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.

“Revolutia FARA teroristi” si Procurori Militari Popa Cherecheanu si Samoila Joarza (1993-1997)

(purely personal views, based on over two decades of prior research and publications)

Many Romanians and Romanianists believe that the position of the Military Procuracy on December 1989 has been almost completely an issue of politics.  Thus, they take a superficial view based on who is in office politically as the explanation for the stance of the Military Procuracy.  This ignores the bureaucratic (Steaua-Dinamo) and patron-client battles beneath the surface.  It turns out that particularly on the question of the “terrorists” of December 1989, there was an important nuanced difference before and after 1993 in the Romanian Military Procuracy under the Iliescu (FSN/FDSN/PDSR) regime.  From what I can tell, the claim that “there were no terrorists” in December 1989 consolidated and became an official stance of the Military Procuracy when Mihai Ulupiu Popa Cherecheanu was in charge (although we can see the direction Cherecheanu was heading already in late 1992: ) The procuracy headed by Mugurel Florescu tended to be much more coy and non-committal, failing to say who the terrorists were but leaving it to be understood that they may nevertheless have existed.  Instead, the proucracy under Cherecheanu became much more determined in suggesting that everyone who had been arrested as a terrorist had been arrested by accident based on erroneous suspicions.  The difference can be seen, for example, in the nuanced transformation of views of the so-called diversionist psychological and radioelectronic warfare between 1992 and 1994:

My guess is that some of this may also have been related to Iliescu’s second election victory in fall 1992 and the formation of the government under Nicolae Vacaraoiu, a period during which many Romanian critics alleged a “restoration” of parts of the old Ceausescu order were under way.  Below two Doru Braia questions from a 1997 interview with General Victor Atanasie Stanculescu, that demonstrate that 1) prior to Dan Voinea coming to the helm of the military procuracy, Cherecheanu was still in charge into 1997, despite the Constantinescu-CDR victory in the fall 1996, and 2) Samoila Joarza was not only denying to Braia that the terrorists had existed, but denied the very existence of a list of the terrorists!  Thus, Dan Voinea did not originate the idea of a “revolution without terrorists,” but inherited from the PDSR-appointed procuracy the claim that the terrorists were an “invention” (what did differentiate Voinea from Cherecheanu’s procuracy was that he began the prosecution of almost exclusively Army officers for their role in the December 1989 repression–Militia and Securitate officers were conspicuously absent).

24 iulie 1997, Ziua:

Doru Braia:  Mi s-a sus ca dumneavoastra i-ati ,impins’ in fata pe Mugurel Florescu si pe actualul sef al Parchetului Militar, generalul Cherecheanu.  Nu ati avut nici o implicare in numirea lor in aceasta pozitie?


4 august 1997, Ziua:

Doru Braia:  Apropo de ,Lista Teroristilor’, cea cu 1100 de nume, de are ati amintit la un moment dat.  Intre timp, am inaintat Ministerului Apararii solicitarea de a ne confirma existenta acelei liste.  De la Parchetul Militar, dl. gen. de div. Samoila Joarza, sustine ca nu ar fi existat lista.  Ba mai mult, contesta faptulu, afirmat de dvs., ca s-ar fi facut rapoarte de catre Garnizoanele care au arestat teroristi, cu descrierea actiunilor de lupta desfasurate de catre acestia.  Ce aveti de spus?


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