February 22, 2019
In a public appearance in Miami last Monday aiming to support USA foreign policy on Venezuela, Melania Trump introduced her husband’s speech with the following words:
“I am proud to be here with you in the United States of America as your First Lady. Many of you in the room know what it feels like to be blessed with freedom after living under the oppression of socialism and communism.”
Various Slovenian media reported on her statement from different angles, and the comments on social media exploded, especially among those who felt that she was also claiming first-hand experience of such oppression.
A tweet from POP TV’s news programme, 24UR, decided to avoid the issue, leaving Mrs Trump’s personal experience out of the story’s headline and just giving a general idea of Melania’s concern for the victims of Venezuela’s socialist regime.
Translation: She expressed hope that Venezuelans will soon be freed from socialism.
Melania condemned “oppressive” socialism in Venezuela. The First Lady of the USA Melania Trump introduced her husband in Miami and condemned oppressive socialism and communism. She expressed hope that Venezuelans will soon start living their lives in freedom….
Some online commentators joined the Sevnica native’s condemnation of oppressive socialist regimes, claiming that Melania had some personal experience of such systems.
Translation: Melania knows what socialism is and empowers Venezuelans.
Translation of the retweeted summary of the right-leaning weekly Reporter’s article: Melania enthuses the Venezuelan diaspora in Miami: You have tasted freedom after the oppression of socialism and communism. The First Lady of the USA Melania Trump in Miami first visited child patients and then at the rally with her husband Donald encouraged Venezuelans to persist since freedom is close.
The left-leaning Mladina, however focused mainly on Melania’s implication of first-hand experience of socialist oppression.
Translation: Melania Trump on oppression in socialism and communism. The American media presented the First Lady’s performance with the comment that she was born in “communist” Slovenia, while she herself stressed that many in the audience know how it is to be blessed with freedom after living under the oppression of socialism and communism.
Since many in Slovenia interpreted the First Lady’s words as suggesting that she had lived under similar conditions in Yugoslavia, commentators, both professional and amateur, weighed in with their opinions.
Some focused on technical issues, such as the improper use of “communism” when talking about such regimes and the functional nature of political rhetoric.
Translation: Do you find this statement abnormal ? It is crystal clear to her that this is what she is supposed to say. After all, she is married to an ultra-capitalist and there’s no room there for socialism and similar matters…
Translation: No system so far practised communism. We lived in socialism, thank God.
The fact that the Yugoslavian regime was socialist (a planned economy with private property) not communist (no private property rights) should be pretty clear to Melania, as Marxist historic materialism was once part of the elementary school history classes.
Most of the social media comments, however seemed to be inspired by an attempt to visualise Melania’s alleged personal experience of the hardship of oppression on her way to the freedom she eventually found in her marriage to Donald Trump and the US citizenship which followed.
Translation: She survived socialism.
- I hope she writes a book about her thorny path to freedom
- Yes, the title: On the catwalk to freedom
- … and beyond without the Iron Curtain
- Jokes are just writing themselves: How I came out of dissidence and ended up on a catwalk, which was the only way out from oppression and poverty
- Comment under some of her pictures: Communism stripped me naked
Translation: Poor girl. After her dramatically illegal life [meaning the life of a dissident] she managed pass deadly traps and spies and leave communist Slovenia in secret. The story of this escape to freedom, full of tragic twists, loss of memory to trauma and immense efforts will be immortalised by action movies. The word is out there that she will be played by Angelina J.. She is now sending her regards from a place of freedom to the Slovenian people, who continues to live in trauma.
Several of the commentators also made reference to the variety of goods on offer in earlier days, with a focus on yogurt.
Translation: She might also have found the range of yogurts insufficient.
Translation: Actually, she is right – it really was difficult living in a country with such a poor choice of (artificial) yogurts.
The last two comments come in a reference to a failed attempt at criticism of the former Yugoslav regime by the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović. Her statement on the lack of yogurts under Tito prompted some in the Croatian media to even pull out of the archives a 1975 study titled “Organoleptic quality of Yugoslavian yogurts and other fermented milk products”, proving that there were over 300 varied items of this kind on the Yugoslav market at the time.