FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Contact: Mark Yelich, Croatian American Association,
CROATIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION COMMENDS HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE FOR HEARING ON PLIGHT OF CROATS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Calls on Croatian Americans to Lobby Congress
Washington - The Croatian American Association (CAA) commends the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for holding a hearing on the impending crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to be held on Wednesday, April 18 in Washington.
“For too long, members of Congress and the White House have ignored the growing threat to the stability of BiH and the rights of the Croat people there who are increasingly subject to electoral discrimination that runs counter to every aspect of the Dayton Accords and the Constitutional Court of BiH,” said Mark Yelich, national spokesperson and CAA Board Member. “There are numerous Americans of Croatian and other ethnic origin who care deeply about the fate of their ancestral land after the terrible war that devastated the region 25 years ago. The U.S has dropped the ball in recent years as the country is being pulled apart by internal and external forces that threaten the future of the country and the stability of the entire region.”
CAA is currently working with its members to encourage Congress and the Administration to step up to its historic responsibility to fulfill the promise of the Dayton Accords. The U.S. led the effort and brokered peace in the Balkans a generation ago and the Croatian-American community has been forever thankful for that intervention. Now however, Croatian-Americans and the CAA have seen the U.S. cede its leadership in BiH to the European Union and Russia, and have watched the slow deterioration away from the road to democracy, rule of law, and protection of the Croat people in BiH.
“America cannot sit idly by as the Dayton Accords are undermined and the Croat people there are left behind. We hope this hearing in Congress is the beginning of U.S. re-engagement to take the clear, strong, and decisive steps needed to implement the Dayton Accords and the judicial decisions of BiH courts interpreting those Accords. We call on Congress and the Administration to admonish those who are subverting the rights of the Croatian constituent nation, undermining the rule of law and democracy, and opening up the chance of real outside mischief from Russia, Turkey, and other actors to meddle in the region,” concluded Yelich.
About CAA: CAA defends the interests of Croatian-Americans; strengthening US - Croatia relations; enhancing security of the United States, Croatia, and Croatians in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
CAA is a domestic American citizens organization, supported each year by the contributions of its individual members; it receives no funds from the Croatian government and is non-partisan.
CAA’s grassroots organization is a critical element in its effectiveness. The regional chapters are extremely important in complementing CAA’s activities in Washington. Key contacts are an essential part of CAA’s political network. These men and women, in all 50 states and most of the 435 congressional districts are people with strong personal relationships with their senators or congressmen. They can gain quick access and have the opportunity to provide rapid input from the grassroots to reinforce the work of CAA’s Washington staff.