Professor Velko Valkanov (1927-2016)
Only a day after great Fidel went, our Velko Valkanov also moved to eternity. He was maybe the greatest friend of Serbia in brotherly Bulgaria today, continuator of Georgi Dimitrov, “one of the last idealists in politics”, as a Bulgarian newspaper noted yesterday.
Velko Valkanov was a renowned Bulgarian politician, a socialist. He became doctor of law in Leipzig University, was a university professor, worked in the Institute for state and law of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and was the president of the Bulgarian Human Rights Committee. He was four times elected member of Bulgarian Parliament (last time 1997-2001). In the first presidential elections in 1992, he entered second tour and won 2,5 million votes. If he would have become a president that time, the history of Balkans would have been a bit different and Bulgaria wouldn’t be a NATO member today. He was the president of Bulgarian Antifascist Alliance, chairman of Georgi Dimitrov Foundation, authored several books. Only few days ago, on 19 November, he was again elected a honorary chairman of the FIR – International Federation of Resistance Fighters, in its XVII Congress in Prague.
In last decades, Serbian and International public remembered Velko as a person who in every occasion condemned the NATO aggression and praised our resistance, but in the first place as a founder and cochairman of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic – ICDSM (today Slobodan Milosevic International Committee, www.milosevic.co). Even before Milosevic was arrested, Velko understood the historical essence and decided that the international support for Slobodan Milosevic needs to be organized in the same way as the support for Georgi Dimitrov when he was standing the Nazi charges.
On Slobodan Milosevic, Velko wrote last time this summer in the daily “Duma”. Here are few lines from that article:
“On 24 March 2001, in the first session of the European Peace Forum in Berlin, I proposed creation of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic. In only several minutes, the founding declaration was signed by about 40 distinguished personalities from Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece. I was honored to be proposed by Russian friends as its first chairman.
I visited Slobodan in prison once in Belgrade and twice at The Hague. He was always on high moral height and with unbreakable spirit. He knew the truth better than others and he was convinced in its final victory.
He was a moral giant, tried by the moral dwarfs.
Apparently, the Hague tribunal judges were not real judges, but hired killers. On the order of NATO evil powers they killed a man who had no guilt.
The whole Hague tribunal team needs to appear in front of an ordinary court with charges of a premeditated murder.
All decisions of the illegal Hague tribunal must be abolished as illegal.
The conscience of the World wants justice not only for Milosevic, but for itself.”
Velko and me were in touch since 2001 all the time. He was a person of ascetic modesty, staunch moral and willpower, sharp mind and pen. He was a true patriot and internationalist, who devoted his life to the struggle for social justice. Those who don’t know how it looks like to be a comrade of such a person let them imagine. There is nothing better. It makes you happy and proud of being a human.
Our Velko didn’t care only about Milosevic. He was until last day showing a lively interest in life of our people and he never lost the hope, having in mind our heroic past, that the Western influence here is only temporary. He was worried about Milosevic’s family, spread around the World, and addressed the Serbian authorities requesting an end of that injustice.
I knew for more than a year, since he confessed to me, that he counts his last days. His heart was weak and his age was not giving a new chance to surgery. But he was not despondent at all. As a great man and revolutionary, he was actively following all the events, reacting, writing, until his last breath. More than 30 engaged newspaper articles during the last year.
I believe that great Velko passed away happy or at least full of hope. In “Duma” newspaper on 19 October he addressed his compatriots with a call: “Bulgarians! Vote as one for general Radev!”. So, general Radev was elected and Bulgaria got a chance for a correction exam. In 1992 she didn’t elect Velko Valkanov, but in 2016 she elected Rumen Radev!
President of the Movement for Serbia,
secretary of Slobodan Milosevic International Committee