Let them eat cake…or…chocolate

 

The background to this article is related to the unacceptable and utterly disappointing practices in the handling of complaints that arrive at the Office of the President of Croatia. It is to be noted that due process in Complaints handling by a public office is taken seriously in a developed democracy, not in Croatia it seems.
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Let them eat cake…or…chocolate
The President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s Marie Antoinette response to Croatian Diasporan Voice (Glas hrvatske dijaspore).

“Let them eat cake” probably the most famous quote attributed to Marie-Antoinette queen of France during the French Revolution, and as the story goes, it was the queen’s response upon being told that her starving peasant subjects had no bread.

Because cake is more expensive than bread, the anecdote has been cited as an example of Marie-Antoinette’s obliviousness to the conditions and daily lives of ordinary people.

Eventually however, both Marie and husband Louis XVI of France found that the peasants had tired of the couple’s obliviousness towards them and accordingly Marie and Louis lost their heads to Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin’s new invention during a bloody revolution.

Yes, I know, I am confusing you all, bear with me it always comes out the other end proportionately shaped and monotone, even though it starts off as very colourful Galati cake, digest with me!

In December 2016 during the celebrations for the “Day of Defenders of Dubrovnik” Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic met with a group of children in Dubrovnik and gave them gift packages containing numerous goodies, however there was a problem, a sample of chocolate included in the packages was produced in Serbia and one parent took offense and forwarded a photo of the chocolate bar with attached signed photograph of the President to news outlets stating:

“I had to post this on social networks so that you could see what kind of country we live in. My child’s kindergarten went to see the President, and the children received from her hands a chocolate from Serbia. That is really sad – and it all happened on the Day of Defenders of Dubrovnik. Bravo!”

The chocolate bar named “Mony” which is produced by “Pionir” (a company based in Subotica in Serbia) became the focus of the President who decided that she should apologise for the “mistake” and accordingly announced an investigation into who was responsible for the monumental screw up.

The eventual explanation offered by the “Office of the President” was that they had purchased them from a Croatian company based in Vukovar, and luckily, they only contained “One disputed chocolate per package”. They went on to add that “The package was full of Croatian products, but as it happened, amongst three hundred products, several of them were questionable”.

I guess we should feel a lot better about that, don’t you think? Imagine visiting a Middle Eastern country and presenting a peer head of State with a gift package containing a copy of “Israel, the six-day war, and how they kicked Middle Eastern butts”?

(Ummmmmmmmmmmm, no I don’t think so, same same though)

Subsequently, the President herself also gave a statement to reporters about the case exclaiming her astonishment regarding the “mistake” and adding that she did not personally check the contents of the packages.

(Guess that puts her in the clear then.)

She went on to state “I am extremely disappointed because I personally support the Let’s Buy Croatian campaign. The packages contained products which were not produced in Croatia, but which can be bought on the Croatian market.

(Ok, good come back I guess, justify the mistake and all that.)

“The Croatian President must promote Croatian products, and this will not happen again. We will apologise to the parents who have received these chocolates and we will send them Croatian products”

(And so, you should! Well done……………… President material our Kolinda)

The owner of the Pionir company, Serbian businessman Miroljub Aleksic, advised that he did not understand what the problem was and that he himself sometimes gives away sweets made in Croatia.

(Because you don’t like made in Croatia goods and would rather give them away Miroljub?)

While Serbia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism, Mr Rasim Ljajic, stated that
“Serbian products were obviously not welcome in Croatia, the statement by the Croatian President is non-democratic and non-European”
and posing the question

“What kind of normalisation of relations in the region can we talk about if such a level of ethnic intolerance can be caused by a single chocolate just because it was produced in Serbia?”

(We didn’t like you commie Tractors either and thank God you took them with you when you left)

I could have coined this editorial “Choko-Linda” or “Kolinda Surprise” or even “That chocolate impacted my Kolinda!” but in the end “Let them eat cake, or chocolate” made more sense which I’m sure you will all appreciate as you read on.

The President was very sensitive to this error (Obviously her staff should have checked the contents that would constitute the gift packs, clearly not her) and hence the investigation and subsequent apology, all because of “1” parent complaining about “1” chocolate bar, however, it seems that when her staff stray from their responsibilities, different reactions are called for in response to different concerns conveyed to her by her constituents, and it seems depending if you are a citizen within Croatia’s borders, or one or many in the Diaspora, this also has an effect as to what level, or at what speed, concerns are addressed and dealt with, if at all.

This editorial is a follow-on from the one which was tabled regarding the letter which we as a group, and organisation (Croatian Diasporan Voice), sent to the President prior to her departure from Croatia for her State visit to Australia.

Our organisation’s president Darko Orec has gone into some detail regarding the contents, which were questioned and speculated over internationally (Appearing in Croatian portals) and which we as a group were attacked, criticised, and condemned over, so this editorial won’t be addressing the finer points of those letters.
What this editorial attempts to highlight is this:

“What level of importance do our homeland’s elected officials bestow upon their constituents in the Diaspora? and, what level of sensitivity do they apply to these concerns based on either their ongoing general commentary or actual response when one is raised?”

When we consider the first letter we sent (PDF) we were mindful of conveying a level of diplomacy and respect while also raising our concerns as concisely as we could, there was no disdain towards the President as many wrote blindly, and we wrote to her as a representative group, which we are in two respects. We are both as an internationally dispersed group of Patriots, and secondly an emerging lobby group who hold the concerns of the Diaspora and the Homeland as our immediate focus.

Those that attacked us and our rights to contact the President, should seriously review the level of success associated with having had their “Red Chips” removed, it seems they still prescribe to totalitarian ideals of the state and not the individuals rights to question or approach within a true Democratic environment.

The first letter was ignored, and concerns were raised as to the workings of the Government procedural protocols when it appeared again in Australia in the hands of our detractors as she was on route. We should keep in mind it was only ever sent to the President via a single email to her Presidential office.

Ok, so a chocolate bar on the scale of things outweighs a Croatian Diasporan Voice letter?

After the President’s departure, a second letter (PDF) was issued (this time raising our concerns regarding what I have just described above) and suggesting that because of the previous circumstances of no response, we felt it may never have reached her and she might wish to investigate as a matter of internal protocol, the reason for this (Similar to “Which one of you put the Mony chocolate bars in the show bags?)

If we received no response we would assume the worst and make both letters public for all the reasons we raised concerns over as I have mentioned throughout.
Yes, we received a response (PDF), “Ohhhhh Joy” but neither was it signed by the President, nor did it address a single issue we raised in either the first or subsequent second letter, therefore, we can only assume one of two things.

#1 She once again, didn’t receive it but someone panicked, loaned a sheet of Presidential letter head and the Presidential seal and responded on her behalf or

#2 As per the letters post-card like theme throughout of “It was a wonderful trip, met many interesting people, saw many interesting places, I love you all” would suggest, it was a case of Marie Antionette syndrome and quietly whispering between the lines in here response “Have a slice of cake……or…… chocolate”

The Presidential theme for this state visit to her constituents was one of building bridges, dialogue, welcoming us to return (either us and our bank accounts or preferably the latter I would think) and wanting to hear our concerns.

“We tried Madam President, we honestly did, and the bad news is, we are going to try a lot harder, we promise”

As I mentioned at the start, both Marie and husband Louis XVI of France found that the peasants had tired of the couple’s obliviousness towards them and accordingly Marie and Louis lost their heads to Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin’s new invention during the French Revolution.

And the coined phrase “Let them eat cake” be it true or invented nevertheless concisely described the attitude of those times and in particular Marie’s attitude towards her own people.

Be it a chocolate bar, a letter from a bunch of nobodies in the Diaspora, the term “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home Ready) a Plaque to commemorate our troops that gave their lives to make the role of President of a Democratic Croatia a reality, these are all concerns belonging to the many and all should deserve equal consideration dignity and respect.

Perhaps next time, we should send a chocolate bar, or maybe even a chocolate cake?

By John Davor Ovcaric

Australian Labor Party Should Apologise For Persecutions of Croatians

“It’s Time”
by John Ovcaric

It would seem that Tony Jones recently plagiarised a Yugoslav era work of Propaganda titled “Dvadeseti čovjek” (the Twentieth Man) written by “Đorđe Ličina” and while we sit and read this in astonishment, Jones, who obviously must be suffering some form of writer’s block let alone dementia has the gumption to think that this will go un-noticed? Well no it isn’t, and this isn’t the most alarming factor here so let’s try again.

Perhaps it’s because he is supposedly writing about a situation that had passed all legal burning hoops and is undeniable in its accuracy? Sorry still no cigar, shall we try again?
OK, how about, not only does he appear to have plagiarised someone else’s propaganda, and not only are the supposed facts unfounded by lawful process, but that he laces into the plot fictional characters which only serves to subliminally cement in the readers mind that this work of semi fiction is based on fact?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, we are getting close.

It’s actually all of the above and much more, but, he is perpetuating a smear campaign against a segment of the Australian community who have spent the last century battling conspiracy and injustice designed to deliver cultural genocide at the hands of what many now realise, but dare not admit, was as evil a regime as that of either Pol Pot or Idi Amin.

The fascinating reality is that like some cursed undead creature from the grave, this regime and its political secret service continue to campaign against us in a modern Western society let alone within the shadows of the modern political corridors of the Croatian parliament in Zagreb at this very moment.

But what Tony Jones is doing, which I will take a leap of faith and define in a few moments, reaches back further than many of us would care to remember and which some of us reading this may be too young to.

In the 1960’s, Broz Josip Tito, after his break with the Soviet Union of the 1950’s, realised that in order for his abomination Yugoslavia to survive, had to peel back the Yugoslav Iron Curtain and allow unthinkable numbers of the regime’s citizens out so as they could work and inadvertently fund the country through their earnings, Dad goes off to work in Germany and sends Deutsche Marks home strategy.

The exodus of citizens, namely from Croatia made their way not only to Germany and other like European economic powerhouses but far further flung places globally, consequently the benefit economically gained from doing so for the regime was counted by a new problem, these economic workers now joined with political exiles and Croatian nationalism and the fight against the tyranny of Yugoslav communist rule was fueled.

Such was the concern that estimates put the number of workers allowed out from behind the curtain near the end of the 1960’s to be in the vicinity of 600,000, a number based on declassified CIA documents of the era, and of greater concern, as also discussed in these CIA reports was the fact that the Yugoslav Secret Services (UDBA) could not keep track of their movements.

During this time, the CIA was dealing with a host of communist actions globally, Vietnam, the growing threat of communism spreading through other parts of Asia, not to mention South America, were key focal points for the U.S. administrations of the day, of equal focus in Australia’s back yard was the expansion of communism into the Pacific region and as a result, and as later exposed in a number of Royal Commissions, ASIO actively worked with the CIA in numerous Black Operations globally in the good fight.

No, I haven’t forgotten Tony Jones, bear with me, the enigma will all come together shortly.

Ok, back to Tito’s mobsters the UDBa, the 60’s apart from being a drug induced footnote in modern global history was also a time of incredible political psychedelia, the Yugoslav government of the day, which played a very similar if not identical game to the Serb’s of today, played West against East for its own gain.

As reported in several CIA and ASIO intelligence reports for the time, the West’s socialist “Stick that up your backside Stalin” pin up boy Broz tried to conjure the West to assist in monitoring its citizens and dissidents globally, Foreign Governments of the day however had more pressing business to attend to.

Ok, quiz question time. You are a foreign Government, concerned about your dictatorship and a potential revolt internally fuelled by Nationalists in exile, inadvertently you had the bright idea to tell the Soviet Union in the 1950’s to go shove the hammer and sickle up their collective Politburo orifices and opened the doors up to allow 600,000 of your citizens to work outside your borders to raise money, and now your global buddies from WW2 are too busy fighting the good fight against your very own kind elsewhere to help as your eyes and ears in their own backyards – what would you do?

If you answered as follows, big elephant stamp for you.

What you do is create a threat, spread misinformation, conduct black op or black flag operations in other sovereign states under the guise that such actions are being perpetuated by the same dissidents you asked your buddies to keep an eye on, you send in agents who infiltrate the immigrant population and either set in play black flag operations or collect information on those individuals while proudly acting as one of them.

And then if you’re really smart, you infiltrate the Governments of those nations and manipulate them so as to either use or draw information from their security agencies.

By the start of the early 1970’s Australian politics was moving away from the decades old conservative governance, which had existed under the Menzies era. Consequently, Australian’s were questioning our alliance with the United States particularly in light of our involvement in Vietnam, let’s not forget also that it wasn’t uncommon for a Prime minister to dip a toe in the water, go for a leisurely swim and disappear, times were changing and the left of politics in Australia were looking North towards new potential trading partners and regional players.

Times were a changing, and this gave rise to Gough Whitlam’s campaign theme of 1972.

“It’s Time”

Edward Gough Whitlam was swept into power based on a sway in the Australian public’s perception of decades of conservative governance that was no longer being in touch with a modern Australia both politically and socially, and the growing involvement of Australia in global affairs (Read Vietnam), which they believed the United States was dragging Australia into. Behind the scenes, this perception was true as ASIO was secretly working with the CIA without the Australian Governments knowledge as would later be revealed in a number of Royal Commissions.

Attorney-General Lionel Murphy upon entering his role with the new Government in Canberra was so suspect of ASIO that he had his offices in the old parliament building swept for surveillance and phone bugs numerous times, his and Whitlam’s suspicions were correct in that ASIO had become as powerful within the Australian political scene as that of the CIA in the U.S. equivalent.

Dr Jim Cairns who had held a number of portfolios during the course of the Whitlam Governments reign completed what would become for Croatians in Australia the Unholy Trinity of the Labor Government of the day, with Murphy’s focus on ASIO, Whitlam’s overtures to China and Cairns support of the Anti-Vietnam movement, the stage was set for a showdown and years later, as CIA documents would justify, the Australian Government of the day, leftist in its views and abhorrent to its partnership with the U.S. became the focus of an angered CIA and subsequently the British equivalent in MI5.

What connected the Croatian community in Australia to all this was the simple fact that the Whitlam Government of the day, for all its perceived foresight and vision for a modern Australia, was playing straight into the hands of foreign influence and as I previously mentioned foreign concerns. It was Yugoslavia and it’s UDBa that saw opportunities in Australia to indeed infiltrate the Government and use its security agency, namely ASIO, as its pseudo secret police force on Australian soil.

What transpired as this uneasiness grew resulted in what is dubbed the “ASIO Raid” and the Croatian community in Australia was flung into this international web of intrigue.

On the 15th of March 1973, Attorney-General Lionel Murphy and senior Commonwealth Police officers forcibly entered ASIO’s headquarters in Melbourne as a result of Murphy’s suspicions that ASIO was withholding information on terrorist threats and undermining the newly elected Whitlam government.

The Yugoslav Prime Minister was due to visit Australia and there were concerns that local Croatian dissidents were planning to assassinate him. Due to post WW2 propaganda, these dissidents were labelled as “Ustashe” and the remnants of the Croatian movement of that time that had been allied with Germany in World War Two and had active networks in Australia.

Dreaming of overthrowing Tito’s communist regime, “Ustasha” supporters were implicated in bombing Yugoslav diplomatic buildings and social clubs throughout Australia in the 1960s and 70s. In 1962 and 1973 they launched unsuccessful military raids into then Yugoslavia.

But ASIO was relatively indifferent to this perceived terrorist threat and was chiefly concerned with Soviet espionage and the perceived menace from that quarter of the time being communist subversion. The NSW Police Force had presumptively uncovered evidence that a Ustasha group planned to assassinate the Yugoslav Prime Minister, which was passed through the Commonwealth Police to Murphy, but ASIO denied knowledge of these threats.

Not trusting ASIO’s assurances that they had no information to support these concerns about assassination threats, the Attorney-General entered their Melbourne headquarters on St. Kilda road and declared to the ASIO staff that “it is our policy to bring open government to Australia” and demanded to know if they had been hiding information from him. Murphy questioned the officers for hours while Commonwealth Police carted off documents.

It is the question as to what occurred to those documents while in their care that has always plagued me and a recent piece I wrote on a UDBa document GHD (Croatian Diasporan Voice – Glas hrvatske dijaspore) recovered from Belgrade which clearly shows my father’s file number next to his name “X.2257” and which I believe to be an ASIO file reference that leads me to think this information was passed on to Yugoslav authorities.

So much has been uncovered since the 16th of March 1973 as to the involvement of both Yugoslav consulate staff and undercover UDBa agents during that time and their infiltration into both the Australian Government and their service arms and the Croatian community that it bewilders me to this day that a blind eye has been cast and a total lack of reflection on their activities maintained while the perpetuation of untruths continues, Tony Jones and his comic strip paperback being a prime example of this attitude.

For the Croatian people, Australian Citizens in every respect of the term, what transpired as a result of these raids is despicable. Personal threats both known and clandestine continued for years, the naming of names in the media of Croatian Australian Citizens being terrorists and war criminals would be unthinkable in this day and age, Jim Cairns stating under parliamentary protection in the old Parliament House that every man, woman and child of Croatian heritage should be returned to Yugoslavia as war criminals and terrorists is incomprehensible.

Yet it did deliver us one crucial thing in spades, fortitude, fortitude to continue the struggle with greater focus and depth of conviction and this was never more apparent than at the outbreak of the 1990’s war in Croatia when we rallied to the cry.

Eventually the Whitlam Government came into disrepute, Dr Jim Cairns was uncovered for his affair with Junie Morosi, we watched The Loans Affair unfurl as the political scandal involving the Whitlam Government demonstrated how they attempted to unconstitutionally borrow money from Middle Eastern countries through the agency of Pakistani banker Tirath Khemlani, bypassing standard procedures of the Australian Treasury. Minerals and Energy Minister Rex Connor, along with Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Jim Cairns misled Parliament and were forced from the Whitlam Cabinet over the Affair, and finally The Dismissal itself instigated by Sir John Kerr then Governor General of Australia with an ever towering and defiant Gough Whitlam declaring on the steps of the old Parliament House “Well may they say, God save the Queen, for nothing will save the Governor General!”

It wasn’t the Governor General as such at the time as it was the CIA, ASIO and Yugoslavia’s UDBa that ushered in the eventual fall of his Government.

“Yes! Yes! I know! Tony Jones, I’m getting there”

Tony Jones and his current likely plagiarised book “The 20th man” reflects much on the circumstances of that era based on propaganda and the effects of inter-government manipulation and espionage facilitated by unseen interests, where it fails is that it is a perpetuation of lies and deceit and delivers any potential reader a skewed view of history based on those premises.

But Tony is just a small pin in the greater machine that we thought had come to a grinding halt when Prime minister Paul Keating stood up in Federal Parliament, in January 1992, and recognised the Modern State of Croatia as a sovereign nation when in our darkest hour under attack we looked to the world for affirmation. To me that moment defined the crowning accomplishment of the Australian Croatian Community and justified our struggle, but it didn’t and never will justify what we were subjected to.

We cry for Lustration in our matriarchal homeland, yet is it paramount that this action must start in the heartland we call the Diaspora, our Diaspora, our Australia.

John Ovcaric

I put it to every reader that just as Prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to indigenous Australians back in 2007 for the indiscretions imposed upon them as a culture, that we, as persecuted Australian Citizens of the day are as deserving of such an apology from the current Labor Party on behalf of their leaders in the Whitlam Government of 1973.

I call upon you, the reader, to deny Tony Jones his moment in the sun and send him back to the crypt of corruption deceit and treachery from whence the material he writes about came from.

I call upon every Croat, every Australian born citizen with a drop of Croatian blood running through their veins to protest the malicious play of words in the “20th Man”.

I call upon every one of you who read this to commit to signing a petition to the Attorney General of Australia and to the leader of the Labor Opposition calling upon him to apologise in Federal Parliament on behalf of his party and its predecessors to the Croatian community.

I call upon the Government of the day to release all documents highlighting and exposing the affairs of the Government of the day in its dealings with the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and to enter into Lustration, providing the Australian public with details of all information of a personal or communal nature that was transmitted to the FSRY.

Finally, I call upon the same Government to bear pressure on the Republic of Croatia to also Lustrate and reveal through the opening of its FSRY files all information collected and used against both Australian Croatians and their families under siege at that time in Croatia.

Lustration starts in Australia, and as the campaign slogan of the ALP in 1972 stated, “It’s Time”

I would urge you all to speak to your loved ones of that time, learn the stories of what we endured and then take a moment to visit the following Australian Human Rights Commission page which clearly compliments and demonstrates our rights which in my opinion are retrospective and applicable to the circumstances of the 1970’s.
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/…/racial-vilification-law-au

Croatia: Lustration To Stop Sinking Deeper Into Mediocrity

 

General Zeljko Glasnovic
Member of Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora

I have lost count of the number of times General Zeljko Glasnovic, Member of Croatian Parliament for the Diaspora, has emphasised and warned in his public and parliamentary appearances that the Croatian diaspora is purposefully excluded from Croatian social, economic and political life and development…and that this must be rectified in order for Croatia to move forward. “Unfortunately, we live in a country taken over by Yugonationalists, and they treat it as a feudal property and with that, they prevent the return of our people (from the diaspora to Croatia),” he said in an interview last year.

A clear and disturbing example, albeit camouflaged in the president’s welcoming speeches about great love for the diaspora, of how those “Yugonationalists”, communist die-hards, operate in excluding the Croatian diaspora from Croatia’s life unfolded during the past week before our very eyes during the president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s official state visit to Australia, Sydney. It struck me, and multitudes of other Croats in Sydney, for an nth time how those close to the president of Croatia organising her visit to Australia and New Zealand have “refined” their communist ways of ignoring and hiding the impressive wealth of Croatian masses from sight by not giving everyone the opportunity to show up and greet their homeland country’s president.

Sydney, for instance, has over 60,000 people of Croatian descent and loyalty and, yet, the Croatian president’s closest advisers and organisers booked only one public venue where the public could come greet and welcome the president and that venue could only fit 2.5 to 3.0 thousand people. Public announcements of the president’s public appearances were not widely made in order to secure attention of all, those (more than 70% of the Croatian Sydney community) that do not frequent clubs or churches or read Croatian newspapers or listen to Croatian radio on a regular basis were excluded. When the first Croatian president dr. Franjo Tudjman visited Sydney in 1995, the situation was entirely different; the public venue where he came to greet the Sydney Croatians carried 20,000 places and was filled with Croats, completely.

Whether president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic had foreknowledge of this organisational disgrace and insult by exclusion to Croatians in the diaspora is a question the answer to which lies beyond my knowledge. One thing that is painfully obvious, though, is that such organisation, excluding the vast majority from being able to come and greet the president, was done purposefully and, in line with how communist-minded as well as Yugoslav Secret Police (UDBA) had operated before and operate in Croatia now. The ugly brazenness of such organisers whose aim is to divide and alienate from the homeland the bulk of the Croatian diaspora calls for new efforts on the part of the Croatian diaspora to stand united for Croatia and contribute to lustration, the fight against the communist beast that stands in the way of progress to full democracy and a functional Croatian national state. When one remembers that the Croatian Diaspora gave enormous financial and political lobby as well as military generals, officers and soldiers contribution to the creation of independent Croatian state in the 1990’s then renewed unity is an absolute essential in order to achieve lustration in Croatia and complete the goal for Croatia set in 1990: to create an independent, democratic and prosperous state, far far away from communist Yugoslavia totalitarian regime.

President of Croatia
Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic
in Sydney, 13 August 2017

The word “lustration” has its roots in Latin—the verb lustrare means to “purify” or “illumine.” To the citizens of former communist countries in Europe, lustration refers to the process in which the abuses of former communist regimes are revealed, implicating perpetrators as well as victims. Lustration in countries that have so far embraced it in the former European communist countries, which regretfully does not yet include Croatia, has encompassed ensuring former highly positioned people or those in communist secret services are not afforded key positions in the government or key positions in country, opening and making various types of files public—regardless if it is reading the books of the secret police or exposing compromised politicians, the process is sensitive and, at times, painful for people who for decades lived oppressed lives under oppressive communist regimes.

President Grabar Kitarovic’s visit to Australia and New Zealand is cementing the divisional and destructive processes installed and employed by former communists with view to ensuring an alienation of the Diaspora from its Croatian homeland. Grabar Kitarovic as president has called upon the Croatian Diaspora many many times to return to Croatia and help it prop-up its failing economy and plummeting demographic reality. And then she arrives in that diaspora on a visit and does not ask why is only 5% of this diaspora here to greet me!? Where is everybody!? Her speech to a mere couple of thousand, instead of say at least fifteen, sugarcoated with love and openness towards Croats in the diaspora. The organisation of her visit was a closed-door affair; openness is simply not the word that can describe it in any shape or form.

The questions, recently also posted on the Voice of the Croatian Diaspora Facebook page, which masses from the excluded-from-greeting-the-president Croatian diaspora would have put to the president had they had a chance and opportunity to do would have been as follows:
1. What’s happening with the establishment of Minister for immigration/diaspora affairs?
2. What’s happening with regard to installing postal and/or electronic voting system and why is it not utilised for the Croatian diaspora given that the platform already exists, e.g. E-citizens?
3. What’s happening regarding the new Electoral Act, how is it possible that the Croatian diaspora is excluded from the political life of Croatia and reduced to mere three diaspora representative seats in Parliament?
4. Demand for the abolishment of socialist-communist bureaucracy.
5. Most questionable government “Advisory body for Croats living outside Croatia”. Who are these people, what have they achieved so far, what do they do?
6. Why are people who were part of UDBA and KOS (communist Yugoslavia Secret Police and Counter-Intelligence services) posted into the Croatian diplomatic and consular missions and posts?
7. Who and in what manner chooses the President’s advisers – for example the first adviser to the President is Jozo Brkic, brother to highly positioned in HDZ Milijan Brkic, and chief organiser of the President’s visit to Australia – what are the criteria for choosing advisers?
8. When will decommunisation of Croatia commence?

The mediocrity of life is what communists nurtured during the times of former Yugoslavia; most people had just enough means to stay above the poverty line, waiting unrequited for the promise of a better future under the guiding hands of the promise-making communist party to kick-in. The exceptionalism, the promise and fight for prosperity in Croatia that accompanied every single, bloody but victorious 1990’s Homeland War battle for freedom from communist Yugoslavia afforded Croatia the time to convince itself and its original liberation movement HDZ/Croatian Democratic Union (that backed Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic as presidential candidate) couldn’t possibly ever become a “lame duck” when it comes to installing a full democracy and clearing the key posts in society and authority of communists that held important positions in Yugoslavia. HDZ in its fight for independence also fought against mediocrity and for prosperity in life. Today, in reality, HDZ has become the same as SDP (Social Democratic Party) – the latter didn’t want independent Croatia in the first place, and the former does “bugger all” to clean-up the oppressive, incompetent and arrogant public administration, service provision and bureaucracy. In the meantime, Presidents gallivant around the globe with grandstanding rhetoric for needed reforms but matching actions simply never eventuate to the degree that sweeps in the reforms, particularly in the area of returning into the body of the Croatian national state the status of the Croatian diaspora, to which they passionately, rhetorically, pin Croatia’s deliverance from ruin.

Heraclitus — “the obscure philosopher,” the pre-Socratic thinker, is best known as the man who said that you cannot put your foot into the same river twice. “The river/ where you set/ your foot just now/ is gone — /those waters/ giving way to this,/ now this.” (“Fragments: The Collected Wisdom of Heraclitus,” Viking). Letting opportunities go by without implementing lustration that would rid the budding democracy from the inherited communist mindset, laws and practices has led to the feeling one gets about Croatia that many people appear uninspired or lack the energy to rid their community of mediocrities and idiot intoxications communist mindset injects, whether in form of nepotism in employment or whether in getting away with theft and corruption… Given the enemy defined by communist-era mindset and habits, inherited by modern Croatia, a time for the commencement of effective lustration only comes once! It’s just like Heraclitus said “you cannot put your foot into the same river twice”.

When people attack critical voices against communist heritage that must be purged from Croatian democracy, they are accommodating mediocrity. I, for one, do not wish to live in mediocrity – I want Croatia to succeed in achieving its original goal for independence and democratic prosperity and that means it must: thoroughly rid itself from communism and its UDBA, its bloodsuckers. It must lustrate! Ina Vukic

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