Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy’s call to key Hungarian-Americans: Please live up to the democratic heritage you cherish in America!

An open letter to:

Mr. Maximilian Teleki
President
Hungarian American Coalition

Mr. Frank Koszorús, Jr.
President
The American Hungarian Federation

Mr. Eugene Megyesy
Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Former Honorary Consul General of Hungary in Colorado

Budapest, December 4, 2014

Dear Messrs. Presidents,
Dear Max, Frank and Gene,

As you are aware several senior Hungarian individuals have recently been banned from the USA by the application of Presidential Proclamation 7750. This is an absolutely shocking and unprecedented action within the transatlantic community because it means that a) the US government considers persons close to the Hungarian government a direct threat to US national security and b) the US administration supposes that these individuals would not be persecuted for their alleged unlawful activity in Hungary. By this the US government says nothing less than Hungary is not a democracy because in a democracy illegal activities are investigated and punished.

The application of PP 7750 was preceded by other worrying events. Formerly President Obama stated that “from Hungary to Egypt, endless regulations and overt intimidation increasingly target civil society”. President Bill Clinton was even more straightforward when he said in the US Daily Show that Mr. Orbán was an admirer of “authoritarian capitalism” and never wanted to leave power. “Usually those guys just want to stay forever and make money” he added. This week Senator John McCain called Mr. Orbán “a neo-fascist” leader and he also stated: “Prime Minister Orban has justified his actions by calling for a new state model based on ‘illiberal democracy,’ but his vision defies the core values of the European Union and NATO. Please note that nobody attacks Hungary or the Hungarian people, only certain concrete actions of the Hungarian government! While one may consider the plentiful critical and even harsh journalistic statements that have appeared in the international media partial or exaggerating, similar statements by senior US officials must be taken seriously. Because all of us are sure that US presidents, the secretary of state and congressmen are interested in nothing else but the stability of the transatlantic alliance, the spread of liberal democracy and the prosperity of our community.

If all of this is true we must seriously analyze the facts that led our American friends arrive to the above mentioned conclusions. These facts have been published widely in the past four years. For example, Secretary Hillary Clinton referred to these some time ago and several official documents reflect US concerns. The US administration has always been consistent: they observed problems, consulted with relevant Hungarian authorities and officials, made statements when repeated consultations did not produce results and then acted. The US concerns regarding the measures of the Hungarian government (e.g. the slow abolishment of checks and balances, curtailment of the freedom of press and civil liberties, structural corruption, fight against free market economy etc.) naturally result in actions. Responding to these concerns the Hungarian government has always been cynical and aggressive and no progress has been made in order to improve democratic processes and transparency in the country. In fact, from a democratic point of view, the situation in Hungary has deteriorated dramatically in the past few years.

Dear Friends,

Knowing you for ages and being aware of your commitment to liberal democratic values, I ask you where you stand on these concrete issues? This is time to be explicit and no dubious speech is accepted. You have helped the opposition of the dictatorship before 1990 and contributed significantly to the democratic changes twenty-five years ago. I am sure we share the same values and that is why I am very concerned that you are silent about the Orbán government’s activities. A lot of people call you friends of Hungary and they wait for you to speak up for everything Viktor Orbán and Fidesz is fighting against: freedom of speech, religion, enterprise, and transatlantic principles. We Hungarian democrats and proud patriots want to get ever closer to the West where our sovereignty can be complete: we know that there is no alternative for us to the EU and NATO and anybody who challenges these organizations is against both Hungarian and US interests. We also want to live in a regulated but free market economy that is based upon stability, security and trust, the rule of law, the respect of private property and equal opportunities. We refuse any discrimination among persons because we believe in the unquestionable respect of human dignity.

I respectfully ask you to live up to the democratic heritage you cherish in America, your Hungarian roots as well as your distinguished and well applauded accomplishments in the Hungarian-American community. Please, make clear that your friends are Hungarian democrats no matter what party they represent, if at all, and your foes are those, regardless of their party affiliations, who tear down the firm wall between democracy and dictatorship. Let us join forces and make a common statement in which we 1) confirm our commitment to liberal democracy, free market economy and our transatlantic community, and 2) condemn any attempts that weaken or demolish these ideals: our common ideals we have been fighting for on both sides of the Atlantic.

I look forward to your response.

With kind regards,

Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy
Member of the Presidium of Democratic Coalition

Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy (Photo: Facebook)

Szabolcs Kerék-Bárczy (Photo: Facebook)

5 Comments

  1. András Göllner says:

    Bravo ! The silence of those addressed by Mr Kerék-Bárczy has been deafening for the past decade and a half as the authoritarian revolution engineered by Orbán rolled on to its current mile-post. Time’s up gentlemen ! Sitting on the fence and branding all of Orban’s critics as traitors is no longer tenable.

  2. It’s all pretty nice but I just have a bad feeling that no diplomatic and social efforts will have the power to change the present unfortunate situation. Mr. Orban will not resign whatever pressure he faces and will continue his destructive work until he meets the fate of Ceausescu or of his much admired idols, Hitler or Goebbels. Yes, McCain was right. He is not a populist, he is a neo-fascist in Goebbels footstep. It’s not populism. He speaks just as Goebbels and Hitler thought it.
    Can Hungarian learn? Do they want to learn at all, especially when a living AIDS virus, Orban, has destroyed their immune system?

    Now, what is the magic word that can awake people from their hypnotic dream?

    And what is the right thing to do when a rabid wild board wading though the plow land? Teach the farmers how to protect and fence their farm when the wild boar is already in, or call the local hunter society? Normally that is what farmers do, don’t they? Ceausescu met them.

  3. Amend: He speaks just as Goebbels and Hitler taught it.

  4. Princeton’s Kim Scheppele on Viktor Orban and his Fidesz supermajority

    https://vimeo.com/112994447

  5. Wouldn’t it deserve to be translated to English and German?

    http://nol.hu/velemeny/a-paciens-neve-orban-viktor-1502889

    As of his predictions for the future I wouldn’t say Mr. Mester is the eyes of Nostradamus, but his diagnosis of Orban is more or less correct.

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