June 5, 2014
U.S. House of Representatives passes “Black Ribbon Day” legislation recognizing Victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes
Legislation designating August 23 as a “Black Ribbon Day” commemorating the victims of both Soviet communist and Nazi terror passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 22. It is a culmination of an ongoing two-year effort by the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) seeking passage of this legislation.
Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, the co-chairman of the House Baltic Caucus, sponsored the legislation and effectively shepherded its passage in the House. The legislation, part of a National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435), will now be taken up by the Senate. A conference committee of both houses will work out differences.
On the eve of the bill’s passage, JBANC contacted all House member offices individually to muster needed additional support for the resolution’s passage. JBANC stressed the importance of passing the legislation this year since it marks the 75th year since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939.
Read more: www.jbanc.org/?page=blog&v=4&i...
JBANC thanks Congressman John Shimkus for long-term "Black Ribbon Day" support
Last Thursday, on May 29th, shortly after the "Black Ribbon Day" legislation passed in the House, JBANC representatives met with Congressman John Shimkus to thank him for his long-term support and help with the passage of this important legislation. Rep. Shimkus again emphasized that this legislation raises awareness for the victims of Soviet Communist and Nazi regimes and how this is still very relevant today.
"Designating August 23 as “Black Ribbon Day” places importance on honoring these victims and remembering the atrocities committed against them. It is my hope that through recognizing these victims their history will be forever remembered," said Rep. Shimkus.
JBANC also discussed other current issues with Rep. Shimkus - Baltic energy concerns, the P-visa situation, and NATO and overall regional security questions.
More photos: www.flickr.com/photos/11446098...
State Department officials reaffirm U.S. and NATO engagement to Baltics and the region
On May 30, JBANC together with colleagues from the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) met with three State Department officials - Eric Rubin (Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs), Thomas O. Melia, (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor) and Mike Uyehara (Director, Office of European Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor).
In the hour and a half long meeting, the participants mainly discussed issues related to the elections in Ukraine, and the situation in the region and also in the Baltics. Emphasis was made that LNG and broadcasting issues have to be among the main priorities to fight against dependence on Russia energy and Kremlin disinformation.
The State Department officials also provided detailed insight of the work that the United States has done to support Ukraine and to bolster regional security. CEEC members and JBANC also discussed their concerns and plans for further actions.
Baltic Solidarity for Ukraine: Let’s not let down our guard!
No one appreciates better than the Baltics what a policy of non-recognition means. The U.S. stood by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for 50 years, to delegitimize the cruel, unjust, and illegal Soviet take-over of the Baltics.
We owe it to our Ukrainian and Crimean compatriots to also stand up for them according to the same principles of freedom and justice that were maintained on behalf of the Baltics. We must not let Putin’s terror tactics stand.
In working for these goals, JBANC has many tools at its disposal to disseminate accurate and truthful information, to network with other organizations and individuals, and to use these resources to project the influence of the Baltic-American community in Washington, DC.
Read the whole blog by JBANC Managing Director Karl Altau here: jbanc.org/?page=blog&v=3&id=20
The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is a non-profit organization that monitors issues affecting Baltic-American communities in the United States and the nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. JBANC helps to coordinate Baltic-American activities in Washington, DC with the U.S. Congress, administration, NGO’s and other groups.
See more: jbanc.org/
JBANC June e-newsletter