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Macedonian Citizens in US do not need protection

Macedonian citizens in the US are surprised by VMRO-DPMNE's announcement that the party will strive for 'respect of minority and national rights'. Most feel the Government should focus on Macedonian minority rights in the Balkans, not the US, Utrinski Vesnik reports.

"Here, none of my rights has ever been jeopardized. I declare myself as Macedonian and everywhere I go my country is called Macedonia, and the Macedonian language is studied at several universities," was the first reaction of Pero Dimsoski, who lives in the US after resigning from the Macedonian Sector for EU integration. 

"Minority rights in the US are related to those whose attitudes are opposite from the majority's or to those who are on the side of the opposition, so looking from that perspective, if we add the ethnic national rights, Macedonians in the US enjoy more rights than in Macedonia," Dimsoski says, adding that the overall migration to the US in the last 100 years is political rather than economic.

Other Macedonians residing in the US share the same stance. 

"I enjoy all the rights: freedom of speech, independent judiciary, easy access to information and everything one expects in a democratic society," says a Macedonian employed in an International institution in Washington, adding that he is flattered that the government takes care of its citizens.

On the other hand, the analyst Ivica Bocevski sees room for improvement and certain logic in VMRO-DPMNE's stance.

Our citizens in the US have pledged for a box to tick at the census instead of subscribing individually. I am sure that in the areas with larger concentration of Macedonians, they would like public schools with courses in Macedonian as an option," says Bocevski, who had specialized in the US. According to him, every community in the world and in the US as well is facing different challenges and issues and, if their resident country could help them improve their status and living standard anyway, than it should not be a problem.

However, Meto Koloski from the United Macedonian Diaspora whose work description includes protecting rights of Macedonians in the US, is surprised by the idea that some of the rights have been undermined and require government's aid.

"I enjoy all the rights I have been entitled to," he says.

Former MP, Karolina Ristova Asterud, whose biography includes studies at the University of Georgetown Washington, considers that in the US, a Macedonian minority does not exist by any definition thereof, but a Macedonian community of migrants which can only be motivated to be more involved in the US political scene.

"Instead such nebulous statements, they might as well focus on intensifying the lobbying of Macedonia's national and state interests in Washington, something that is practiced by all other countries from the region," Asterud emphasizes.

According to the last evaluation, the population size of the US is 318 million, whereas 19 million cannot define themselves, which is a solid proof of the complexity and mixture of population, registered not just on national, but on racial, religious, ethnic and other basis as well.

So far, in the US, despite the racial mixture, there are about forty groups that can declare themselves as 'Native Americans' and 150 other groups that can define themselves on a national basis, among which Macedonians. It means that if the idea of VMRO-DPMNE is followed, the population inventory should contain some 200 columns.    

On that list, Macedonians rank 46 with 61,000 citizens or 0,0002 percent of the total US citizens.

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