CROATIA: President Milanovic – You Are Fired! An Open Letter To The President Of Croatia

Zoran Milanovic, President of Croatia
Inset: Jasenovac Plaque honouring fallen Croatian defenders during Croatian Homeland War
Foto: Robert Fajt / CROPIX

President Zoran Milanovic,

Were I confident that this letter would not end up in a wastepaper basket in your office then this letter would not be an Open Letter, but sadly my confidence is justifiably shaky. Were the matters I will address in this letter not matters that are of utmost importance for Croatia and its people in the 21st century then this letter would not be written.

I am writing to you to add to the public awareness that you, as President, must do everything in your power to ensure that the values, the victims and the meaning for Croatia and its people of the 1990’s Homeland War receive the full respect they deserve. After all, that is one of the most important roles of the President of the Republic of Croatia under its Constitution! When you do not do what you should be doing then you have no place to sit in the Office of the President; the highest office in the land representing Croatia and all it stands for, so to speak.

Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia includes the clause that says: “The President of the Republic of Croatia shall be responsible for the defence of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia.”  Adding from the Historical Foundations of the Republic of Croatia in the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia that  Croatia’s foundations lie “in the new Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (1990) and the victory of the Croatian nation and Croatia’s defenders in the just, legitimate and defensive war of liberation, the Homeland War (1991-1995), wherein the Croatian nation demonstrated its resolve and readiness to establish and preserve the Republic of Croatia as an independent and autonomous, sovereign and democratic state,” it follows that the President of the Republic of Croatia must act and show morally, politically and in every way adherence to and promotion of the values of the Homeland War and must not compromise them in any way for, such compromise jeopardises independence. Otherwise, if the president does not act in accordance with set principles and expectations, he or she has no place sitting in that office and if the appropriate authorities do nothing to impeach him or her from the Office when he or she has breached his or her duties as President then the people must act towards that goal. After all, the people directly elect their President in Croatia!

The Homeland War and those who lost their lives so that Croatia may be free and independent, so that it can carve its own future in a democracy, far removed from communist Yugoslavia heritage, cannot and must not be bullied, ridiculed, insulted, belittled, threatened or intimidated! And you do and have done that exactly that! Accordingly, you have in mine and many other eyes committed treason; betrayed the modern Croatian nation!

It is, of course, your latest public statements at Jasenovac on 22 April 2020 when you, regarding the plaque dedicated to 11 Croatian Homeland War of Independence defenders from HOS unit, which fought under the slogan “For Homeland Ready”, said that “the plaque should be moved to somewhere else, thrown away…it has no relevance to the Homeland War… Those who fought in 1991, thought they were fighting under the salute For Homeland Ready (Za dom spemni), did not fight only for the Croatian state but for the restoration of the 1941 Croatian state,”  shined a spotlight on your incompetence and your despise for the Croatian state, you are supposed to protect and uphold.

These statements of yours unequivocally demonstrate that you disregard and betray purposefully the fact that almost 94% of Croatian voters (among which you evidently were not) voted in May 1991 for independence and that this fact and national resolve gave the mandate and legitimacy to those fighters and defenders who fought under whatever slogan and salute reinforced their loyalty and self-sacrifice to independence they were defending, fighting for. This May 1991 referendum had nothing to do with NDH and everything to do with the long-standing oppression at the hands of the Yugoslav communist regime.

You, President, should be ashamed of yourself and the Croatian people must have no other alternative but to remove you from the position they recently elected you for! I am quite certain you will not willingly resign from it all by your own self.

Your denial of the legitimacy Croatia’s Homeland War defenders, including those fighting under the slogan “For Homeland Ready” has turned into deception and lies — lies to a nation of frightened people. For it has, due to statements like yours, become increasingly scary to express pride in the independence of Croatia and its war veterans, leading to a generalised fear of being labelled as some unwanted extremist because of one’s expressed pursuit of joy and pride for what Croatia had achieved via its war of defence against Serb-led aggression!

Why do you need to prostitute the way you do the outcome of the 1991 vote for independence by almost 94% of Croatian voters? What drives you, President Milanovic?  Hatred for the independence of Croatia? Contempt for the independence of Croatia? What!?

You were a professed Communist before you saw possibilities for personal advancement within the League of Communists of Croatia Party/ Social Democratic Party that would set itself up to benefit personally from the blood lost from those whose names are written on that HOS plaque in Jasenovac and thousands of others fighting for and defending today’s independent state of Croatia. I’m not writing about your obvious infatuation with the dictatorship of Josip Broz Tito.  It’s obvious that you salivate over the thought of you being able to exercise the same unbridled power when it comes to degrading the will of the Croatian people for independence and secession from Yugoslavia.

But, President Milanovic, the buck does stop at your door; therefore, “you’re fired.”

Will the “shipping clerks” (the people) please come forward!

Ina Vukic

Sydney, Australia

9 May 2020

Croatia: Abomination In Hauling Out Communist Memorabilia

“…look at the money these constitutional, supreme judges have
in all of them squats a lilttle little Tito…
They cannot change!”
Zeljko Glasnovic, Member of Croatian Parliament
Photo:Screenshot

The time has come – communist threads must be torn away.

The mind boggles at the reality today that there are still too many pro-communist Yugoslavia people walking the streets of Croatia. The nostalgia for the long-gone days of Yugoslavia encountered on the streets often wears the cloak of misguided memories of a life that was supposedly carefree and good, of course missing all the elements of personal responsibility for a greater good (the Party, or foreign debt took care of everything).

The communists in Yugoslavia suppressed or significantly limited free markets, stole private property, crushed political dissent, murdered or imprisoned political opponents, imposed materialist ethics, installed a culture of intimidation, forced multitudes into exile or emigration, and exalted ruthless dictatorship. The result was a sustained assault on the history, traditions, ethics, and very essence of the Croatian people.

No wonder the Croatian people at a referendum voted overwhelmingly (94%) in 1991 to secede from communist driven Yugoslavia!

While Croatia cannot escape its history, it should stop glorifying the country’s turn down of one of history’s great deadends. Although an unjust despotism, Josip Broz Tito as the absolute master of former communist Yugoslavia (1945 to his death in 1980) left behind in his dedicated followers those that fostered the culture of absolute Party power albeit in some cases by stealth through placing in key positions of public service only the politically fit. Hence, weaved into almost every point of high-level decision-making the communist mindset survived even one of the bloodiest of wars Croatia has had to fight in the early 1990’s in order to secede from Yugoslavia and go it alone into democracy and sovereignty.

The obstacles to change into a true democracy, after the military victory over the Serb/Yugoslav aggressor that opposed secession, remained great as the highly positioned former member of the former Communist Party either backed away from some reforms promised via Croatia’s new Constitution or dodged true democratic changes by keeping much of the country’s legislation fundamentally unchanged or maintaining the communist practices and processes in applying any true reforms through new regulations. Such was the response in Croatia to the 1990’s Homeland War victory that secured Croatia’s sovereign borders.

Last year Josip Broz Tito’s name was taken down from the most beautiful city of Zagreb squares and replaced with Republic of Croatia Square. This was a move that signaled a dying-away of Titoism, of idolising Tito (and communism) in at least some circles of local power brokers that could catch-on in other places across Croatia. After all, Tito was no humanitarian whose dream was perverted by his successors. He likely the murder of hundreds of thousands of Croats after WWII. Tito insisted on solitary Communist rule despite all the committees and presidencies flaunted around as some form of collective government, tolerated no dissent even within the Party, established the UDBA secret police that hunted down worldwide any opponents to his political agenda, employed terror against opponents, and led the supposedly “victorious” side in one of history’s most horrid periods for people desirous of independent Croatia.

With Tito’s name coming down from city square and street names it would appear that Titoists in Croatia have recently found a new way to keep the memory of Tito and his communist Yugoslavia alive in Croatia! And this is distressing.

A once imposing but now rusting yacht (Galeb/Seagull) that in 1953 took the Yugoslav leader Tito up the Thames to meet Winston Churchill is to be turned into a museum and tourist attraction in Croatia. During WWII it found itself in the crosshairs of the Allies and was sunk by Allied bombers in 1944 on the coast of Croatia. After WWII it was hauled up from the seabed, restored and converted into an official yacht for Josip Broz Tito. He used it not only as a floating residence and office, but also as a party boat, hosting celebrities and high-calibre politicians including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Naser, Greek King Peter, Moroccan King Hasan H., UK Prime Miniser Winston Churchill, USSR President Nikita Khrushchev, Libia’s Moammar Gaddafi, Sudan’s General Abboud and so on. For years the 385ft-long ship has been quietly rusting away in the Adriatic port of Rijeka in Croatia.

Rusting hulk of Galeb/Seagull and Tito

Around mid January 2018 it was announced that some 6 million Euro from EU funding has been approved to restore the yacht and turn it into a museum. That’s 6 million Euro that Croatia does not have to return to EU coffers!

In a country on its knees economically, such as Croatia, one would expect applications for EU funds of that size to be dedicated to creating jobs and bettering the standard of living, which by the way, has not improved since its steep dive during 1980’s Yugoslavia when inflation reached astronomical 1200%!

If this isn’t a gigantic step back in the struggling but urgently needed attempts to rid Croatia of the communist mindset, what is? No one can tell me that such a museum will not feed and maintain the romantic notions of how great communist Yugoslavia was. How great Tito was! What a disappointment. There are plenty of existing museums dedicated to life in Yugoslavia that tourists can visit so why erect another one! Especially one that blatantly covers up and shamelessly negates the actual reality of how horrible and destructive a person and a leader Tito was to Croatian people who pursued independence and freedom.

Whatever happened to banning all symbols of totalitarian regime in Croatia? Communism is still enjoying free displays of its symbols and EU itself – that declared its member countries should observe European Remembrance Day of Victims of Totalitarian Regimes and condemn them all and yet it funds one of the largest new monuments to the totalitarian communist regime! Catastrophe for human kind! Utterly abominable towards the hundreds of thousands of Tito’s totalitarian regime victims!

Someday Croatians will be truly free. Not just from communism, but also of less forms of soft authoritarianism that trickles through from the communist mindset. Liberation will come only through the Croatian people’s own efforts, however, not from the EU or the West. Only they can make their own future. The day this liberty arrives will be the real end of Croatia’s Homeland War. Ina Vukic

Croatia: Project Velebit Joins Battle To Drive Out Ghost Of Communism From Constitution

projekt-velebit

 

For the survival and well being of a nation it is essential that all and each generation understand the meaning of the nation’s Constitution. As Aristotle wrote long ago: “It is useless to have the most beneficial laws, fully agreed upon by all who are members of the constitution, if they are not going to be trained and have their habits formed in the spirit of that constitution.” (Aristotle, The Politics (New York: Penguin, 1986), 331; 1310a12).

 

Troubles persist, though, when facets of a nation’s Constitution collide against each other and are, due to their inherent nature, irreconcilable on the fundamental grounds of the Constitution’s own existence. This creates a multi-faceted quagmire within which the abandoned old values (in this case communist values) interfere with the establishment of new ones (freedom and democracy). Old communist values in the case of Croatia seriously interfere with the democratic ones, which should be tagged as the only and the essential values for the survival of the modern independent Croatia.

 

General Zeljko Glasnovic, MP Photo: Marko Prpic/Pixsell

General Zeljko Glasnovic, MP
Photo: Marko Prpic/Pixsell

This brings to mind a most pertinent issue, which has been brought to the public’s attention by the currently most active politician on the issue with a seat in Parliament, the independent Member, General Zeljko Glasnovic, and an impressive set of leading scholars, politicians, political analysts, constitutional experts, and people of all walks of life in Croatia (e.g. Zdravko Tomac, Admiral Davor Domazet Loso, Milan Kujundzic, Tomislav Karamarko, Branimir Luksic, to name but a handful) at one time or another in recent couple of years or so.

The issue is that a ghost of communism, in effect, resides within the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, suffocating progress to full democracy by keeping alive destructive communist mentality, habits and practices brought over from communist Yugoslavia. The latter – evidently and in general terms condoned as permissible simply because an element of the former Yugoslav communist regime is embedded in the Constitution as a valid historical pursuit to Croatian independence when in fact that Yugoslav communist regime never pursued the establishment of a completely independent state of Croatia.

 

 

At the time of the creation of its constitution Croatia was still charged and overloaded with communism and the passage of transition out of that oppressive scourge was doomed to contamination with it – the ghost of communism was inserted into the Croatian Constitution adopted in December 1990, months before, in an almost ambush-like manner, came the Serb/Yugoslav-led bloody, brutal and genocidal aggression that sought to obliterate even the very idea of independence and freedom from Croatian life.

 

That ghost of communism within the Constitution sits under the Constitution’s “Historical foundations” (for independence). “The millennial national identity of the Croatian nation and the continuity of its statehood, confirmed by the course of its entire historical experience in various political forms and by the perpetuation and growth of state-building ideas based on the historical right to full sovereignty of the Croatian nation, manifested itself:…“- in laying the foundations of state sovereignty during World War Two, through decisions of the Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Croatia (1943), to oppose the proclamation of the Independent State of Croatia (1941), and subsequently in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Croatia (1947), and several subsequent constitutions of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1963-1990), on the threshold of the historical changes, marked by the collapse of the communist system and changes in the European international order, the Croatian nation by its freely expressed will at the first democratic elections (1990) reaffirmed its millennial statehood.”

project-velebit

The absolute fact remains that Croatian independence and all its voices and propagators were quashed, many  assassinated, multitudes murdered, exiled, imprisoned, tortured…by the Yugoslav communist regime after WWII. No independence of Croatia as a state there. Operatives of the communist regime evidently got to contribute to the writing of the current Croatian Constitution, dressing-up the controlled and oppressed Socialist State of Croatia within the Yugoslav federation as independence. One could say that this blasphemy about independence could have survived, had the war of aggression against Croatia, because of its pursuits towards independence, not ensued from 1991. But the war did ensue and Croatia earned its independence at terrible costs to human lives because of it.

 

The War of Independence/Homeland War is the true foundation of independent Croatia and as such it must be reflected and embedded in the Constitution without being constantly undermined by the ghost of communism residing in there. While in recent years the War of Independence/Homeland War did finally make it into the Constitution as one of its historical foundations, its importance is significantly diminished within the constellation of historic foundations that include the false allocation of independence of Croatian state under the communist Yugoslavia federation.

 

The new Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (1990) and the victory of the Croatian nation and Croatia’s defenders in the just, legitimate and defensive war of liberation, the Homeland War (1991-1995), wherein the Croatian nation demonstrated its resolve and readiness to establish and preserve the Republic of Croatia as an independent and autonomous, sovereign and democratic state,” is the wording in the Constitution subsequently added to include the value of the Homeland War to independence.

 

The battle to decommunise Croatia continues and a significant battleground rests within the Constitution itself. It is imperative for the achievement of what Croatian independence intended to achieve in the first place – get away from communism/totalitarian regime as far as possible – to up the ante on getting the Constitution right.

 

Marko JUric Project Velebit Photo: Screenshot

Marko Juric
Project Velebit
Photo: Screenshot

And this is where the newly established organisation “Project Velebit”, with its centre in Zagreb, could successfully contribute. Certainly, its acumen expressed through its wide and current and relevant range of principles does point to clarity and determination in advocating for the complete ban on everything pertaining to Yugoslavianism, including seeking revision of the Constitution along the lines written about above, and the implementation of lustration.

 

Project Velebit is a civil organisation recently founded by a number of Croatian patriots “who consider themselves members of the Croatian national being, regardless of where they at this point in time may be living, regardless of their current social, political, religious, age or gender status, who as interested in the promotion of sincere humanistic, national and civilised attainments and needs of the Croatian people and all Croatian citizens, with the aim of promoting the national, the cultural, the ideological and the economic safety and freedom.”

 

Project Velebit as civil organisation could well compliment the work of politicians and members of parliament whose agenda has been and still follows pursuits to decommunise Croatia. Plucking communism and all its relevant aspects out of daily lives is absolutely essential if true independence as intended in 1990 is to be had.

 

On 9 November 2016, Marko Juric, a journalist, publicist and active member of the Project Velebit group, presented Project Velebit in Zagreb at the “Media aggression and political culture in Croatia” forum:

Marko Franovic Photo: Project Velebit

Marko Franovic
Photo: Project Velebit

Many ask us what is ‘Project Velebit’. It is a consequence of this situation that’s occurring, the paralysis of the system in answering to a series of absurd situations,” Juric said. “About maybe a year ago a group of people got together here in Croatia. They concluded that all that paralysis, all the enormous frustrations arising in people, an endless string of different stories of injustice and hardships happening in Croatia, have in reality exceeded all the limits to the end. There is no sense in talking any more… A group of people from outside Croatia (one being Mr Marko Franovic from Australia) linked itself to us and we decided to join forces and change some things. I would describe Project Velebit with one word and that is – action… To move from words to actions, within the framework of the possible and, believe me, there are a great number of things possible, we just need to start…If we make the first move we can do a great deal…” According to Juric Project Velebit wants to start a revolution, an intellectual one for now. In the circumstance where much is not functioning in the country, where communists or former communists still hold key decision-making and power, if threats to Croatian independence are not dealt with in reasonable time and adequate manner then, Juric said: “we retain the natural right of all people including the Croatian people to organise ourselves…and we have already organised ourselves into this group.”

While civil groups and organisations are not a new concept as they often arise in reaction to things gone wrong from governments as perceived in society or things needed and not being attended to by the governments, Project Velebit, however, is quite unique in Croatia as its main concern is to see former Yugoslav communism finally driven out of Croatia rather than to mollycoddle communist structures still existing as many civil organisations have been doing in Croatia. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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