"TO BE PARTLY CONTROLLED BY THE CIA? THAT DOESN'T BOTHER ME MUCH" -- INTERVIEW WITH TWO ACTIVISTS OF THE OTPOR STUDENT MOVEMENT
Mugemangango & Michel Collon
October 6, 2000
Meeting with two members of Otpor, the student movement of which the Western press speaks so much, describing it as "independent." It was last Aug. 2, in a cafe in Kragujevac.
First of all, what is Otpor? "Itís an organization of youths in high schools and colleges," Ivana told us. "No one is older than 27. All our members are also members of the Democratic Party (opposition). But our activities are different: actions, shows, distributions of propaganda."
Above all the difficult life in Serbia seems to affect them most at present: "My father," Nenad explained, "has owned the same automobile for 13 years. He canít afford to buy another. As for me, a musician, to earn a living, I have to play with certain groups that I donít like. And I also have to work in my fatherís small business."
Ivana and Nenad seem to expect a lot from the West: "Yugoslavia is a good place to invest: in the center of Europe, with very rich mines, the Danube with its electric potential, well-educated people, good workers. Here the people can work for very little, you could say for a penny," Nenad explained.
Wasnít he afraid that the multinationals that would take control of Yugoslavia would wind up paying wages as low as possible in order to raise their profits? "It would nonetheless be a good deal for them. And we would keep control."
Obviously these youths have grand illusions. With the ultra-liberal [free market] economic program of G17, this "control" will be rather limited.
Now we come to our crucial question. You expect that the United States will aid your country. But it played a big role in breaking it up. Is it true that Otpor, or in any case its leaders, are paid by the CIA through the front organization called the National Endowment for Democracy?
Apparently our question upset them. "I know," he ended up saying, "that the CIA is involved in this whole story. They have their work to do and they are stronger than our own secret services."
ďListen to me. I am also against the USA, but we canít resist them, and they have to do their job, while for me, well it doesnít bother me that much to be partly controlled by the CIA.Ē
Why did the CIA train Otpor activists for 10 days? Why did the CIA devote so much money to take control of Otpor and the other opposition movements? Because in reality, in the rank-and-file of these movements, you can find a good number of honest people. They have many complaints with regard to Milosevic and the parties in power, but they remain partisans of the independence of Yugoslavia and donít want their country to become a colony.
To lead these people where they donít want to go demands a sophisticated strategy of manipulation. In the summer of 1999, the head of the CIA, George Tenet, set up shop in Sofia, Bulgaria to ďeducateĒ the Serb opposition. Last Aug. 28, the BBC confirmed that a special 10-day class had been given to the Otpor militants, also in Sofia.
The CIA program is a program in successive phases. Early on, they flatter the Serbís patriotism and spirit of independence, acting as if they respect these qualities. But after having sown confusion and broken the unity of the country, the CIA and NATO would go much further.
The CIA has already employed these tactics against numerous peoples. To overturn a government through disruption, it has experience. In Brazil (1964), in Chile (1973), in Bulgaria (1990), you can find the same type of pseudo-popular movements, orchestrated with the force of the U.S. dollar. The CIA is the enemy of all the people. It serves the interests of only a handful of multinational corporations and murderous generals. Itís high time they opened their eyes.
International Action Center