KOMRADE KIRO - a 1973 US diplomatic cable, released by wikileaks, reveals Kiro Gligorov, then a leading Yugoslav Communist and later to become the first President of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991, urged strong security measures to be taken by the Yugoslav government against, ironically, striking workers and equated their actions with anti-state activities.
In other words he was calling for the security services, such as the secret police UDBa (also known as SDB) to come down hard on industrial "troublemakers."
Gligorov was addressing the 44th Plenum of the Party Presidium of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
He also warned that the LCY had trouble recruiting workers into the communist ranks. It is no wonder when you consider striking workers were being treated as enemy of the state.
Gligorov held high positions in Tito's Yugoslavia (1945-90) becoming the Speaker in the Yugoslav Federal Parliament as well as an "economics" expert.
In 1991 he became the first President of the Republic of Macedonia, after it declared its independence from the collapsing Yugoslav Federation.
Overnight, Gligorov became a democrat. So much so in 2008 he lectured the current crop of Macedonia's leaders to be moderate despite his own hardline history. He urged a compromise on Macedonia's name dispute with Greece, despite fierce public opposition.
Below are two US Diplomatic cables published by wikileaks; one is from 1973 and the other is 2008.
R 081525Z NOV 73 FM AMEMBASSY BELGRADE TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7782 INFO AMCONSUL ZAGREB LIMITED OFFICIAL USE BELORADE 5061 E.O. 11652: N/A TAGS: PINT PFOR YO SUBJECT: GLIGOROV SPEECH AT LCY PRESIDIEUM SESSION SURVEYS WIDE RANGE OF PROBLEMS 1. KIRO GLIGOROV (LCY EXECUTIVE BUREAU MEMBER FROM MACEDONIA) GAVE KEYNOTE SPEECH AT 44TH PLENUM OF PARTY PRESIDIUM NOV 6 (WE ASSUME FBIS TRANSLATED IN FULL). WE READ SPEECH AS DOCUMENT INTENDED TO BE ONE OF MOST SIGNIFICANT PARTY "EVENTS" BETWEEN LAST YEAR'S LETTER (FROM TITO AND PARTY EXECUTIVE BUREAU) AND NEXT YEAR'S TENTH LCY CONGRESS (WHICH PLENUM SCHEDULED FOR MAY). 2. GLIGOROV'S REFERENCES TO ECONOMIC SUCCESSES (IMPROVED BALANCE OF PAYMENTS, FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES, DOMESTIC LIQUIDITY) AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS ("SOARING PRICES", DWINDLING REAL WAGES) ARE IN LINE WITH OTHER RECENT COMMENTARY HERE. IN HIS COVERAGE OF BROAD SPECTRUM OF PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES FACING PARTY, MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE - THAT GREAT DEAL REMAINS TO BE DONE IN SHORT TIME BEFORE TENTH CONGRESS - IS UNDOUBTEDLY NECESSARY KICK IN THE PANTS AFTER UNWARRANTED OPTIMISTIC SPEECHES ABOUT GREAT THINGS TAKING PLACE IN PARTY AS RESULT OF TITO LETTER. THIS MESSAGE APPEARS TO BE AIMED AT TOO- COMPLACENT HEADS OF BASIC PARTY ORGANIZATION UNITS. GLIGOROV MAKES EXPLICIT WHAT HAS BEEN FREQUENT TOPIC OF DISCUSSION HERE: PARTY UNITS HAVE SO FAR FAILED TO ATTRACT MORE WORKERS INTO RANKS. ONLY IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS (I.E., WHERE THEY ARE MOST VISIBLE) ARE WORKERS GETTING BIGGER PIECE OF PARTY ACTION, HE SAYS; OVERALL, HE ADMITS, PARTY HAS BARELY MANAGED TO STEM FLOW OF WORKER RESIGNATIONS WHICH CHARACTERIZED SITUATION BEFORE TITO LETTER. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROUNDING UP NEW WORKER MEMBERS IN COMING MONTHS NOW PUBLICLY BEING SHIFTED TO PARTY UNIT HEADS. 3. IN HIS REFERENCES TO ALLEGED "REVIVAL OF NEO-STALINISTIC AND DOGMATIC CONCEPTS" IN YUGOSLAVIA, IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER HE IS TALKING ABOUT ACTUAL PHENOMENON OR WHETHER HE IS ESSENTIALLY MAKING GESTURE OF REASSURANCE TO PEOPLE IN REPUBLICS (AND PARTICULARLY TO NON-SERBS) THAT TIGHTENING-UP INSIDE PARTY DOES NOT MEAN ANY TURNING BACK FROM DECENTRALIZED FEDERATION TO CEN- TRALIZED CONTROL OF SOCIETY ON SOVIET MODEL. SUCH GESTURE OF REASURANCE PARTICULARLY BELIEVABLE COMING FROM A MACEDONIAN, SINCE MADECONIA OUTSTANDING BENEFICIARY OF DECENTRALIZATION. 4. CLEARER SIGNAL OF REASSURANCE IS AIMED SQUARELY AT FOREIGN READERSHIP - PARTICULARLY IN US: THIS IS GLIGOROV'S INSISTENCE THAT YUGOSLAV POLICY HAS BEEN ENTIRELY CONSISTENT IN ITS SUPPORT FOR ARABS, ALTHOUGH CERTAIN "QUARTERS" ARE TRYING TO PRESENT YUGOSLAV ACTIVITIES DURING RECENT FIGHTING AS ACT OF RENUNCIATION. OF NONALIGNMENT (I.E., AS HAVING MOVED INTO SOVIET CAMP). FOREIGN SECRETARIAT CONTACT SAID HE HOPED SUCH REASSURANCE NOT REALLY REQUIRED. 5. WE BELIEVE GLIGOROV'S CALL FOR HEIGHTENED SECURITY MEASURES, ALTHOUGH PHRASED IN WAY THAT APPEARS TO TIE NEED FOR VIGILANCE TO PRESSURES FROM ABROAD, IS ALSO A SIGNAL FOR INTERNAL CONSUMPTION: THAT EVIDENCES OF DOMESTIC UNREST SUCH AS STRIKES TO PROTEST WAGE CUTS OR PRICE RISES MAY BE DEALT WITH FIRMLY AS ANTI-STATE ACTIVITIES. TOON ---------------------------------
UNCLAS SKOPJE 000669 SIPDIS STATE FOR EUR/SCE E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NATO, MK SUBJECT: MACEDONIA: FORMER PRESIDENT GLIGOROV CALLS FOR COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP AND A NAME DEAL SUMMARY 1. (SBU) Still sharp and spry at 91, former President Kiro Gligorov met with Ambassador Reeker November 3 to welcome him back to Macedonia and to share his views on the current political situation and prospects for the future. Gligorov expressed his disappointment in the current Government's lack of courageous political leadership, viewing it as a key missing element to closing a deal on the name issue. He believes that with effective leadership, Macedonians can accept a compromise on the name, saying only the adjective to describe the language and identity of the people are redlines. Gligorov also suggested that Macedonia must realize that it is not the center of the political universe for the U.S., EU, and NATO, and must recognize the limits of other states' and organizations' willingness to solve the country's problems, a view not often expressed here. Macedonia's elder statesman offered a novel view of the country's need for a self-reliant, focused and flexible approach to resolving the name dispute. End Summary. Statesmanship: Let Time Prove you Right ---------------------------------------- 2. (SBU) Former President Gligorov commented on the lack of courage among Macedonia's current political leaders, saying they are hiding behind the "will of the people" rather than leading, pressing for change, and calling for flexibility in resolving the name dispute. Gligorov believes that the Prime Minister and other political leaders must insist on a solution to the name dispute, even if it is not popular, and should "allow time to prove them right" rather than polls and ratings. He cited his own decision to allow Macedonia to enter the UN under the provisional name "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as an example of courageous leadership -- making a decision that was right for the country, if not popular with the people. 3. (SBU) "There is no democracy without compromise," and in Gligorov's view, Macedonian leaders and citizens must be prepared to compromise on "anything other than their language and identity." He called the recent Nimetz proposals good bases for negotiations and resolution, saying that barring a ban on the use of "Macedonian" to describe the language and identity, "all other solutions are practically possible." The World Does Not Revolve Around Us ------------------------------------ 4. (SBU) The former President offered a refreshing view of the role of Macedonia's friends and allies, saying "we are a small country with a small population. There are limitations to how much the U.S. will or should help us." He said that Macedonian leaders relied on their belief that the U.S. could prevent the Greek veto in Bucharest rather than developing a strategy themselves before the meeting. "We must help the U.S. to help us," Gligorov offered, echoing a line the Ambassador uses frequently with Macedonian interlocutors. Gligorov added that the current leaders have done little to make it easy for the U.S. and others to aid them.