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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LEAKED EMAILS REVEAL DEEP US ROLE IN MACEDONIA




by Sasha Uzunov
Skopje, Macedonia

A high ranking British source has given Team Uzunov leaked emails from USAID, a US government aid agency, detailing the funding of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Macedonia obsessed with attacking so called Macedonian nationalism but deliberately ignoring Albanian nationalism and Serbian cultural hegemony in Macedonia. One of the leaked emails is from Delina Fico, the ex wife of controversial Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, the man behind the Tirana Platform, which aims to federalise and partition Macedonia.

Ms Fico is with the East West Management Institute, a US thnk tank closely linked to USAID and responsible to handing out millions in US tax payer dollars in “aid.”


The emails involve discussions between Ana Piskacheva of USAID office in Macedonia, and Ivona Krstevska from National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM) - an NGO obsessed with attacking Macedonian nationalist monuments as part of the controversial Skopje 2014 project started by the previous Nikola Gruevski government.

The emails reveal the close collaboration between USAID and NYCM. In one of the emails Ms Krstevska reveals meeting some very serious players involved in some very serious games and getting an undertaking to be funded by USAID.. In one of the emails, Ms Krstevska reveals that during a meeting with USAID individual questions were not able to be asked. In another comment she jokingly admonishes a colleague for being interested in the money rather than the activism.




































Pavle Bogoevski (above), one of the leading Colour Revolutionaries in Macedonia, later elected to the Macedonian Parliament at the December 2016 election. Falsely accused by Serb Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic of fomenting trouble in Serbia and in response Bogoevski revealed he was of Serbian heritage who doesn’t protest againt Serbian nationalism.

"Малку познато за мене, јас сум четвртина Србин. Баба ми е родена во прешевскиот крај, имам роднини и често одам таму.”

If Bogoevski is an “internationalist” why does he feel the need to tell people about or to advertise his part ethnic Serb heritage but attacks others for being proud of their ethnic Macedonian heritage? That’s a contradiction - in fact its chauvinistic. 

The Colour Revolution, a “civic” movement in Macedonia, funded by USAID in part, began in 2015 ostensibly to protest against corruption within the then Macedonian government (2006-16), a coalition of the conservative Macedonian party VMRO-DPMNE and the Albanian nationalist party DUI, led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. A series of leaked secret recordings alleging corrupt behaviour by PM Gruevski were released by Opposition Leader Zoran Zaev from SDSM, the Social Democrats, which gave the European Union and the US an opening to intervene, forcing Gruevski to resign and for new elections to be held. But interestingly no secret recordings involving alleged corrupt behaviour from DUI leader Ali Ahmeti were ever released.

In December 2016 elections were held with VMRO-DPMNE gaining the most seats but unable to form government - straight after the election on 7 January 2017 - Macedonian Orthodox Christmas - the various Albanian parties, including DUI,  from Macedonia congregated in Tirana, the Albanian capital, proclaimed what became known as the Tirana Platform, a deliberate list of unjustified nationalistic demands that could not be realistically met without the eventual dissolution of the Macedonian state, as the price for giving its support to any Macedonian party in forming a coalition government. Eventually SDSM formed government with Albanian support and with an undertaking in making Albanian the second official language of Macedonia, the first steps in formal federalisation and partition of Macedonia. see link here

The Zaev government later signed a “good neighbourly agreement” with Bulgaria, a US ally and member of both the EU and NATO, which in effect surrendered Macedonian identity and history to Bulgaria and gave up concern for ethnic Macedonians in that country. This was the price for gaining Sofia’s support for Macedonia in joining the EU and NATO, which has been blocked by Greece. see link here 

On 27 April 2017 a violent confrontation broke out in the Macedonian parliament with alleged Russian interference via Serbia but oddly no protests were ever held outside the Serb Embassy in Skopje, the Macedonian capital. Ironically, some pushing this claim of Russian interference via Serbia hold Serb nationalist views despite being pro US. see link here

Talat Xhaferi, a Macedonian Army officer who deserted to join the ethnic Albanian terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army offshoot in Macedonia during the 2001, was controversially elected as Parliamentary Speaker by SDSM. In 2013 he became Defence Minister under the Gruevski government.

The Russian scare became the pretext for newly appointed Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov to get Macedonia into NATO and the EU as quickly as possible even if it meant surrendering Macedonia’s name and identity to do so.

2016 - Porta Macedonia in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, under 
attack from the Colour Revolution. Photo: BBC

US FUNDING / SUPPORTING RACISTS HIDING BEHIND INTERNATIONALISM?

Macedonian monuments, depicting Ancient Macedonian history, were targeted with paint but Albanian nationalist monuments were untouched. Many of the leading activists are of Serbian background, Borjan Jovanovski, Pavle Bogoevski, Branimir Jovanovic, and current Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska who have attacked Macedonian nationalism but have refused to protest outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje over rising Serbian nationalism and alleged interference in Macedonia.

Jovanovic, a Serb from the Macedonian town of Kumanovo, is one of the founders of the Levica (Leftist) Movement which purports to be a Marxist movement though its name and ideas have been ripped off from the Yugoslav Levica - set up by the wife of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic in the early 1990s. Jovanovic has since become an economics advisor to the current Macedonian government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, heavily endorsed by the United States.

In an official statement from the US Embassy in Macedonia (which you can see below at the end of the story), the spokeswomen doesn’t deny that the individuals mentioned above are racist but says they have a right to their identity or view. It’s an odd statement to make. Perhaps a Freudian Slip? An inadvertent admission of the US Embassy and USAID using people with a genuine hatred of Macedonians?

In 2016, a visiting Croatian politician Marijana Petir, a Member of the European Parliament, was hit with a protest organised by Jovanovic’s Levica  against for endorsing Nikola Gruevski but Serb politicians such as the then President Tomislav Nikolic who have endorsed Gruevski were unmolested during visits to Macedonia. see link here 

Some Macedonians see this as a form of racism and point to examples in Australia where white Australians who attack Australian Aboriginal identity are liable to racial vilification charges.



ALBANIAN MONUMENTS IN MACEDONIA UNTOUCHED - hidden agenda?




The Colour Revolution’s rationale was to protest against corruption and nationalism in Macedonia but it deliberately focused on so called Macedonian nationalism, which in 2,000 years has not started a war. Some critics see this as a deliberate plan to force Macedonia to change its name and federalise the country to satisfy Greek, Bulgar and Albanian nationalist demands.

Macedonians have historically been the victims of brutal Greek, Bulgar and Serb colonialisation beginning in 1912-13 with the partition of their country after 500 years of Ottoman Turkish occupation.

In 1991 Macedonia broke away from Serbian dominated Yugoslavia and declared its independence and has been blocked by Greece at every stage - touchy about its mistreatment of its Macedonian minority.

When Macedonia broke away from Yugoslavia, the traditional pro Serb-Yugoslavist grouping in Macedonia split into two factions - one remaining aligned with Serbia and anti US and the other throwing in its lot with the US. Both factions are opposed to an independent Macedonian culture and deliberately use the mis-label of “nationalism” to describe any assertive Macedonian behaviour. This faction tries to present itself as “internationalist” and pays lip service in criticising Serb, Albanian, Greek or Bulgar nationalism. Criticism usually amounts to a Tweet or an article only but no protests. Protests are directed at Macedonian “nationalism” instead.

Prominent media and political individuals such Borjan Jovanovski, Pavle Bogoevski, Branimir Jovanovski, and Radmila Sekerinska belong to this latter faction.

A monument to an Albanian nationalist and Nazi collaborator Xhem Hasa in the ethnic Albanian village of Simnica in western Macedonia has remained immune from any paint balls or protests. Nor have there been any complaints from the EU or the US for that matter.

Nazi collaborator Xhem Hasa

Likewise monuments to the Kosovo Liberation Army in Macedonia prior to 2006 have also been given a wide berth by “activists” and silence from Brussels and Washington.

Below photos taken prior to 2004 show a KLA monument on the Slupcane-Matejce road, outside Skopje, the capital.




In 2001, the KLA together with its local offshoot in Macedonia the National Liberation Army of Macedonia (NLA) led by Ali Ahmeti led an invasion of Macedonia to take territory in creating a Greater Albania. Initially the Macedonian security forces, including Army conscripts and reservists, where on the back foot and suffered casualties but managed to regain the initiative and were poised to destroy the KLA at the battle of Aracinovo, just to the north of Skopje. By then the US and NATO intervened to save the KLA as both a military and political force. The KLA evolved into the DUI political party led by Ahmeti.

The narrative then changed to cover Western duplicity in creating and funding the KLA. The Ohrid Framework Agreement was signed in 2001 which in effect created a de facto Albanian state within Macedonia; in 2004 territorial reorganisation of Macedonia took place which confirmed the ethnic division of Macedonia. Macedonian majority cities in the west such as Struga and Kicevo were handed over to the Albanian bloc by combining the surrounding Albanian villages, thereby creating artificial majorities.

The KLA which wanted to create a Greater Albania with a large chunk of Macedonian territory, was then transformed into “freedom fighters” and civil politicians who were later given a controversial amnesty by the Gruevski government (2006-2016).

The actual percentage of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia remains unknown as no census has taken place in over a decade. Figures range from 12 to 20%.

Ms Shannon Martinez from the OTS, a branch of USAID in Macedonia and cc’d in the above mentioned emails, was contacted for comment but as yet no response has been received by TEAM UZUNOV blog.

The OTS remains in charge of the overall USAID campaign in Macedonia and is situated inside the US Embassy in Skopje. 

Ms Ivona Krstevska of NYCM was also contacted for comment but is away from the office.

Critics of the US’s role in Macedonia are concerned that Washington might unduly influence critical local elections set for mid October this year by handing out money to activists and NGO to ensure an SDSM victory which would then facilitate making Albanian the second official language of Macedonia and change Macedonia’s name to appease Greek demands, all of which would lead to Macedonians losing their identity, their country becoming federalised and partitioned amongst Kosovo, Serbia and Bulgaria as a result. see link here 

UPDATE:

Response from Shannon Martinez - will not comment and has left it to the US Embassy in Skopje to respond…

UPDATE:

US Embassy declines on camera interview but responds to our questions:

We decline your request for an on-camera interview.  Please find answers to your questions below.  You may attribute these responses to me:  Laura Brown, Spokesperson, U.S. Embassy Skopje.

Thank you,
Laura Brown

Official - SBU 
UNCLASSIFIED

From: Sasha Uzunov [mailto:@hotmail.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:36 AM
To: Skopje Embassy Press; Baily, Jess L;
Subject: Seeking media response to questions

Attention US Embassy in Macedonia

I am seeking a formal response on camera from the US embassy spokesperson relating to the following questions. I am available to come to the US Embassy with my camera gear to record - 

1.      Why does the United States fund or support people of Serb background in Macedonia (ie. Borjan Jovanovski, Pavle Bogoevski, Branimir Jovanovic, Radmila Sekerinska etc.) who attack Macedonian identity? Is the US Embassy and USAID aware such attacks are racist? 

We fund organizations, not individuals.  We recognize a person’s right to articulate their identity. 

2.      The US Embassy and USAID have remained largely silent about Albanian nationalist monuments in Macedonia in particular a statue to a Nazi collaborator Xhem Hasa erected in the village of Simnica near the town of Gostivar. Why? 

We have not commented on monuments in Macedonia.  Those are sensitive issues for the people of this country to decide among themselves.  

3.      Many of the USAID funded civic groups in Macedonia have deliberately focused on Macedonian monuments but ignored Albanian monuments. Why? 
See above.  We will let groups speak for themselves.

4.      Many of the USAID and US funded or supported activists in Macedonia are of Serb background refuse to protest outside the Serb Embassy in Skopje over rising Serb nationalism but attack so called Macedonian nationalism? Isn't this blatantly biased, chauvinistic and downright racist? 

We will let groups speak for themselves about issues of identity. 

5.      What role is USAID playing in secretly settling illegal migrants in Macedonia via the Young Lawyers association of Macedonia?

We know of no program to secretly resettle migrants in Macedonia.  Our funding to MYLA is a matter of public record.

6.      Controversy still exists over the election of Talat Xhaferi as Parliamentary speaker. It has been alleged that US Ambassador Baily had a special detachment of US Marines guarding his residence prior to the parliamentary incident on 27 April 2017 this suggests or implies some kind of complicity. Is this allegation true? 

Ambassador Baily was not in Skopje on April 27 but in the United States.   Marines do not guard his residence.

7.      It has been alleged that US Ambassador Baily and some Western diplomats were gathered and waiting in the foyer of the Marriott hotel in Skopje just as Xhaferi was elected and rushed to recognise him, suggesting beforehand coordination and planning. Is this true?

Ambassador Baily was not in Skopje on April 27.   Many diplomats that evening were attending a reception for Dutch National Day (Birthday of King Willem-Alexander) at the Marriott Hotel.

8.      The local elections of 15 October in Macedonia remain crucial as they are seen as giving the current government of SDSM, if it wins, the green light to make Albanian the second official language which would lead to inevitable federalisation and eventual partition of Macedonia and the name change to satisfy Greece. Allegations have been raised that USAID and OTS will be funding civic groups during the election for SDSM to win. Is this true? 

We support the unity and territorial integrity of Macedonia, and have for 26 years.  Here is Amb Baily’s most recent statement on the law on languages.  For more info on our assistance programs, please see https://www.usaid.gov/macedonia.

9.      The US has been supportive of a Bulgarian agreement with Macedonia which clearly negates Macedonian identity. Why?

Here is the State Department statement explaining our support for the agreement:  

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/08/272975.htm.

10.  Croatia was pressured by the US and the EU to remove its veto against Serbia joining the EU but the US hasn't done the same in pressuring Greece to remove its veto against Macedonia. Why the blatant biased policy?

The United States supports the UN process for Greece and Macedonia to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of Macedonia’s name.  We would like to resolve that issue so that the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia can realize their ambition of joining NATO and the EU.  It’s not for us to comment on issues between Serbia and Croatia.

UPDATE: 

From Sasha Uzunov
Fri 22/09/2017 9:13 PM
To: 
Skopje Embassy Press (usembskopjepress@state.gov)
Cc: 
shannonmartinez@
bailyjl@state.gov

Clarification - that should be OTI not OTS - would the US Embassy comment on OTI role in the lead up to the local elections in Macedonia on 15 October ? 


I'm unable to find the link to Ambassador Baily's statement on languages in Macedonia. Can you please provide the link?
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TEAM UZUNOV COMMENT:

Freudian Slip? Racism towards Macedonians -

In the US Embassy's answer to questions 1 and 4 the US Embassy does not deny that these people are racist but says it's a question of their identity...or their individual view. That's an interesting and odd admission to make... perhaps a Freudian slip ! It's like saying that the Ku Klux Klan's racist behaviour towards African Americans is a matter of white identity or an individual opinion or view. Shocking.


Would such behaviour be tolerated in the US or in Kosovo by the US authorities? And what does it tell you what they really think about Macedonian identity when they fund and defend these people’s behaviour towards Macedonians which they don't deny as being racist !

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Related story - UK RANCOUR OVER MACEDONIA NAME CHANGE -  link here 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the best strategy for Macedonia is to implement Palestinian and/or Kosovo tactics and establish its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia first in the UNESCO! At Oct. 21. Executive Board of the UNESCO will probaly pass resolution proposing to the General Conference of  the UNESCO to admit the membership of Kosovo, as a member-state, in that UN agency. In the similar manner Macedonia can introduce and establish its constitutional name Republic of Macedonia in that UN specialized organization. Then, after that, in the United Nations, as well!