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					The Croatian American Advocate                                                                                               SPRING 2005

 NFCA 1329 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20036          Phone: (202) 331-2830 Fax: (202) 331-0050 NFCAhdq@aol.com


                                                                                        THE
                                                      CROATIAN AMERICAN ADVOCATE
                                                                      The Official Newsletter of the NFCA
                                                                      and the NFCA Cultural Foundation




NFCA President Edward Andrus speaking at the launch of the
Congressional Croatian Caucus                                             Croatian member of Parliament Mario Zubovic ,U.S. Rep. George
                                                                          Radanovich, Croatian Minister of Culture Bozo Biskupic, Croatian
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CROATIAN                                           Ambassador to the United States Neven Jurica, U.S. Rep. Peter
AMERICANS SPEARHEADS DRIVE TO FORM                                        Visclosky, NFCA President Edward Andrus.
CONGRESSIONAL CROATIAN CAUCUS
                                                                          NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CROATIAN AMERICANS
 The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA)                     CRITICAL OF COMMENTS MADE BY U.S. AMBASSADOR
welcomed the official establishment of the Congressional Croatian         TO CROATIA RALPH FRANK
Caucus which was formally announced at a reception hosted by
the NFCA at the Rayburn Congressional Office Building on                  On December 21, 3004 , The National Federation of Croatian
Capitol Hill on February 1. Approximately 150 invited guests              Americans (NFCA) sent a letter written by its President, Edward
attended the reception which featured an assortment of Croatia's          A. Andrus, to United States Ambassador to Croatia, Ralph Frank.
finest wines and excellent Croatian cuisine created by Chef Ivo           Copies of the letter were forwarded to Secretary of State Colin
Svircic and provided by the Croatian Embassy. The NFCA                    Powell and Ranking Members of Congressional committees
reception was funded in part by special donations from Mike               dealing with foreign affairs.
Grgich, Jure Sola, Tony Peraica, Janet Robert and Jamie Coleman.
                                                                          Mr. Andrus' letter had been prompted by Croatian press stories
                                                                          which reported that at a December 16, 2004 press conference,
The bipartisan Co-Chairs of this new Caucus, Rep. George P.
                                                                          Ambassador Frank had emphasized the overriding importance of
Radanovich (R-CA) and Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN),
                                                                          the surrender of General Gotovina to the International Criminal
welcomed all those present and discussed their long-standing
                                                                          Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as a pre-condition to
desire to establish this important association of Members of
                                                                          Croatia's entry into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Ambassador Frank's
Congress interested in promoting Croatian-American relations.
                                                                          comments came in the wake of other press reports which stated that
That both Co-Chairs are of Croatian descent gives even further
                                                                          the United States had forwarded a so-called "non-paper" to the
emphasis to this historic event for the Croatian American
                                                                          governments of members of the European Union (EU) urging them
community.
                                                                          not to set a date for accession talks for Croatia to join the EU prior
                                                                          to the surrender of General Gotovina.
Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) also addressed those present, noting
that he too has a personal connection to Croatia through his              In his letter to Ambassador Frank, Mr. Andrus noted that
daughter-in-law, a native of Split. Congressman Gallegly in               Ambassador Frank's comments as well as the apparent position
particular noted his deep appreciation of Croatia's beauty which he       taken by the United States vis-à-vis the EU ignored the strides
experienced first hand when his son and daughter-in-law recently          Croatia had made not only with respect to cooperation with the
renewed their marriage vows there. Rep. Gallegly will chair the           ICTY "but the increasingly significant role Croatia has played in
Europe Subcommittee of the House International Relations                  achieving regional stability and cooperation." Mr. Andrus
Committee in the 109th Congress.                                          emphasized that "Croatia has done more than any nation-state in
                                                                          the region to cooperate with the ICTY. Indeed, General Gotovina
(Continued on page 2)                                                     remains the only fugitive from Croatia.”

                                                                          (Continued on page 3)
The Croatian American Advocate                                       2                                                      SPRING 2005

Croatian Caucus (continued from Page 2)                                  and Visclosky and their staffs. They all expressed their enthusiasm
                                                                         and we worked closely with their staffs in order to contact
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) gave a short but powerful speech            members of Congress to encourage them to join the Caucus as
in which he spoke about his personal involvement in Croatia's            Founding Members. In this regard, not only did we rely on our
struggle to gain independence and freedom for its people. He said        own members but we teamed with non-members as well to have
he admired the strength and resolve of the Croatian people during        them reach out to their Congressional contacts. After all, while the
that difficult period.                                                   NFCA played the key role in moving this concept forward, the
                                                                         Caucus itself is not a creature of the NFCA but is something from
The Croatian Ambassador to the United States, Neven Jurica, said         which the entire Croatian-American community and the Republic
a few words about Croatia's determination to join Euro-Atlantic          of Croatia will benefit."
institutions and viewed the creation of the new Caucus as a step
toward fulfilling that goal. Ambassador Jurica also welcomed a           In further discussing how the NFCA will work with the Croatian
number of honored guests from Croatia, including Bozo Biskupic,          Caucus, Mr. Andrus said that the NFCA now has the enhanced
the Minister of Culture, and Dr. Mario Zubovic, a member of the          ability to communicate with a group of Congressmen who have
Croatian Parliament.                                                     expressed a keen interest in issues related to Croatia. "Up until
                                                                         now, doing effective lobbying in Congress has been hampered
NFCA President Edward A. Andrus gave remarks on behalf of the            without the Caucus. We had to concentrate on approaching
Croatian American community thanking the bipartisan Co-Chairs            individual Congressmen when we had some ideas or issues related
and Founding Members while pledging to support the Caucus as it          to improving Croatian-American relations and the status of Croats
engages on important matters relevent to the community and the           in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Vojvodina. Now we have a group
Republic of Croatia. He noted that the structuring of the Caucus         which on its first day of existence consists of almost 10% of all
was a government relations task which demanded much effort and           members of Congress. This will, we hope, allow the NFCA and
many resources, not only from the NFCA but from other                    the Croatian-American community as a whole the ability to more
individuals and organizations. Mr. Andrus specifically mentioned         effectively present their views to Congress and have Congress
the assistance provided by the Croatian Fraternal Union, Dr. Frank       take those views under serious consideration."
Brozovich, the former President of the Croatian American
Association (CAA) and Honorary Consul of the Republic of                 Mr. Andrus noted that the establishment of the Caucus will now
Croatia, and Cook County Commissioner Anthony J. Peraica, a              actually require the NFCA and Croatian Americans to "step up to
former board member of the NFCA and President of the CAA's               the plate" in a more consistent manner. "We now have this most
Illinois Chapter. Mr. Andrus also recognized in the audience the         efficient means to have Congress listen to our concerns, and there
presence of Dr. Jasenka Piljac from Zagreb, who coauthored an            are many of them. Croatia's entry into NATO and other Euro-
English language book on the Croatian origins of the Zinfandel           Atlantic institutions continues to encounter difficult obstacles
grape which the NFCA has presented to all 41 of the Founding             which our elected Representatives can help to remove. Our
Members of the Caucus as an expression of its appreciation for           community must become more engaged to make use of this
their efforts on Croatia's behalf. (A copy of the "Zinfandel" book       opportunity and in that regard I urge all Croatian Americans to
can be ordered from NFCA Headquarters for $ 35.)                         join us in further building on what I believe to be one of the
                                                                         greatest successes the NFCA has had to date."
In addition to the four Congressmen who spoke, thirteen other
Congressmen, both members and non-members of the Croatian                The 41 Founding Members of the Congressional Croatian Caucus
Caucus made an appearance at the reception: Rep. Howard                  are as follows:
Berman (D-CA), Rep. Judy Biggert (R- IL), Rep. Mike Doyle (D-            Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) - Co-Chair, Rep. Peter
PA), Rep. Phil English (R- PA), Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), Rep.             Visclosky (D-IN) - Co-Chair, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), Rep.
Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Rick Larsen            Steve Chabot (R-OH), Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY, Rep. Jerry
(R-WA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-                 Costello (D-IL), Rep. Bud Cramer (D-AL), Rep. Joe Crowley (D-
WA), Rep. Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV), Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-             NY), Rep. John Duncan (R-TN), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep.
IL), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)                                          Phil English (R-PA), Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Rep. Elton
                                                                         Gallegly (R-CA), Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH), Rep. Luis Gutierrez
The event was also attended by scores of Congressional officials         (R-IL), Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Rep. Melissa Hart (D-PA),
and staff members, representatives from the State Department,            Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY) Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA), Rep.
leaders of the Croatian-American community from throughout the           Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA), Rep. Dennis
United States, a number of prominent Croatian-Americans in the           Kucinich (D-OH), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), Rep. Rick Larsen
Washington, D.C. area and Dr. Thomas P. Melady, former US                (R-WA), Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Ambassador to the Vatican and Senior Dipolmat in Residence at            (D-NY), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA),
the Institute of World Politics. Tony Butala of "The Lettermen"          Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS), Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), Rep.
singing group and members of the press were also present.                Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Rep.
                                                                         Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Rob
Speaking after the event, NFCA President Edward Andrus                   Simmons (R-CT), Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Rep. Mike
reiterated the importance of the establishment of the Caucus and         Thompson (D-CA), Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), Rep. Lynn
the NFCA's role in same. "There had been talk for some time              Woosley (D-CA), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), and Senator Rick
about the need to establish a Caucus. The NFCA had a number of           Santorum (R-PA).
discussions concerning the idea with Congressmen Radanovich
The Croatian American Advocate                                          3                                                       SPRING 2005


Frank Release (Continued from page 1)                                       who have had significantly greater resources than Croatia and full
                                                                            reign over Bosnia and Herzegovina for 9 years, have a failed
Mr. Andrus wrote that even more importantly Croatia has become              record when it comes to seizing Mladic and Karadzic. This
the leading democratic state in the region. Mr. Andrus pointed out          underscores that your demands of Croatia are neither constructive
that inter-ethnic relations in Croatia are today "better than in any        nor realistic."
of the successor states of former Yugoslavia, including Slovenia,
an EU and NATO member whose de-recognition of its relatively                Mr. Andrus went on to note that the close cooperation Croatia has
significant ethnic minority population has remained widely                  shown over the years in allowing American naval and air forces
ignored."                                                                   use of their ports and air fields, sending units to assist in security
                                                                            and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and to assisting the
In his letter to Ambassador Frank, Mr. Andrus raised Croatia's              United States in tracking the activities of Islamic extremists in
leading role in the reconciliation process in the area. "As a               neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina seem to have been forgotten.
signatory to the Adriatic Charter . . ., Croatia has shown that it is       He wrote that the role played by the United States in attempting to
committed to regional cooperation as it . . . seek[s] entry into            influence the judgment of the members of the EU against setting a
NATO. Moreover, Croatia has continued its efforts to establish              start date for accession talks "reflects a lack of balance and
friendly relations with Serbia and Montenegro, as evidenced by              proportionality."
the recent trips to Belgrade by both Croatian President Mesic and
Croatian Prime Minister Sanader . . . ." Mr. Andrus further noted           Mr. Andrus called on the United States to "reconsider its position
that the Ambassador should keep in mind that such trips took                on General Gotovina and work to quickly change its treatment of
place in an atmosphere marked by the rise in power of "the                  Croatia with regard to this matter, from one which is punitive to
Serbian Radical Party of indicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj, a           one in which it appreciates the outstanding successes Croatia has
Party which has not renounced its claims to territory in Croatia            achieved and the important contributions she has made during the
and Bosnia and Herzegovina."                                                past few years."

Mr. Andrus questioned Ambassador Frank's claim that the
surrender of General Gotovina formed a precondition to achieving
stability in the region. He noted that such statements are
inaccurate as Croatia has already achieved a stable democracy in
the region. Further, he questioned the continued emphasis being
given by the United States to the case of General Gotovina. Unlike
Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, General Gotovina has not
been charged with genocide.

Moreover, Mr. Andrus noted that even assuming that the charges
against General Gotovina are provable, they "pale in comparison
to those committed by Mladic and Karadzic. General Gotovina
commanded an operation which took place over a matter of days,
an operation carried out with the open support of the United
States. Mladic and Karadzic, on the other hand, engaged in
massive murder and genocide over a 4 years period."

Mr. Andrus further questioned statements made to the press by               NFCA Lobbyist Joe Foley with Illinois CAA President Anthony
Ambassador Frank in which he implied that all of what Croatia               Pericia and Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida at the Caucus
has done to date is not as important as finding General Gotovina.           launch reception
Mr. Andrus questioned how such a surrender could ever be
deemed as important as "the strengthening of democratic
institutions, reconciliation with neighboring states, and the [on-
going] cooperation between the Croatian government and
[Croatia's] major ethnic Serbian political party."

Mr. Andrus also found fault with the United States' position
requiring General Gotovina's surrender even though he may no
longer be in Croatia. He noted that Croatia is a relatively small
country, having a population only half that of New York City.
"Croatia simply does not have the resources to conduct a world-
wide hunt for one person. Furthermore, your statement that it is
Croatia's sole responsibility to apprehend General Gotovina for
delivery to the ICTY, may not be practiable, fair, or as easily
fulfilled as initially assumed. American and other NATO forces,
NFCA Board Members Steve Rukavina, Zvonko Labas, Anne                        Pavlich, Tom Steich, Ed Andrus, and Dr. Judy Vogelsang
The Croatian American Advocate                                           4                                                     SPRING 2005


                                                                             Kingdoms of the Night, the worlds largest nocturnal exhibit; the
                                                                             Scott Aquarium, the 4th largest aquarium in the world where one
                                                                             can physically walk inside a glass bubble and go nose to nose with
                                                                             fish of all kinds including sharks; the and the Hubbard Gorilla
                                                                             Valley, one of the largest state of the art facilities in North
                                                                             America that houses over 100 cats. Visitors to Omaha want to visit
                                                                             Father Flanagan's world famous Boys Town, 20 minutes from the
                                                                             hotel, that features one of the very finest grade and high school
                                                                             campuses in the country that resembles a college campus. And just
                                                                             30 minutes from the hotel is the Strategic Air and Space Museum,
                                                                             a 300,000 square foot facility including WWII and Cold War
                                                                             aircraft and artifacts, as well as traveling exhibits, a library,
                                                                             children's gallery, theater, flight simulator, snack bar and more.
                                                                             The Joslyn Art Museum, just seven blocks from the hotel, is
                                                                             world-renowned for its blend of contemporary art, Native
Ed Andrus, Ginnie Maminski, Chef Ivo Svircic, Lynn Drake, and                American paintings and many famous pieces. The museum itself
Stan Maminski at Caucus launch reception                                     is one of the finest examples of Art Deco buildings in the country.
                                                                             Joslyn’s beauty, both inside and out, is a must see. If you do stay
OMAHA HOSTS 2005 NFCA ASDEMBLY OF DELEGATES                                  in Omaha longer then the June 3-5, 2005 dates, you must
                                                                             make your hotel reservation for additional days by calling the
Omaha will host the 2005 NFCA Assembly of Delegates Annual                   hotel directly at (402) 346-7600, not the national reservation
Conference June 3, 2005 through June 5, 2005. All arrangements               center 800 number. P.S. The casinos (3 of them) are located
have been completed for a weekend that serves to be exciting and             directly across the Missouri River, which boarders downtown
enjoyable for all delegates. Headquarters for the conference will            Omaha, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Welcome to Omaha!!!!!!!
be the Downtown Doubletree, located at the intersection of 16th &            Dobro Nam Dosli!!!!!!!!
Dodge Street, and just a mere 7 minutes from Omaha's Eppley
Airfield. Rooms have been reserved for delegates at a special
NFCA rate of $69 per night, plus taxes. Rooms will be reserved
until May 15th by calling (800) 222-8733. After the 15th, you
must telephone the hotel directly by calling (402) 346-7600 and
ask for reservations. Shuttle service is available from the airport to
the hotel every 30 minutes, plus there is a courtesy hotel telephone
directly to the Doubletree within the airport lobby near the
baggage section.

The weekend will kickoff with a hospitality and social event at the
Croatian Cultural Society, with plenty of hors d'oeuvres, wine and
other liquid refreshments. Transportation will be provided from
the hotel to the Cultural Society. Conference registration will
begin at the Doubletree Hotel Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the
Missouri/Iowa Room, located on the mezzanine, with the
conference to open at 9:00 a.m. As in past years, lunch will be              Diane Rukavina, Zvonko Labas, and Sandy Cave
held at the hotel featuring a board room deli buffet with an all
inclusive cost of $24 per delegate. Saturday night's banquet will be
held at the Croatian Cultural Society with plenty of food and
drinks to satisfy everyone's appetite. The all inclusive cost for both
Friday and Saturday night festivities, which includes food and all
drinks, is $30 per delegate. Transportation will again be available
from the hotel to the Cultural Society.

Omaha, located in the heart of the Midwest, will probably be a
first visit to most delegates. Omaha has much to offer just in case
you want to spend a day or two in addition to the conference. Just
minutes away from the hotel is the Old Market District, a one-time
warehouse area that has become a center for fine shopping and
dining with shops selling everything from antiques to fine Omaha
steaks, pasta, barbeque, etc. Two restaurants in the Old Market,
The Passport and The Omaha Prime, both carry Grgich Hills wine.
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, less than 10 minutes from the hotel,
is a world class zoo featuring the world’s largest indoor rain
forest; the Desert Dome, the world’s largest indoor desert; the
Jasenka Piljac signing a copy of her book for Congressman Tom
Feeney (R- FL) at the Caucus launch reception

				
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