Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Macedonian girl calling for the release of her father a political prisoner jailed for opposing the USEU-backed Zaev regime

Our Name Is Macedonia. Why Are We Being Incarcerated for Using It?

Photo description: Macedonian girl calling for the release of her father, a political prisoner jailed for opposing the US/EU-backed Zaev regime.

Despite arrests, beatings, intimidation and incarceration carried out by the US/EU-installed Zaev regime, Macedonians are protesting the forced name, identity and history change into “North Macedonians” from “North Macedonia” imposed on them by the so-called“global leaders in spreading democracy and human rights”.

Yes, Macedonia is collapsing due to interference from foreign elements. Its very sovereignty and the existence of the Macedonian people, including millions in neighbouring countries and throughout the world, are in jeopardy.

Why? Because the US and European Union have deemed it a priority to increase NATO and EU membership and have forced through the change of the Republic of Macedonia’s name, identity, ethnicity and history — contrary to all human rights conventions and international law. The end goal is to appease Greece, which opposes Macedonia’s name, all for the promise that Greece lift its veto of the Republic of Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership bids. Of course, Macedonia doesn’t need membership in these organizations, but that’s a story for another day…

Fellow NATO and EU member-state, Bulgaria, saw the success of Greece’s Western-backed campaign of cultural genocide against Macedonians and decided to make its own demands in its quest to annihilate the existence of everything Macedonian. Not only do these include redefining the meaning of the term “Macedonian” and rewriting Macedonian history to eliminate any trace of our existence, it includes making the audacious claim that Bulgaria — which occupied Macedonia during WWII and was an ally of Nazi Germany — was an “administrator” and “liberator” instead! Let’s ask Macedonians who fought against the Nazis what they think. And let’s ask if France would enjoy referring to Nazi Germany as a “liberator” of their country. Oh yeah, Bulgaria also threw in revisions of Jewish history to deny its role in deporting 7,000 Macedonian Jews to the Treblinka death camp in Poland.

What was that term used by the West again?“Global leaders in spreading democracy and human rights”. Mnogu. That’s a typical Macedonian saying used to call out bullshit. But those leading the charge to eradicate Macedonia wouldn’t want me referring to it as a Macedonian saying anymore. I’ll use any number of typical sayings in English that you might expect in response. Pick your favourite one…

So what did the US-led coalition of the oppressing do? For example: During an illegal, and now infamous, session of Macedonian parliament, eight opposition MPs were held in a chamber by the Zoran Zaev regime until they followed orders to vote to change Macedonia’s name. MPs, with women especially targeted, were blackmailed, bribed and threatened with prison sentences, including threats to their families.

These brutal tactics were sanctioned by then-US Ambassador Jess Baily, who was present in Macedonian parliament at the time. The mere presence of a foreign diplomat violates Macedonian (and any other country’s) parliamentary rules. But Baily is not alone. Joining him in interfering in Macedonia’s internal affairs were EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, multiple US Secretaries of Defense and Secretaries of State — both Democratic and Republican — who have all visited Macedonia to issue blatant threats. The common message is “Change your name or else”.

So why does Greece want to rename Macedonia and redefine the identity of the Macedonian people? Former Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis admitted, in 1995, that Greece manufactured the name dispute in order to deny the existence, and persecution, of its large Macedonian minority.

There is a 19-page document, ironically called the “Prespa Agreement” (that no Macedonian agreed to) that redefines the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” and gives Greece the power to punish Macedonia if it “misuses” any term to describe itself.

Does this seem normal?

It is also not normal to have to listen to people describe you — on the world stage — using the most derogatory terms in your history (and Macedonians are subject to many) and expect you to embrace them. Macedonia qualified for the Euro Cup for the first time, a tremendous achievement, yet we were subject to hearing the extremely offensive terms “North Macedonian” and “North Macedonia” from previously unaware broadcasters and commentators. I say “previously” because, despite being educated on what these terms actually mean, most chose to continue using them, employing the “willful ignorance is bliss” routine. In what can be described as the saddest drinking game ever, Macedonians could have taken a shot every time we yelled “Macedonia!” and “Macedonian!” at the TV screen.

Continuing with the abnormal theme — let’s discuss Joe Biden now. Don’t worry Joe, it’s not just you, it’s all of your predecessors. But Biden, the wolf in sheep’s clothing (Donald Trump is the wolf in wolf’s clothing), is among the worst offenders. Case in point, he recently signed an executive order targeting those who are against the name change (I very well could have been the inspiration for the executive order), banning us from entering the United States and blocking ownership and transfer of property. Wow. I’m already on Greece’s blacklist for being Macedonian. Now the United States.

As we’ve seen, all of the developments I’ve discussed don’t just affect Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia. The entire region of Macedonia was partitioned in 1913 (a fact admitted by all, oppressors included) among Serbia/Yugoslavia (now the independent Republic of Macedonia), Bulgaria, Greece and later, Albania. Macedonians have been fighting attempts at eradication ever since. Greece, ironically, outlawed the term “Macedonia” and denied its existence until a dramatic propaganda switch in 1988, when it began a campaign of trying to deceive the world into believing that Macedonia was “Greek”. Let’s not forget though, that our other oppressors also claim Macedonia. Or, instead of being bogged down in a brutal game of Balkan roulette, we could just use common sense. Macedonia is Macedonian.

In another infamous moment and during a shocking interview on Macedonian television, Zoran Zaev even admitted that he was put into power to ensure Macedonia’s EU and NATO membership by forcing through a name change. But he fears no repercussions because he has the backing of the United States and European Union.

As a result, Zaev has used tactics such as ordering riot police to attack Macedonians who oppose the changing of their name and identity, falsifying election results, imprisoning dissenting Macedonians, firing people from public and private sector jobs, shutting down media outlets and blocking social media access to those who dare oppose him.

Despite blatant and admitted interference, the US and EU have the gall to claim that “Russian meddling is destabilizing Macedonia”. American foreign policy dictates that “offence is the best defence”. In other words, accuse others of your own despicable tactics while continuing to employ them, with each successive one becoming more brazen.

Macedonians are simply demanding that their human rights and self-determination be defended. No one expected that it would be against attacks led by the West.

I ask again— how would France feel if they were ordered to refer to Nazi Germany as “liberators” of their country? How would they feel if the term “French” was handed to Germany and they were ordered to celebrate their own demise? I’ve introduced many political leaders, diplomats and journalists from other countries to Macedonia’s world. I’ve asked them directly, does anyone have the right to change your name, identity and history? So who gave you the right to change mine?

Consider this: The well-known saying on licence plates in Quebec reads “Je me souviens”. (“I remember” — and will never forget our history, traditions and identity.) Since the Western-led name change, Macedonians are being ordered to use the equivalent of the term “J’oublie”. (I forget) — or face consequences. Imagine. And it’s all being executed by the“global leaders in spreading democracy and human rights”.

Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International