During the Croatian Spring, Marko Veselica developed a reputation of being a Croatian nationalist. He was close to Ivan Milas. As a prominent Croatian dissident his Croatian nationalist views brought him into conflict with the Communist authorities of Yugoslavia. In 1981 he was arrested on suspicion of "antistate activities", charged with spreading hostile propaganda in interviews with Western news organizations and maintaining contacts with emigre groups, and after a seven-day trial sentenced by a Zagreb court to 11 years imprisonment. In 1983 he was an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience.
In 1990, he became leader of the newly formed Croatian Democratic Party (HDS). Following the merger of the HDS and the Croatian Christian Democratic Party (HKDS) he became chairman (1992–2001) of the Croatian Christian Democratic Union HKDU.
- "Marko Veselica". vecernji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- Croatia Dissident Reported Held, New York Times 1981
- Croatian Dissident Jailed, New York Times 1981
- Rights Group Kicks Off 'Amnesty Week': Students Seek to Free 'Prisoners of Conscience', Harvard Crimson 1983
- Leaders of Croatia, Zárate's Political Collections
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