CREATORS OF NEW ROMANIA
(b. January 10, 1869, Cincu, Romania – d. January 1, 1928, Lugoj, Romania)
Valeriu Braniște was a professor, a journalist, and a politician. He was an honorary member of the Romanian Academy.
He studied Philology at the University of Budapest and was involved in the Romanian national movement from early on in his career. As he supported the Memorandum movement (a political attempt to expand the rights of Romanians in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) through his articles published in Dreptatea (The Justice) magazine, he was sentenced to two years in prison. A journalist through and through, he understood the importance of newspapers in the fight for democratic and national rights. For this reason, together with Iancu Flondor, he created in 1897, in Cernăuţi, The Patria newspaper, devoted to advance the cause of Romanians in Bukovina.
From 1917 to 1918 he was again sentenced, this time for his refusal to sign a declaration of loyalty to the Habsburg Monarchy. His activity propelled him into the Great Romanian National Council, whose member he was from December 2, 1918, but also into the Directing Council. A good orator and an expert of regional affairs, he was also co-opted in the Romanian commission that negotiated the status of the Banat province at the Paris Peace Conference.