Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine

Following is the text of a statement released on November 22 by the national executive of the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine.

The national executive of the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine (ODFFU) expresses its solidarity with the will of the Ukrainian people from Luhansk to Lviv and its commitment to support the realization and representation of that expressed will in the United States of America as well as internationally.

Expressing a personal concern for freedom and democracy in Ukraine, President George W. Bush requested Sen. Richard Lugar to be his official representative during the November 21 run-off election in Ukraine. After witnessing the elections first hand, Sen. Lugar concluded that "a concerted and forceful program of election day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities." International observers from the OSCE and other groups have also recognized the elections as "not free and not fair." The Lviv, Frankivsk, Ternopil, Vinnytsia and Kyiv municipal councils have demanded that the Verkhovna Rada (the Parliament of Ukraine) impeach the results of the Central Election Commission.

The National Executive of the ODFFU believes, therefore, that the results of the run-off election have proven the regime that presently runs Ukraine represents the interests of a neo-colonial elite controlled by Moscow. The official results of the run-off election can only be understood as a reassertion of Moscow's imperial ambitions and a return to totalitarianism.

The struggle for a free and democratic Ukraine is the struggle of all freedom-loving people around the world. We cannot remain idle as a small group of corrupt officials defraud the elections and ignore the will of the Ukrainian electorate to express their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We, therefore, express our unanimous support for Viktor Yushchenko and call upon the White House and the Congress of the United States to recognize Mr. Yushchenko as the legitimate president-elect of Ukraine.

We call upon all members of the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine and all Ukrainian Americans in the United States, as well as Ukrainians around the world who support a free and democratic Ukraine, to initiate a series of protests in front of Ukrainian embassies, consulates and missions demanding that the neo-colonial government institutions relinquish their hold on power to the government of president-elect Mr. Yushchenko, who truly represents a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" of Ukraine.

Furthermore, we call upon Americans and Ukrainians to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and protest at the embassies, consulates and missions of the Russian Federation demanding that Moscow refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine and respect international norms.

Over 55 years ago, a group of Ukrainian Americans, guided by a love for their native Ukraine created a committee in the United States that would support the liberation of Ukraine during World War II. Their committee supported the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army as they fought against the Nazi and Communist occupation of Ukraine. This committee became the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine, named after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's famous address wherein he declared that all nations and individuals have the right to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom from fear and a freedom from want. Today, we reiterate our commitment to defend these four freedoms for Ukraine.

Theodore Oleschuk
National Executive
Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine, Inc.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 5, 2004, No. 49, Vol. LXXII

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