“On the 30th of October, Crodiaspora will be releasing the videos for its online summit, which will feature a wide array of representatives from the corporate, political, sports, tourism, and legal spheres of Croatia and its diaspora communities represented across the world.
A message from Steve Rukavina of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation:
United States to move forward with the Visa Waiver Program
Dear Friends and Croatian American Supporters:
On Friday, October 2nd, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in Dubrovnik that the Department of State has formally nominated Croatia for entry into the Visa Waiver Program. This is an important step in continuing to increase security, economic, cultural, and people-to-people connections between the two nations.
Now that Croatia has been nominated, the Department of Homeland Security will take the necessary steps, as soon as possible, to assess Croatia’s entry into the program. If Croatia is designated as a Visa Waiver Program country, its nationals would be authorized for visa-free travel to the United States for business and tourism. This development within the bilateral relationship between the United States and Croatia and when approved, will only serve as another cornerstone accomplishment for U.S. and Croatian relations.
The Republic of Croatia had to achieve a less than 3% rejection for visa requests by September 30, 2020. Also, there is an additional U.S. government administrative process for Croatia to submit many documents and required protocols to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Upon completion of these requirements, the Secretary of Homeland Security will announce the date for which the new visa-travel program may commence.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held meetings in Dubrovnik with Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held meetings in Dubrovnik on Friday, October 2nd with Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman and was joined by the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Bob Kohorst. The Croatian and American officials and diplomats discussed NATO-related topics, the F-16 fighter jet opportunity for Croatia’s air force, Croatia’s LNG terminal and also, several sensitive issues involved with Chinese influences and commercial activities in Southeast Europe.
The NFCACF wants to congratulate the Croatian government for this milestone achievement, hopefully soon to be approved. We must applaud and salute all the work done by Minister Davor Bozinovic of the Interior Ministry and his colleagues partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security within the realm of terrorism, cybercrime, travel restriction protocols and other joint bilateral security issues.
Minister Davor Bozinovic of the Interior Ministry
The NFCACF has long been supportive of Croatia’s pursuit of this bilateral security agreement with the U.S. government. Our Croatian American organization has helped maintain attention and focus in the nation’s capital with several U.S. agencies and the State Department, over the past ten years, to fully appreciate and acknowledge Croatia’s progress in meeting the program’s administrative requirements. Sincerely,
P.S. The NFCACF is pleased to announce that we will host a virtual panel discussion on Saturday, November 21st on the 25th Anniversary of the initialing of the Dayton Peace Accord, to discuss this agreement and all the constitutional issues on-going in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković appeared on CNN’s ‘Quest Means Business’ programme on Monday. He discussed with host Richard Quest Croatia’s tourist season in light of the Covid-19 risks. It was reported on extensively in Croatian media. The full interview can be seen here.
Expat in Croatia will be holding a live Facebook Q and A on 9 September about getting residency in Croatia. It will take place at 1600, Croatian Time. It is an event that will interest anyone thinking of moving to Croatia. More details here.
Crodiaspora last week produced a highly informative webinar on Operation Storm and the following trials. It provides an overview on the military operation that liberated a large part of Croatia as well as saving the Bosnian Muslims at Bihać in Bosnia-Herzegovina from as Srebrenica-style fate. The participants were Ana Katalinić, Defence Case Manager for General Ante Gotovina, and Tom Kuzmanović, Defence Attorney for General Mladen Markač. It can be seen above. A written summary of the webinar can be seen on the Croatia Week website here.
This week sees the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm. This military action by Croatia liberated its own territory, saved Bosnia-Herzegovina – preventing further genocide – and brought peace. The below article was written by CBR Editor Brian Gallagher in 2015 for the 20th anniversary of the operation. It appeared in Most, the annual magazine of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London. The item explains the context of Operation Storm and what happened next. It is still relevant in 2020. Continue reading →
Nikola Knez, director of documentaries on Operation Storm and the Bleiburg Tragedy, has produced a new film. This time it is about the stories of US airman shot down over Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Second World War, and held as POWs by the Croatian forces. It’s a little known tale, and well-worth watching.
One of the big myths of the war in former Yugoslavia is that the Croatian Army ‘expelled’ the Serb population of ‘Krajina’ (areas occupied by Serbian military forces) during Operation Storm. Luka Misetic, the lawyer who successfully defended Croatian Army General Ante Gotovina at The Hague, has produced an explanation as to why this is not so, demonstrating with hard evidence that the fault lies entirely with the Serb leadership. His presentation is above.