On Sunday December 7th, the Croatian Community in Buenos Aires gathered at a Mass in remembrance of Dr. Franjo Tudjman, the late founder and first president of the Republic of Croatia, on the 9th anniversary of his passing away. After the Mass, the local branch of the Croatian Democratic Union – HDZ prepared a community lunch which was attended by some hundred persons. Following are the words of Joza Vrljicak, recently elected president of HDZ Argentina.
Dear friends, dear Croatians!
We ha gathered today – in Mass and now at this community table, to render homage to doctor Franjo Tudjman, the founder of the Republic of Croatia and its first president.
We all know who was dr. Tudjman and all he has accomplished for the freedom of Croatia. Thus it is not necessary that we speak now and here about that. I only want to stress that we very well know, and we do not forget.
The French of Quebec, Canada, have as motto “Je me souviens” “I remember”. I think that the motto applies also to us: We remember well, we do not forget.
Today we alsoremember those who have offered their lives in order for Croatia to be free. In the battlefields during the Patriotic War, during World War II and after that.
We also remember those who were forced to leave Croatia and fougt dor Croatia to be free, and ledes in hope that they might one day return to their fatherland, our fatherland. Many of them have seat with us here, and shared our table.
To us, as dr. Franjo Tudjman have said, the Croatian Emigration – our diaspora- is a living branch of the Croatian Nation.
We very well know that there are some people who think that it is better for that branch to die out. But our branch did not allow itself to become dry until now –during the long years of Yugoslavia and Communism – and it will not dry now.
I am sure that we all agree with the idea that as Croatia is approaching to full membership in the European Union, it should in no way leave out, abandon or forget its Emigration.
We at HDZ Argentina are convinced that Croatian Emigration has the right, and even the duty to involve itself actively in political work, firstly inside the same diaspora, but also wherever we, Croatians, live, and of course in Croatia itself.
Our time is the time of globalisation, the time of the Internet and communications. Thus it is easier today to establish links with other Croatians, no matter where in the world, be it in Croatia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in New York, Toronto, Sydney and so on. And we know that many of us establish and develop those links communications. We do that privately and as members of different institutions and of course inside the HDZ itself.
The new HDZ Argentina leadership is committed to continuing with that work and to stress our presence in Argentina and elsewhere, within the Croatian Community and inside the society in which we live.
e La nueva conducción de HDZ en Argentini va a continuar ese trabajo y desea subrayar su presencia en Argentina y en otros lugares. Entre los croatas y en la sociedad donde vivimos.
We salute the presence of HE Mira Martinec, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, and we thank you all for your presence and attention-We hope that you enjoy the meal that we have prepared for you.
Joza Vrljicak, M.A.
Studia Croatica, editor
HDZ Argentina, president