(E) NFCA Press Release on H. Res. 529
National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA)
in Final Stage of H. Res. 529 Campaign
December 9, 2005, Washington, DC:
The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) is pressing forward with what will hopefully be the final stage of its campaign for approval of H. Res. 529. This Resolution is a â€œSense of Congressâ€? Resolution commending the Republic of Croatia for the progress it has made since the end of its victorious war for independence ten years ago, and the Resolution recommends she be given full membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at the earliest possible date. H. Res. 529 was introduced by Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats. It is co-sponsored by 34 Members of the House of Representatives, including Congressional Croatian Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN). Caucus Co-Chairs Radanovich and Visclosky were prime co-sponsors of H. Res. 529.
Having been approved by unanimous consent in the House International Relations Committee (HIRC) on November 16, 2005, H. Res. 529 was moved to the House floor and had been tentatively scheduled for a vote this week, but it was deferred to next week due to scheduling considerations. In the interim, Croatian General Ante Gotovina was found in the Canary Islands by Spanish agents. This event necessitates a change in some of the language in H. Res. 529, and those amendments are currently being worked on in the Congress. In addition, the NFCA has been told that the U.S. State Department has informed the HIRC that it is dropping its opposition to H. Res. 529 due to the apprehension of the General.
NFCA President Ed Andrus said today: "The finding of General Gotovina in
Spain confirms the credibility of the Croatian government regarding their
persistent assertions that he was not in the Republic of Croatia. The NFCA
has in the past and will continue to strongly question the factual and legal
basis for the indictment against him. We urge the entire Croatian and
Croatian American communities to continue to work together to support his
The NFCAâ€™s Andrus continued and noted that â€œafter complying with 626 demands of the International Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Republic of Croatia deserves better treatment from the world community including the United States. The strong support for Croatia expressed by the U.S. Congress within H. Res. 529 should be just the beginning. NATO will find an excellent partner for peace and stability in South East Europe with the Republic of Croatia as a full member. She has shown great leadership among her neighbors in this potentially volatile region through her implementation of individual freedoms, democracy, and the rule of law.â€?
The next order of business is to get H. Res. 529 approved by the full U.S. House of Representatives. It is expected to be scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday, December 14, 2005. â€œThe NFCA, which has been at the forefront of this bill since its inception, must now pull out all the stops and re-energize our members and the entire Croatian American community to support this Resolution.â€? Andrus further requested: â€œAll Croatian Americans should continue to help build the momentum that the NFCA has helped create on this Resolution. Please have your friends and families make contact with your Representatives in the Congress and let them know how much we want them to support this all-important H. Res. 529. We need all Congressional Members on board for a big win next week!â€?
NFCA Headquarters: 1329 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Telephone: 202-331-2830. Web page address: www.nfcaonline.com . NFCA Government Relations Director Joe Foley can be contacted on 301-294-0937. NFCA Development Director Erik Milman can be reached at the NFCA Washington Office and via email:firstname.lastname@example.org .