(her-vuatsky glass-nick)
A weekly information sheet, produced, published, and distributed in its entirety by Dubravko Kakarigi, P.O.Box 1742, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, tel. 904/877-0620, with lots of help and support by Mr. Jim Peterson, especially as an amanuensis. Thank you Jim.
We will try to come out every Saturday. If you'd like, we can mail it to you in exchange for a donation to cover the postage.
The very first edition came out on Saturday, June 13, 1992

August 1, 1992 Number 8

My
Corner

My friends, I have exhausted my energy putting out this information sheet. It has been very important for me to do it but I must end it now. And now is a good time to do that. In the previous 7 issues, in addition to following the news, I discussed a variety of views of what is going on in the territories of former Yugoslavia.

In this, the last issue, it had been my intention to discuss situation in my home town, Dubrovnik. However, instead of me writing about it, I welcome an article written by Mr. Scott Pusich. He wrote a Master's Thesis at FSU Geography Department entitled "Political Boundaries and Ethnic Nationalism in Yugoslavia, 1918-1990" and, given his particular and personal interest in the Dubrovnik region, is well qualified to write about it.

I must tell you that there is a very special relationship which people born in Dubrovnik feel with this magnificent city. To us, it is not a tourist attraction, as it is to millions of tourists around the world; to us, it is the city of our youth, the city of our love, the poem in stone, the smell of fish and pines, the howling of "bura" (a cold winter northern wind) and the brewing of "jugo" (a persistent southern wind of Dubrovnik autumns). I love my hometown.

I would now like to leave you with the following excerpt from a poem by a great XVI century poet of Dubrovnik, Ivan Gundulic:


	Oh, wonderful, beloved and sweet 
		freedom,
	By which the Almighty has presented us 
		with all the wealth of this world,
	True origin of all our glory,
	And unique adornment of this forest!
	All the silver and gold of this world, and 
		all human lives,
	Cannot buy thy pure beauty.


Dubrovnik and Konavle
A Personal Perspective

by Scott Pusich 1

Dubrovnik has a unique cultural and political history which has earned it the titles "Croatian Athens" and "Pearl of the Adriatic." While much of Croatia was under Venetian or Hungarian rule over several centuries, Dubrovnik achieved autonomy from Byzantium and then Venice. By the time the Ottoman Turks swept through the Balkans, Dubrovnik had become a full-fledged republic with its own merchant fleet, a city-state to rival Venice in Mediterranean trade. During its heyday in the 1500's, Dubrovnik's artists and writers were known throughout the Latin-speaking world (most of Europe). Dubrovnik was far ahead of its time in city planning and social reforms (abolishing slavery in 1400's, establishing one of the oldest pharmacies in 1317 which still serves the public). The Dubrovnik Republic lost its independence in 1808 to Napoleon's armies.

Konavle, the region to the South, was purchased (not conquered) in 1419 from a Bosnian prince. Since then it has been closely linked with Dubrovnik the Dubrovnik airport was built in Konavle in 1962 to serve the rapidly growing tourism industry along the coast.

Now, my personal perspective: I am the third generation born in America my great grandfather Vlaho Pusic left Konavle in 1894-95. I have cousins in Konavle whom I visited four straight summers 1988-91. Last year was heartbreaking. I arrived on May 29 as Croatia was celebrating its 'yes' vote in a referendum on independence. I left Sept. 14 as the war in northern Croatia intensified and as Yugoslav troops on the coast were mobilizing. PanAm wasn't flying out of Dubrovnik any more, so I had to take a bus to Titograd, Montenegro, crossing what would become enemy lines two weeks later (I then flew to Belgrade and home to L.A.)

As my cousins drove me from their village, Dunave near the Hercegovinian border to Dubrovnik we saw two memorable sights one, a wedding procession headed the opposite direction, with a Croatian flag flying from one can and a green Bosnian Muslim flag flying from another. The second came soon after Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island came into view. Right behind the island was a Yugoslav warship. I had seen two earlier near Molunat (see the map) but they weren't this close. The rest you probably know. Konavle was invaded Sep. 28, Dubrovnik Oct. 2.

My cousins fled to Dubrovnik were they remain today as refugees. Konavle is still occupied by the Yugoslav Army (meaning Montenegro) and 80% of its forest cover and houses has been destroyed.

Serbs in other parts of Croatia and Bosnia claim that they are defending fellow Serbs who don't wish to be part of Croatia. Not only are Dubrovnik and Konavle overwhelmingly Croatian (85%), but they have little if any strategic value. The Serbian goal of attacking Dubrovnik is not protecting Serbs in the area it is to destroy Croatian culture and conquer Croatian territory. They won't stop or leave on their own they haven't yet. Someone will have to make them leave. If the UN won't, if the EC or NATO won't, Croatia will have to do the job itself. It's that simple.

What's New

In Croatia
Croatia will conduct parliamentary and presidential elections this Sunday, August 2. Leaders of eight political parties have been accepted as nominees. Seventeen political groups, parties, and coalitions have put forth their candidates for 124 seats in the House of Representatives of the Croatian Parliament. President Dr. Franjo Tudjman is expected to win the Presidential race.

The party to watch is the Croatian Party of Rights and their leader Dobroslav Paraga. This is a very extremely right nationalist oriented party which promotes the idea of Great Croatia including all of B-H. It is not expected to do better than third overall. However, further violence in Croatia and B-H gives its platform more and more followers throughout the region. Afterall, it is their paramilitary groups who did most of the effective fighting on the Croat side since the beginning of the conflict and are viewed by many as liberators.

There will be many foreign observers stationed throughout Croatia. It is expected that if the elections are evaluated as democratic by the observers, Croatia will become a serious candidate for the European Council seat.

In the Dubrovnik region, this Wednesday, July 29, the representatives of Croatian and Yugoslav (?) military conducted negotiations for the occupation forces' final withdrawal from the Dubrovnik region. According to the Croatian Radio report they reached an agreement which includes detailed plans as to how the withdrawal will be effectuated and when. It is supposed to be completed in eight days. Can we really trust them?

One point is still contested: Prevlaka, the miniature isthmus at the far South of the region is still claimed by Montenegro. Croats pledge not to relinquish it.

Belgrade authorities deny that any agreement has been made. [What else is new?]

Slavonska Posavina, the Croatian region along the northern border of B-H, continues to suffer destruction. Serbian forces from across river Sava pound the whole region daily. On average 20-25 villages and towns are hit daily.

Refugees
The gigantic refugee crisis in the region is finally making itself visible to the world. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees held an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland this Wednesday. European nations disagreed as to how best to help the refugees accept them on their territory (a view supported by Germany) or send financial contributions to holding nations (Great Britain).

Numbers in the river of refugees which started last Fall in Croatia rise daily by the tens of thousands. It is estimated to be near 2-2.5 million today. People flee ethnic cleansing, the most devious form of aggression against fundamental human rights. Serbian forces occupy a town and force Croat and Muslim residents to sign various documents showing that they willingly donate all of their possessions to the aggressors and are leaving the region of their own desire. This strategy is not new. I first heard of it in Croatia last Fall when thousands of bewildered residents left town of Ilok at the far Eastern tip of the country.

It is not inconceivable that some extremist Croat forces conduct similar activities with some local Serb populations in both Croatia and B-H.

In Bosnia and Hercegovina
The situation in B-H is tragic. Serbs are determined to destroy, destroy, destroy. Over 8,000 people died since April 1992. Many cities are under siege and/or continuous bombardment: Sarajevo, Gorazde, Derventa, Gradacac, Bihac. Croat and Muslim residents of some others have perished: Loznica, Bijeljina, Kozarac, Zvornik. Beautiful city of Mostar (my father was born there) has been destroyed, literally destroyed! This week, fighting has been reported in: Sarajevo, Gorazde, Gradacac, Bihac, Tuzla, Tomislavgrad, Derventa, Kupres, Visegrad, Bosanska Krupa, Kotor Varos ... the list is too long and continues.

On a Personal Note

My daughter, Vanesa graduated from high school in Osijek and is well, getting ready to enroll in a local University this Fall. (You are my champion sweetheart.)

My mother, Marija, in Dubrovnik is another champion. She is 75 and during the barbaric, Serbian occupation of Dubrovnik endured what no person should ever be put through. (Mom, I am proud of you and I love you.)

I have not lost hope of reaching Mira again. Last time we talked on the phone, on July 14, she promised to be careful, not a hero. (I need you alive and well, Mira.) Please, let Mira and her family live!

Number 1, Jun 13, 1992
Number 2, Jun 20, 1992
Number 3, Jun 27, 1992
Number 4, Jul 04, 1992
Number 5, Jul 11, 1992
Number 6, Jul 18, 1992
Number 7, Jul 25, 1992
Number 8, Aug 1, 1992

Footnotes:

1. Please see Scott's reports from Romaina.

2. On that morning I spoke with my mother who lives in Dubrovnik. She said that the cannon fire had awakened her. Neither she nor I knew at that time that this was to be our last communication for almost three months. During that time I did not know anything about her Dubrovnik was completely blockaded, no electricity or water, radio, television or phone communication. A high-school friend who had worked for the local power company was killed trying to repair the power lines. A childhood friend's young son was killed by a mortar shell. He and eight other young men left the underground shelter to get a quick cigarette puff all nine were instantly killed. Another high-school friend, the director of the local hospital was quoted vowing that they will fight to the death. (D.K.)