The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989

A Catch-22 December 1989, Groundhog-Day Production. Presenting the Personal Research & Scholarship of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Yugoslavia-Romania border (19 December 1989): An AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE reporter was curtly told to “go back home, only Russians can get through”!

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on March 28, 2013


FBIS-EEU-89-242 (19 December 1989), p. 85.  Paris AFP in English 1430 GMT 19 December 1989.

Vatin, Yugoslavia, Dec. 19 (AFP)

Romania’s borders are now closed to all but Soviet travellers, who pass through Romania to return home after shopping trips to Yugoslavia….

An AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE reporter was curtly told to “go back home, only Russians can get through,” after two Romanian border guards–one armed with a Kalashnikov rifle with an Alsatian guard dog at his side–carried out a detailed inspection of the license plates on some 15 cars waiting to cross.

I have been using this source since back in the 1990s when I wrote my dissertation (defended December 1996) at Indiana University (Bloomington), but I still get a kick out of it when I come across it–particularly in light of the seemingly never-ending, snowballing revisionism which alleges that the Timisoara uprising was sparked by “Soviet tourists” or “Russian tourists,” etc.

18-19 December 1989: The Timisoara Crackdown in Ceausescu’s Absence

Considering the centrality of the “foreign tourist” scenario to Securitate-inspired accounts of the December events, it is interesting to note the actions taken by the Ceausescu regime on 18 December 1989. At the close of the emergency CPEx meeting on Sunday afternoon, Nicolae Ceausescu had announced:

I have ordered that all tourist activity be interrupted at once. Not one more foreign tourist will be allowed in, because they have all turned into agents of espionage….Not even those from the socialist countries will be allowed in, outside of [North] Korea, China, and Cuba. Because all the neighboring socialist countries are untrustworthy. Those sent from the neighboring socialist countries are sent as agents.[5]

On Monday, 18 December 1989, in typical Ceausist-style it was therefore announced that Romania would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions” were “not suitable for tourism.”[6] Ironically, the only ones exempted from this ban were: “Soviet travellers coming home from shopping trips to Yugoslavia”(!)[7]

excerpt from

In combination with the following declarations from late December 1989 and early 1990 by senior officials of the former Securitate, dispatched to find evidence of Nicolae Ceausescu’s (/General Iulian Vlad’s) theory of what was transpiring in Timisoara, but who found no evidence of such involvement, this should be a body blow to the revisionist “recovered memory” regarding “Russian/Soviet tourists” in the Timisoara uprising.

4 Responses to “Yugoslavia-Romania border (19 December 1989): An AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE reporter was curtly told to “go back home, only Russians can get through”!”

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