Fitzroy Drkavic* comes from an Austro-Hungarian family that has lived through some of the worst the world has to offer. Now, he sees some of the same factors that caused so much hardship for his relatives emerging in his new homeland of Canada - and has decided to do something about it.
International Man: Why did you decide to get a second citizenship?
Fitzroy Drkavic: The reason I decided to pursue a new citizenship is centered on the following three negative trends in place throughout the Western world.
The monetary system in Japan, Europe and the United States is unstable. These three areas have racked up debts that cannot be repaid. A reset of the global monetary system would have immense implications. The consequences are unknowable, but I felt it was time to take out some insurance.
There is a growing trend towards foreign war. Preemptive attacks (via drones), incessant propaganda to stir up hate for the boogeyman, and cyber warfare are not features of a free and prosperous country. The increase in militarism exists even in Canada, which would surprise most people. For all intents and purposes, Canada is simply a puppet of the US empire. If you do not like the foreign policy in the US, you will also dislike the foreign policy of Canada. However, the problems in Canada are disguised by resource wealth. The monetary and foreign policies are just as asinine as the US.
- Domestic freedoms appear to be under attack. Domestic surveillance, more local cops with military weaponry, more prisons, capital controls and a growing band of control freaks who want to legislate everything gives me reason to think twice about the future of my family.
These three trends, if continued, will most likely create a nutty political situation throughout the Old Western world.
Residency and a second citizenship give the individual more options. My own family escaped gruesome war by having a Canadian residency and a foreign bank account in Switzerland.
IM: What countries did you research for your second citizenship?
FD: I narrowed down my options to three countries: Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. I read articles, blog posts, books and newsletters about all three countries.
IM: Why did you choose Paraguay?
FD: After three months of research I decided on Paraguay. I chose Paraguay for three reasons:
It is a low-cost process. The legal fees are only about $1500.
I was also attracted to Paraguay because the time to attain residency and citizenship was faster and less cumbersome than the other two options.
- The Paraguayan passport is a decent travel document. If something were ever to happen to my Canadian passport, I could still live and do business around the world using a Paraguayan passport.
IM: What does your family say?
FD: Only my immediate family is aware of my pursuit of a foreign passport. They're supportive of my choice, because our family has endured war, persecution and monetary crises over the last century. They are well aware that peace and prosperity can be a fleeting illusion.
I have a long history of making sound investments based on my understanding of financial history and the macro environment. My immediate family respects my opinion and understands that my decisions are based on rationality, and not fear or emotion.
I have refrained from telling my friends and other family members about my Paraguay endeavor. I do not want to arouse suspicion. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the macro environment, nor history. Since they do not see tanks on the horizon or money depreciating on a daily basis, they are complacent. For these reasons, for one to leave the comfortable confines of Canada in favor of a dusty, poor South American country would be a pursuit perceived as crazy at best.
IM: What do you mean when you say that your family has "endured war, persecution and monetary crises over the last century"?
FD: Our family has Austro-Hungarian bloodlines and endured the ravages of both World Wars, as well as the Balkan/Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s.
Here are some examples:
- My grandmother was rescued from a concentration camp during WW2 with gold bullion.
- There was hyperinflation in Hungary in the 1950s, and in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. My family avoided a total financial wipeout by owning the strong currency of the day (usually Deutschmarks or Pounds) in a foreign bank account.
- Some family members were persecuted during the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe, and the Slavs were persecuted in WW2. In essence, any dissent from government policy has always put my family in the crosshairs of men with guns.
- One relative obtained Canadian residency and citizenship prior to the Balkan/Yugoslav Wars.
- Another relative had his money stashed in Switzerland as the former Yugoslavia hyperinflated and NATO forces froze foreign bank accounts (but not Switzerland).
- Another relative escaped Hungary prior to the Soviet communist crackdown in the 1950s. He made a fortune in the United States, and he enabled an international network of family and friends to escape and prosper.
Long story short - it was a bloody and turbulent time in that region of Europe. When the politicians were hell bent on division and conquest, the prudent response was to flee and diversify.
IM: If you were to start your pursuit of a second citizenship all over again, would you do anything differently?
FD: I only wish I had started the process sooner. For example, I could have started the process in 2009 and already be a Paraguayan citizen.
IM: Do you have any advice for others who are considering a second citizenship?
FD: My advice for other people is twofold:
I think that many people who have some understanding of the grave problems facing the old Western world and Japan have a tendency to believe that gold is the solution. Gold is a weapon that can solve many problems. However, the world that we are entering requires more assets than simply gold coins buried in the woods. One should think about foreign bank accounts, and new citizenships.
- In addition, I think that people should start connecting with like-minded people, as their community and network are of utmost importance during any crisis.
Ask yourself a simple question: would I rather buy one more ounce of gold, or create an alternate political identity that may enhance my ability to flee, do business in other countries, or open financial accounts?
My last thought is that many people reading this should remember that, often, individual procrastination is the enemy, not the State.
IM: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all these questions.
* For privacy reasons, name has been changed.