The People of Serbia Under Incompetent and Life-Threatening State of Emergency

Letter to World Leaders to Appeal for Help

Being completely and responsibly aware of the seriousness and danger of the current pandemic, and supporting all rational and necessary public health policy measures, which do not harm more than they help the people and their livelihood, and following them fully in our countries of residence.

And even more being alarmed and horrified by the endless flow of appeals and calls for help from our families and friends in Serbia, warning us of the coup d’état that took place in Serbia; the physical and mental terrorization of the entire population there; the chaos in the health care system, caused by the incompetence and corruption by the ruling party; the impending famine and life-threatening shortages of medication caused by the impending 24/7 curfew, and after having done all in our power so far, by sending money to our families and friends as soon as the pandemic was announced (which is what we have done for decades regularly, in terms of billions of US Dollars annually).

We, Serbs from the diaspora, and our non-Serbian friends who support and care about the state and the people of Serbia ask and demand that you pressure Aleksandar Vucic, the irrational and dangerous individual who, unfortunately and tragically, is the current president of Serbia and the usurper of all power and institutions of that state, to immediately stop taking advantage of the pandemic to terrorize and mistreat the citizens of the country of Serbia, as well as the numerous refugees and migrants who got stuck there, by his totalitarian rule, hysterical and panic-inducing behavior, and incompetence in basic health public policy implementation by his party membership, which care more for pleasing the morbid dictator than for the health and wellbeing of the citizens.

Just a few examples will provide evidence about the danger of further keeping of this individual in power there:

Although the world was well aware of the pandemic, Aleksandar Vucic continued to press a vast number of citizens into obligatory attendance in his election rallies – it was especially evident in the town of Valjevo, where state-owned enterprises’ laborers had to greet him in the middle of the pandemic, which caused the town of Valjevo to be among the three greatest centers of the epidemic in spite of its relative remoteness and small size. His party machine forced hundreds of thousands of people to endure its door-to-door signature gathering in the early days of the epidemic, causing the spread of the virus throughout the country!

During his constant and unnecessary TV appearances at the time of the tragedy in Italy, Aleksandar Vucic had lined up a number of obedient and cowardly health officials and they all downplayed the tragedy of the people in Italy, making fun of the panic-stricken human beings everywhere, and recommending a shopping spree in Milan due to its lack of tourists! It wasn’t only embarrassing to the citizens of Serbia but excessively cruel and sadistic too!

Once Aleksandar Vucic became aware of the seriousness of the pandemic, he publicly panicked, held endless incoherent, perplexing and totally unnecessary press conferences, and caused distress among the population, especially among the senior citizens of Serbia (to whom he announced that Serbia’s cemeteries shall not be big enough to bury them), as well as transferred the blame for the infections appearing in Serbia onto Serbian citizens returning home from abroad (where they went in search for jobs, which they lost because of Vucic’s incompetence and corruption in Serbia), never accepting the fact that he and his party and government officials had visited the infected areas in the US, the EU and China, and returned to Serbia without any quarantine or any other precaution in order to ensure the safety of anyone around them. The returning citizens of Serbia were accused of bringing the pandemic into the country although no quarantine measures were introduced at the points of entry, and no advice was given by the government regarding self-isolation and/or any other methods of preventing infection. When they were belatedly introduced, they were inhumane and incompetent, causing more possible infections than preventing them!

Aleksandar Vucic had prohibited anyone over 65 years of age from leaving her/his place of residence, without providing any organized and meaningful care for such citizens, regardless of their family, financial and/or health situation. He also imposed an unnecessarily long curfew on all citizens of the country without any adequate measures to provide food and/or medicine to the people in need but started fining those caught in “breaking” the rules (mostly out of necessity!) by issuing them citations up to 10 times of the value of the average monthly income of a typical Serbian family. He even prohibited going out to walk dogs while, at the same time, throughout this period, keeping the sports betting places, gambling dens and mini-casinos open, since these are the major income-generating operations for his party, and money laundering mechanisms for his corrupt mafia apparatchiks.

Aleksandar Vucic has even closed green markets all over Serbia, depriving the impoverished masses of affordable nourishment and the farmers at least some income to survive through these harsh times. He has imposed a curfew even on the peasant population in barely populated Serbia’s villages – preventing the farmers to go to their fields during the most crucial season for food production. This will most certainly cause a famine in the months to come – most citizens of Serbia cannot afford to pay the imported food today, let alone the inflated prices after the pandemic ends.

Aleksandar Vucic’s regime has started arresting opposition politicians (ineffective as they are!), such as the Republican Party leader, in addition to depriving them of participating in the sessions of the Parliament (which was unconstitutionally suspended) and/or appearing in the media, which are now completely under his control.       

We demand that Aleksandar Vucic be pressured to:

1. Return the power to the legitimate institution of the Republic, which should manage this crisis together with medical experts and not by a panic-stricken madman;

2. Resign and allow for the formation of the National Unity and Salvation Government, which will implement proper and adequate measures to get Serbia through this crisis and establish the framework for the elections for the new Constitutional Assembly to recreate democracy and normal political, social and economic life for all the citizens and nationalities of Serbia.

We insist that NO ONE from any of the previous governments and/or Parliaments (either from the so-called “in power” parties or the “opposition” ones) may be included in the new government, and that DIASPORA SERBS MUST BE INCLUDED in it.

This is urgent and absolutely morally obligatory since this madman is about to impose a 24/7 curfew upon the impoverished and already weakened population there, and cause irreparable damage to the state and the economy, and a long-term national tragedy manyfold worse than any virus or war could. Aleksandar Vucic – not the virus – is the supreme danger to the human race there.

The same is true for the criminal and totalitarian regime in Montenegro, under Milo Djukanovic, which has abused the situation to suppress political opposition and non-obedient nationalities and religious communities in that mini-state, as well as for the Bosnia-Herzegovina Sarajevo based officials, dominated by the 1990s Islamist radicals and corrupt incompetents, who have postponed health-protection measures only because the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina entity government had proposed them first.

If no serious and immediate pressure is brought upon these officials, especially on Aleksandar Vucic, the situation in the Balkans will deteriorate beyond control and might result in a human tragedy much worse than all the wars in the 1990s.

Thank you for your help and humane concern!

Your citizen and voter,

Višeslav Simić – Professor of Public Policy, Governing Strategy and State and Economy at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico. Ph.D. in Public Policy; Master in International Cooperation in Emergency Situations & Humanitarian Projects Management; B.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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Articles by: Prof. Višeslav Simić

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