendum campaigners include:

http://europskaunija.yolasite.com/

http://www.jedinohrvatska.hr/

http://www.volim-hrvatsku.hr/naslovnica

http://neeu.org/

http://www.hrvatskiplamen.hr/

http://www.protiv-eu.org/

http://dsz.webstilus.net/pocetna.html

http://www.jedinohrvatska.hr/

http://novahrvatska.hr/

http://www.dragovoljac.com/

http://www.nacionalni-demokrati.hr/izbori/vijesti-2/

http://www.abh.com.hr/

http://www.hrvatskipravasi.hr/

http://www.hsp.hr/

http://www.hsp1861.hr/3index.htm

http://hcsp.hr/

http://www.hsp-ante-starcevic.hr/#

Yes to EU campaigns include:

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – publications on EU:

http://www.mvep.hr/ei/default.asp?ru=178&sid=&akcija=&jezik=1

and political parties:

http://www.kukuriku.org/plan21/clanstvo-u-europskoj-uniji-i-vanjska-politika/

http://www.hdz.hr/novosti/nacionalne/i-predsjednica-hdz-a-jadranka-kosor-pozvala-na-referendum-o-eu/

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