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Letter to President Bush Regarding the Name of the Republic of Macedonia

April 12, 2004

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Re: Republic of Macedonia

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to you in response to the Pan-Macedonian Association and the American Hellenic Institute’s letters of criticism regarding your stand on Macedonia’s name.

First, I want to compliment and thank you for not yielding to Greek pressure and for maintaining your stand in calling the Republic of Macedonia by the constitutional name chosen by its people.

Secondly I want to inform you that, while Greece is complaining about the rights of Cypriots and Greeks outside its borders, it continues to deny the existence and human rights of minorities within its own borders.

There are tens of thousands of Macedonian refugees today who were exiled during the last century, especially since the Greek Civil War of 1946 to 1949, who are still not allowed to return or re-claim their properties.

The Greeks complain about the property rights of Greeks in Cyprus yet at the same time they confiscate and rob the properties of Macedonians.

The reason that Greece is opposing Macedonia’s use of its constitutional name and is basing its arguments on historic issues is to justify its war of brutality against the Macedonian people. By maintaining an invalid claim that the Macedonians are Slavs who came to Macedonia 1,500 years ago, today’s Macedonians have no rights to their Macedonian heritage.

If that were true Mr. President, on the same basis, then the modern Greeks have no valid right to the Macedonian heritage either. At its inception in 1829 Greece had neither the culture, language, character nor an idea of its past. Its modern Greek consciousness is acquired not hereditary. In fact, there is historic and genetic evidence today that proves that the modern Greeks are not at all related to the ancient Macedonians or to the ancient Greeks for that matter. So I ask you, on what basis are they claiming the ancient Macedonian heritage for themselves to the exclusion of the Macedonian people?

Sincerely and respectfully,

Risto Stefov

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