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Contact Your Congressman to Protest

Russian Invasion of Georgia

In Lithuanian/Lietuviskai: Paremkime Gruzijos pastangas

1. Dial 1-202-225-3121 and you will be connected to the main Congressional switchboard, the operator will answer

2. Ask the operator to transfer you to your Representative’s office.

3. Your call will be transferred to your congressman’s office, and when the person answers, simply say:

“Hello, my name is________, I live in_________(name your city), and I would like Congressman________ to sign Congressman McCotter’s letter which invites Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to address a joint session of congress, and please become a member of the Congressional Georgia Caucus (this a group of Congressmen who support Georgia).”

4. Often, the congressional office will ask for your name and address so the Member of Congress may acknowledge your call by writing you a letter. Do not worry that you will be asked to justify or explain the policy behind your phone

call. These are routine calls that each office is accustomed to, and it will go smoothly and quickly.

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Lithuanians in Vilnius protest Invasion of Georgia at Russian Embassy

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Sister Nijole Sadunaite joins in protest at the Russian Embassy in Vilnius calling for a withdrawl of Russian army units from Georgia. (Photo Zilvinas Beliauskas)

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Lithuanian American Council condemns Russian invasion of Georgia

The Lithuanian American Council, a member of the Joint Baltic American Committee (JBANC), representing one million Americans of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian descent, strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

By militarily breaching Georgia’s internationally recognized borders, Russia has grossly violated Georgia’s national sovereignty. Furthermore, Russia’s unilateral invasion of South Ossetia was compounded by devastating and disproportionate military strikes deep within Georgia’s territory. Russia has unjustifiably escalated a minor border incident into a major confrontation resulting in numerous unnecessary civilian casualties. This aggression continues against Georgia, notwithstanding its announced ceasefire, which Russia chooses to ignore.

JBANC joins in the demands of the United States, the member states of the European Union, and other international bodies calling on Russia to cease its aggression against Georgia, to accept the ceasefire, and thereupon withdraw its military forces from Georgia.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia is a challenge to all democracies seeking to promote peaceful coexistence among nations. The world’s response to Russia’s current aggression is critical since it will undoubtedly dictate the future course of Russia’s policies towards its neighbors. Therefore the United States and the European Union must take all necessary steps to end Russia’s aggression against Georgia.

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U.S. Congress Passes Russian Apology Resolution!

LITHUANIAN AMERICAN COUNCIL’S YEAR-LONG GOAL PASSES BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT

Washington, DC (LAC-JBANC) — The United States Congress again reminded the Russian Federation that it must face its Soviet legacy with respect to the Baltic countries. Legislation seeking an acknowledgement and condemnation by the Russian Federation of the Soviet Union’s occupation of the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania passed on July 22, in the House of Representatives.

The Resolution passed by unanimous consent, meaning that there was no opposition to its passage. House Concurrent Resolution 128 (H. Con. Res. 128) was introduced by Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) on April 29. The measure had also received the strong support of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), and other members of the House Baltic Caucus.

The complete text of H. Con. Res. 128 will be available on the congressional website http://thomas.loc.gov, along with the floor statement of Congressman Shimkus (see below). JBANC believes that by admitting and condemning the Soviet occupation and annexation of the Baltic countries, the Russian Federation can develop more tolerant relations with its neighbors and chart a more positive course for its own future.

Twenty-nine co-sponsors

There were twenty-nine co-sponsors of H. Con. Res. 128 (House Baltic Caucus members marked by an “*”): Xavier Becerra (CA)*, Howard L. Berman* (CA), Mary Bono* (CA), Christopher Cox* (CA), Danny K. Davis (IL), Lloyd Doggett* (TX), David Dreier* (CA), J.D. Hayworth (AZ), Tim Holden* (PA), Darrell Issa (CA), Jack Kingston (GA), Dennis Kucinich* (OH), Daniel Lipinski (IL), Stephen Lynch (MA), Thaddeus McCotter* (MI), James McGovern* (MA), Grace Napolitano* (CA), Michael Rogers* (MI), Dana Rohrabacher* (CA), Edward R. Royce* (CA), Loretta Sanchez* (CA), Adam B. Schiff* (CA), David Scott (GA), E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (FL), Mark E. Souder (IN), Lee Terry* (NE), Fred Upton* (MI), Henry A. Waxman* (CA), Frank R. Wolf (VA).

Including its sponsor Rep. Shimkus, 20 of the 30 supporters are members of the House Baltic Caucus. The Caucus, co-chaired by Congressmen Shimkus and Kucinich, currently has 70 members. Nearly a third of Caucus members co-sponsored. Support was completely bi-partisan, with 16 Republicans and 14 Democrats. 12 of the 30 supporters are from California, an indication of the excellent activism of the Baltic American Freedom League there. Illinois and Michigan congressional delegations mustered three supporters each. JBANC would also like to recognize the efforts of the Midwest Baltic Coalition and the Baltic-American organizations of Oregon for their great help in getting the legislation introduced.

Senate also passed like Resolution

The Senate already passed its version of the measure (S. Con. Res. 35), on May 19. It was introduced there by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), and co-sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

65th anniversary of the U.S. policy of non-recognition of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic

In conjunction with the passage of H. Con. Res. 128, July 23 marks the 65th anniversary of the U.S. policy of non-recognition of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic countries. For over half a century, the U.S. never wavered in its support for the sovereignty of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles issued the first U.S. public statement on the Soviet takeover of the Baltics, condemning that act, and recognizing the true nature of the predatory intervention by the USSR upon its neighbors: http://estonia.usembassy.gov/sumnerwelles.php

In addition, the week of July 17-23 marks the 57th anniversary of Captive Nations Week, marking support for peoples that suffered and are still victimized by communism and tyranny. President Bush has issued a proclamation on this occasion: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/07/20050715-12.html

JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc. and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.

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Statement of Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL)
HCR 128: Russian Recognition of Occupation of the Baltics
July 22, 2005

MR. SHIMKUS:  Mr. Speaker, I am here to encourage passage of H.Con.Res. 128, a resolution that I am proud to have sponsored, that calls on Russia to acknowledge the occupation and subsequent suffering of the Baltic people under Soviet control.  I implore my colleagues to support this important resolution.
This resolution comes to the floor in a timely manner.  This week is Captive Nations Week, first declared so by the U.S. Congress on July 17, 1959 as a Joint Resolution against the continuing Communist domination of the Baltic Countries.  President Bush has again declared this week ‘Captive Nations Week’ and urged Americans “to reaffirm their commitment to all those seeking liberty, justice and self-determination.”  I can think of no better way than to honor the memories of those that fought for freedom against Communist control than to pass this resolution.
During Communist occupation of the Baltics, hundreds of thousands of people were torn from their families and deported to Siberia, many never to be heard from again.  No one can be exactly sure of the amount of those that died or fled Soviet control, but it has been estimated from500,000 to as high as 750,000.  You cannot meet a person in these countries that didn’t have a family member or loved one who wasn’t affected by these horrible practices.  Russia has been unwavering of its non-recognition of the mass deportations, torture, and murders committed by the Soviet regime.  I feel, along with the 29 cosponsors of this legislation, that Russia needs to acknowledge the mistakes of the past so it can move forward and become a truthful state, and in turn a stronger democracy.
It is important that the United States join with our allies in the Baltics and stand for Democracy and rights of individuals to be protected everywhere.  Democracy and freedom cannot exist without truth and transparency; I would hope Russia would take a step forward as a nation by acknowledging the past.  I encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of this resolution.

Archives:

Lithuanian American Council’s annual convention calls for renewed action and expansion of LAC activities

The LAC annual convention took place November 8-9 at the facilities of its home office in Chicago. The LAC encompasses 17 national organizations and has been active in representing Lithuanian American concerns since 1915. The convention dealt with numerous issues including Lithuania’s admission to NATO, cooperation between Baltic-American communities, the prospects for extending the national structure of LAC, and increasing student participation in its activities. In evidence was a sizeable number of students who also chaired their own panel on student programs. Among future projects that were discussed was the expansion of a national university network under LAC auspices. Representatives of the Latvian and Estonian communities also addressed the convention delegates as did the presidents of the Knights of Lithuania and its Foundation.

LAC vice-president cited in Chicago Tribune on NATO enlargement–addresses Latvian independence gathering

Pranas Jurkus, LAC vice president was quoted in the Sunday editon of the Chicago Tribune on the recent invite of Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia to NATO membership. He noted that the invitation is only the beginning process which will only be completed upon ratification of all 19 member countries. The United States Senate needs to cast at least 67 votes in favor of NATO enlargement. He was quoted at the annual Latvian Independence commemoration which he addressed in both English and Latvian.

Congress Passes NATO resolutions: both Shimkus and Gallegly Resolutions pass in solid Congressional approval for NATO enlargement

The House of Representatives on Monday (October 7, 2002) evening passed two major resoltions: The Shimkus resolution (HCR116) calling specifically for Lithuanian’s, Latvia’s and Estonia’s invitation to NATO which passed by a voice vote. While Congressman Gallegly ‘s resolution (H.Res.468) calling for Nato expansion generally passed overwhelmingly.

Luncheon with Professor Vytautas Landsbergis shows U.S. support for Lithuania

The Lithuanian American Council held a luncheon honoring Professor Vytautas Landsbergis at the Chicago Athletic Association on Wednesday, October 2, 2002. A number of U.S. government officials and international political group leaders gathered to lunch with Lithuania’s past president.

Chicago’s Lithuanians Commemorate Independence:
Voice Support for War on Terrorism and Support NATO Enlargement

Chicago Lithuanian Americans commemorated Lithuanian Independence Day on Sunday, February 16. A special convocation will be held at Maria High School auditorium (6727 S. California) at 2:00 p.m. [Full story]

Chicago Tribune Publishes LAC Letter Urging NATO Enlargement

The Chicago Tribune on Jan 22nd published a letter by LAC president Saulius V. Kuprys calling for continued U.S. efforts to enlarge NATO and particularly to include the Baltic States in such expansion. [Full text of the letter]

Lithuanian Flag raised in Downtown Chicago

To commemorate Lithuanian Independence Day the Mayor’s office of the city of Chicago has autorized the raising of the Lithuanian flag at the Daley Center Plaza.   [Full story]

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The Lithuanian American Council

invites you to

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The 7th JBANC Baltic Conference Oil and Blood:
Baltic Energy and the Legacy of Communism

February 9-10, 2007


The Lithuanian American Council invites you to the seventh Baltic Conference, that will take place in Washington. D.C. on February 9-10, 2007 at the L’Enfant Plaza hotel.

Conference keynote speaker:

H.E. Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Conference themes are Baltic Energy Security, and the Legacy of Communism. Documentary films on the Baltics will be shown at a special Friday afternoon session at the Woodrow Wilson Center. A Friday U.S. Administration briefing is also being planned.

Registration
Registration is $125 ($150 after February 1) and includes Friday and Saturday events, plus Saturday lunch. Student registration fee is $75.

Hotel Reservations
To book a room at the L’Enfant Plaza for the evenings of February 9 and 10, please call toll free 800-635-5065 and press #1 (group reservations) to receive the group room rate of $149, effective until January 19. Ask for the “Joint Baltic American National Committee” rate. Hotel information: http://www.lenfantplazahotel.com/about-us.cfm

For information, please contact LAC at altcenter@aol.com, (773) 735-6677 or JBANC at jbanc@jbanc.org, (301) 340-1954.

Saturday, February 10, 2007 (L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington, DC)

8:00 – 9:00 Registration and coffee
9:00 – 9:15 Opening Remarks: JBANC President Martins Duhms (American Latvian Association)
Diplomatic Welcome: Ambassador Jüri Luik (Embassy of Estonia)

KEYNOTE SPEECH:
9:15-9:45 His Excellency Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Introduction by U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania John Cloud

9:45-11:00 PANEL 1 Energy Security – Coercion and Manipulation of Supply in Eastern Europe
Panelists: Vladimir Socor (Jamestown Foundation), Zeyno Baran (Hudson Institute)
Moderator – Amb. Keith Smith (CSIS)

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:30 PANEL 2 Energy Alternatives – A New Vision for Powering the Baltics

Panelists: Vytautas Nauduzas (Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Economy), Andris Kesteris (Head of Cabinet, EU Energy Commission), Raul Mälk (Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs),
Moderator – Ramunas Kondratas


12:30-2:00 Luncheon Speaker
The Honorable Richard Lugar
Presentation of Baltic Democracy Award

2:00-3:00 PANEL 3 Hopes for Democracy in the Baltic Neighborhood
Panelists: David Satter (Hudson Institute), Andrei Nekrasov (award-winning Russian filmmaker), Len Latkovski (Hood College), Moderator – Paul Goble

3:00-4:30 PANEL 4 Legacy of Communism – Remembrance Projects
Panelists: Ina Navazelskis, Justinas Riskus, Imbi Paju (Director, “Memories Denied”),
Jon Baltmanis, Lee Edwards (Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation), Moderator – TBD

4:30-4:50 Conclusion, new JBANC President Saulius Kuprys (Lithuanian American Council)

6:30- 10:00 USBF Cocktail Reception and A Baltic Celebration (Mandarin Hotel)
Dinner keynote speaker: H.E. Valdas Adamkus, President, Republic of Lithuania
(registration required via U.S.-Baltic Foundation).