by Sasha Uzunov
Did the Soviet Union try to interfere in the Yugoslav government’s campaign against dissident Croats in Australia during the 1970s at the tail end of the Cold War?
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was deeply concerned about a schism that had developed within dissident Croatian ranks abroad, namely Australia and Western Europe in the 1970s.
A 1971 assessment paper for ASIO and the then Commonwealth Police–declassified and in the National Archives of Australia– raised concerns about a faction headed by the mysterious Dr Branimir “Branko” Jelic, a Croat right wing nationalist living in West Germany who believed that an independent Croatian homeland could only break away from then communist Yugoslavia with assistance from the Soviet Union.
In 1972 Dr Jelic, Moscow’s man, was assassinated by UDBa, the Yugoslav Secret Police, and no doubt Washington would have looked the other way, as the enemy of my enemy is my friend !
To understand the dynamics: Communist Yugoslavia was a federation of Serbs, Croats, Macedonians, Slovenes, Montenegrins, Muslim Bosnians, and other ethnic groups, led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito who broke away from the Iron Curtain in 1949. A rivalry developed between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which Tito managed to use to his advantage by squeezing aid out of the West in order to stay out of the Soviet Camp.
But Tito was also adept at cosying up to the USSR when it suited him, especially after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953.
In the early 1970s the Yugoslav government began a campaign to discredit emigre Croats, Macedonians and others opposed to the regime, whether their opposition translated into terrorism or just peaceful means. So a dirty tricks strategy was commenced with agent provocateurs and infiltrators, ironically learned from the Soviet Secret Police Cheka/OGPU/NKVD/KGB.
The Moscow faction within the Croat dissident community remains a touchy and mysterious subject. It is hard to know whether it was genuine Soviet interference or another fiendish double cross thought up by Belgrade.
However, the importance is that the West, and in particular ASIO, believed in the Soviet plot.
Denis Strangman, the then Private Secretary to Senator F.P. McManus, Federal Leader of the DLP, in The ASIO-CROATIAN AFFAIR of 1973 chapter to Les Shaw’s book, The Shape of the Labor Regime, mentions high ranking Czech communist defector Major-General Jan Sejna.
Sejna claimed there had been a Warsaw Pact plan, code named Polarka which was to involve raids into Yugoslavia from Austria. The raids would be used by the Warsaw Pact (under Moscow control) as a pretext for invasion…”
The irony is Yugoslavia did not fall apart in 1991 because of “Croatian extremism” abroad, Soviet interference, the Vatican’s meddling or because of the CIA. The ultimate disintegration was due to Serbian and Albanian ethnic tensions in the province of Kosovo that spooked the northern most republic of Yugoslavia, Slovenia, which had no history of “overseas extremists,” pulling the pin and seceding from the federation.
Legendary Australian newspaperman Jack Waterford reveals that the Soviets may have had an interest in the Yugoslav versus Croats showdown in Australia during the early 1970s. His interview in the preview clip – Preview / Trailer no 4 – UDBa down under – Yugoslav spying in Australia. www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJdU_fuyu9s
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 08, 2012
1974 WHITLAM PAPER REVEALS:
YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT “IGNORED” ITS OWN SECURITY PROPOSAL TO COMBAT “TERRORISM”
by Sasha Uzunov
In more twists and turns than a John Le Carre Cold War espionage novel and what would drive conspiracy theorists into an orgasmic delight including Aussie Hollywood star Mel Gibson, the Yugoslav Communist government in the early 1970s did not follow through on its own security proposal to combat “Croatian terrorism” on Australian soil, despite Australia agreeing to the proposal.
The proposal dating back to the late 1960s and repeated in early 1970s included the sending of a Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) officer to Australia to exchange information on “Croatian terrorists” with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Commonwealth Police Force (the forerunner of the Australian Federal Police).
But incredulously the Yugoslav government could not find a suitable UDBa officer with English language skills !
FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012
PHOTOS OF YUGOSLAV SPY MASTER
SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2012
ASIO KNEW YUGOSLAV SPY GAME PLAN IN 1977
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012ASIO FILES RELEASED – YUGO SPYING RAMPANT
YUGO SPY DREAM TEAM TAKES ON CROATS, MACEDONIANS
Scoop – New Zealand news website – Who Was The Croatian Six Mastermind?
Monday, 25 July 2011