GREETINGS, CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES
WCFU issues appeal
It was to be our fate to witness those great historic events for which the Ukrainian nation struggled for centuries. On December 1, 1991 the people of Ukraine, Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike, overwhelmingly approved in referendum the declaration of independence which had been proclaimed by the Ukrainian Parliament.
For the cause of long-sought independence, countless numbers of Ukrainian soldiers gave their lives; among the best of Ukrainian youth languished in prisons of the occupying powers or were sent to labor camps throughout the vest expances of the Soviet Union.
The suppressed dream of generations of Ukrainians has become reality at last. The Ukrainian nation has manifested before the world its will to live free in a sovereign, independent Ukrainian state.
We commend the Ukrainian people for having attained statehood and we rejoice in their victory.
An arduous road, however, still lies ahead. The Ukrainian government and all its citizens are now faced with the difficult task of rebuilding an economy laid waste by a Communist regime which treated Ukraine as a colony.
Today, when there is finally a Ukrainian state, we, the Ukrainian diaspora should do our utmost to ensure that the process of revival proceed in all spheres - economic, cultural, religious and others.
Each one of as should come to the aid of Ukraine, according to one's abilities and resources - be it along lines of professional expertise, political influence or capital.
At this critical juncture, Ukraine counts on us; it needs a helping hand so that it can stand on its own.
A country rich in natural resources, with a hard-working people, Ukraine will become viably self-sufficient as it frees itself from the consequences of prolonged colonial exploitation.
For decades, we sang our national anthem - "Sche Ne Vmerla Ukraina" (Ukraine Has Not Perished). And verily, Ukraine has not succumbed; it has been reborn.
We sang our readiness to give body and soul for our freedom ("dushu y tilo my polozhym za nashu svobodu"). Circumstances no longer demand the sacrifice of life. Today Ukraine requires filial compassion, moral and material support.
Let us therefore respond to the demands of the times and help meet the needs of the Ukrainian nation.
Herewith, the World Congress of Free Ukrainians calls upon the Ukrainian diaspora to join the effort of rebuilding the Ukrainian state.
May the people of Ukraine live and prosper in their new-found freedom!
Long live the free, sovereign, independent Ukrainian state!
Yuri Shymko, President
Vasyl Veryha, General Secretary
Greetings from the UNA to Ukraine
Below are congratulatory greetings to the Ukrainian people from the Ukrainian National Association (broadcast vie Voice of America on December 2, 1991).
We, the Ukrainian National Association and its 70,000 members would like to convey our joy to you, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, on the occasion of the passage of the referendum for an independent Ukraine.
Preliminary results show that over 90 percent of the voters supported the declaration of Ukraine's independence.
We are certain that the people of Ukraine will now be able to live in freedom and attain economic well-being, as rightful masters on their own land.
Our publications, the Ukrainian-daily Svoboda and the English-language The Ukrainian Weekly have given broad coverage to the expressed willingness of President George Bush and the United States government to recognize an independent Ukrainian state.
As always the Ukrainians in the diaspora, with full commitment and with all the means at their disposal, are ready to help Ukraine become, in the full sense of the word, a free, independent and democratic state, ready to assume its place among the nations of the world.
Lithuanian Americans support independence
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Lithuanian American Community, Inc. called on President George Bush today to immediately recognize Ukraine as an independent country and to establish diplomatic relations with the government of Ukraine as soon as possible. "World peace and stability can only be strengthened by welcoming an independent and democratic Ukraine to the family of nations," said Mr. Vytas Maciunas, president, National Executive Committee of LAC, Inc.
In its letter to President Bush, the National Executive Committee of the Lithuanian American Community, Inc. reminded the President that "the people of Ukraine have demonstrated their commitment to change through peaceful, parliamentary means. In this century alone, they have experienced the horrors of totalitarian government, forced famine, war and nuclear catastrophe. They are a people who dearly value their land, the miracle of life and peace. They are not a people to squander these gifts or threaten the existence of other nations."
Stanley Gecys, chairman, Public Affairs Council of LAC, Inc., added that "International support from democracies like the United States is crucial for newborn countries like Ukraine; without it they fall victim to anti-democratic forces.
Patriarch Mstyslav congratulates Kravchuk
Below are wishes sent on Monday, December 2, to newly-elected Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk from Patriarch Mstyslav of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Dear Mr. President:
I find myself in a state of boundless joy: God's Providence, which heals the infirm and completes the deficient, has proclaimed through the determined voice of the people, Ukraine's complete national independence.
This act entitles Ukraine to take its proper place within the family of the world's free nations. It is my firm conviction that a fully independent Ukraine will become a contributive factor on the international forum.
You, Mr. President, have to a great extent contributed to the realization of this extraordinary act. I congratulate you on this occasion and wish you an abundance of strength in your endeavors. For my part, I am ready to assist you in any way I can, drawing on my extensive experience gathered over the many years of my service to God, man, and particularly the long-suffering Ukrainian people.
Patriarch of Kiev and all Ukraine
Statement from Cardinal Lubachivsky
Cardinal Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky issued the following statement in Rome after the citizens of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly for independence on December 1.
"People of Ukraine! I join with you today in celebrating the joy of our newly independent Ukraine and the realization of the dreams of our forefathers. The theme of this special synod of European bishops which I am attending here in Rome is most applicable to the Ukrainian people today: "we are witnesses of Christ who had freed us!"
After centuries of repression, the Ukrainian people have again become fully independent. This desire was demonstrated in a resounding yes to the referendum on independence December 1.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church thanks God for his benevolence towards our people in giving us this bright moment. As Christians, we want to live in peace with our neighbors and with all the people of the world.
Ukraine is an inseparable part of the common European home and we call upon all Ukrainians to work towards the rebuilding of our nation and for a better tomorrow. We ask all countries of the world to recognize our new, independent homeland and we pledge to work toward its establishment as a respected member of the world community.
Congressman Bonior hails vote
WASHINGTON - Congressman David E. Bonior (D-Mich.), the highest ranking U.S. representative of Ukrainian descent, on December 2, hailed the unprecedented vote supporting independence for Ukraine. However, the House majority whip assailed the Bush administration for failing to authorize U.S. diplomatic recognition of Ukraine.
"This historic victory for democracy and the Ukrainian people is tempered only by the incredible lack of support by the Bush administration," said Mr. Bonior. "The administration's failure to recognize Ukraine's independence shows that misguided White House decisions are not confined to domestic issues."
Congressman Bonior is co-sponsor of a resolution (H.Con.Res. 212) urging President George Bush to recognize Ukraine's independence and establish full diplomatic relations. Rep. Bonior was a leading force in pressing the State Department to open a Consulate in Kiev. Under Resolution 212, the consulate will be replaced with an embassy.
"The Ukrainian people have been undaunted in their quest to assume their rightful place among the free nations of the world," said Rep. Bonior. "The time to recognize Ukraine as an independent nation is now."
Congressman Bonior's maternal grandparents, John Hawryluk and Effie Malaneck, were born in Ukraine. Today, Rep. Bonior's district of Macomb County is home to a vibrant community of Americans of Ukrainian descent.
AFL-CIO calls for U.S. recognition
AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland, who visited Kiev last May, issued the following statement on Monday, December 2, on Ukraine's independence vote:
WASHINGTON - On behalf of the 11 million workers of the AFL-CIO, I salute the citizens of Ukraine, who have democratically declared their independence from the former Soviet Union. The AFL-CIO stands with the workers of Ukraine and the strike committees and free trade unions which unanimously supported a "yes" vote in the independence referendum.
In the light of yesterday's democratic expression of popular will, the AFL-CIO calls upon the Bush Administration immediately to recognize Ukraine's independence and to establish diplomatic relations with Europe's fifth largest state. U.S. and coordinated Western aid and assistance programs intended for the former USSR should now avoid the central Soviet state structures and be channeled through democratic governments at the republic and local level as well as through non-governmental organizations with a clear record of independence from the now-banned Communist Party.
In affirming, by overwhelming majority, their support for independence, Ukraine's citizens have signalled the birth of a new country. Ukraine's entry into the ranks of the world's democracies must now be completed with the timely election of a new Parliament.
The AFL-CIO looks forward to continued cooperation with the free trade unions and strike committees of Ukraine as they begin their difficult path toward the construction of a democratic state based on social justice and worker rights. I salute the democratic coalition movement, Rukh, which has worked to promote inter-ethnic cooperation among the many peoples that reside on Ukrainian soil.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 8, 1991, No. 49, Vol. LIX
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