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.

Posts Tagged ‘collapse of communism 1989’

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #8 Romania closes its borders to almost all foreigners…except Russian tourists returning from shopping trips to Yugoslavia (18-19 December 1989)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 19, 2014

(Purely personal views as always, based on over two decades of research and publications inside and outside Romania)

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe–Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.  This series looks at 25 things I have learned about the events of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  The numbering is not designed to assign importance, but rather–to the extent possible–to progress chronologically through those events.

Significance:  During the meeting of the equivalent of the Politburo of the Romanian Communist Party on the afternoon of 17 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu 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.”  On 18 December 1989, in the aftermath of the bloodbath of regime repression that had transpired in Timisoara the night before, it was officially announced–in typical Ceausist- (and undeniably Orwellian) style–that Romania would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions” were “not suitable for tourism.”  Only it turned out in practice one group of tourists from a neighboring communist state were exempted from this requirement:  Soviet tourists returning home from shopping trips in Yugoslavia…

image0

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.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/28/yugoslavia-romania-border-19-december-1989-an-agence-france-presse-reporter-was-curtly-told-to-go-back-home-only-russians-can-get-through/

 

An excerpt from

A chapter from my Ph.D. Dissertation at Indiana University: Richard Andrew Hall, Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania (defended 16 December 1996). This is the original chapter as it appeared then [minus the xeroxes] and thus has not been revised in any form.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-6-18-22-december-1989/ (traducere de catre Marius Mioc 18-19 decembrie 1989 )

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]

[from Mircea Bunea, Praf in ochi:  Procesul celor 24-1-2 (Editura Scripta, 1994), p. 34.]

image0-001

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]

Thus, it is intriguing to see how former Securitate Colonel Filip Teodorescu tailors his characterization of Timisoara on 18 December to account for this change:

There were few foreigners in the hotels, the majority of them having fled the town after lunch [on 17 December] when the clashes began to break out. The interested parties remained. Our attention is drawn to the unjustifiably large number of Soviet tourists, be they by bus or car. Not all of them stayed in hotels. They either had left their buses, or stayed in their cars overnight. Border records indicate their points of entry as being through northern Transylvania. They all claimed they were in transit to Yugoslavia. The explanation was plausible, the Soviets being well-known for their shopping trips. Unfortunately, we did not have enough forces and the conditions did not allow us to monitor the activities of at least some of these “tourists.”[8]

[from Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 1992, p. 92]

image-68

This raises the question of why, if the Soviet tourists were the ones suspected from the first of being behind the unrest, it should have been exactly they who were given continued access into Romania? One of the most effective rejections of the “tourist” scenario came in 1991 from “a group of [Army] officers from the Timisoara garrison.” In an open letter, they proclaimed:

If they [the tourists] appeared suspect to the special forces of the Securitate and counter-military intelligence, why did they not attempt to keep them under surveillance? During this period, did the Securitate and the counter-intelligence officers not know how to do their jobs? Did they somehow forget why they were paid such weighty sums from the state budget?[9]

[Un Grup de Ofiteri din Garnizoana Timisoara, Romania Libera, 15 octombrie 1991
“4.  Existenta unui mare numar de turisti straini, care s-au deplasat (cu autoturisme) spre Timisoara si prin Timisoara.
Cine au fost acei turisti?  Turisti banuiti, si ei, de intentii destabalizatoare.
Daca fortelor speciale de securitate si contrainformatii militare li s-au parut suspecti, de ce nu s-au procedat la verificarea acestora?  Oare in acel rastimp, securistii si contrainformatorii nu mai stiau sa-si faca meseria?  Au uitat pentru ce erau platiti, din bugetul statului, cu bani grei?”]

As we mentioned earlier, in an interesting psychological twist the former Securitate sometimes appear to attribute their own actions to others, especially the convenient phantom-like “foreign tourists.” Some of the Securitate‘s arguments also appear to be based on the manipulation and perversion of real information which has been ripped from its context and placed in another one which suits the Securitate‘s institutional interests better. For example, the comments of the Yugoslav News Agency (TANJUG) correspondent at the Vatin border post on 20 December 1989 may give us a hint as to where the idea of “foreign tourists travelling in convoys of cars” originated from:

People who spent a long time at this crossing point today say that the Romanian government is even accompanying private cars of tourists returning home via Romania. They usually wait until five or six of them assemble and then let them continue in convoys led by official Romanian cars.[10]

[5].. See Mircea Bunea, Praf in Ochi. Procesul Celor 24-1-2. (Bucharest: Editura Scripta, 1994), 34.

[6].. Belgrade Domestic Service, 1400 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-243, 20 December 1989.

[7].. Agence France Presse, 19 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-242, 19 December 1989.

[8].. Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat: Timisoara decembrie 1989 (Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romanesc, 1992), 92.

[9].. Un grup de ofiteri din garnizoana Timisoara, “FRICA DE PROPRIUL POPOR… [Fear of your own people]” Romania Libera, 15 October 1991, 2a.

[10].. Belgrade TANJUG, 2137 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-244, 21 December 1989, 80. Disinformation is frequently thought of as synonymous with the “big lie,” but indeed the most effective disinformation always contains a kernel of truth. Frequently, real facts are merely presented out of context. It is also intriguing to note the almost Freudian mirror-imaging quality of this disinformation–a characteristic common to totalitarian regimes. This is especially the case when it comes to the accusations of foreign powers being engaged in “terrorist actions”–an eerily accurate description of the Ceausescu regime’s own actions.

—————————————-

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.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/23/nicolae-ceausescus-paranoia-as-a-theory-for-explaining-december-1989/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/17/filip-teodorescu-adj-sef-dir-iii-contraspionaj-d-s-s-nu-sint-date-ca-ar-exista-instigatori-sau-conducatori-anume-veniti-din-strainatate/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/16/emil-macri-rezumind-sintetic-informatiile-obtinute-ele-nu-au-pus-in-evidenta-nici-lideri-si-nici-amestecul-vreunei-puteri-straine-in-producerea-evenimentelor-de-la-timisoara/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/10/liviu-dinulescu-cpt-la-serviciul-de-pasapoarte-al-jud-timis-precizez-ca-anterior-declansarii-evenimentelor-de-la-timisoara-din-datele-ce-le-detineam-serviciul-nostru-nu-rezulta-vreun-amestec-di/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/06/secretele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-col-niculae-mavru-fost-sef-al-sectiei-filaj-si-investigatie-de-la-securitatea-timis/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/ultimul-raport-al-securitatii-catre-nicolae-ceausescu/

 

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #1 The Securitate Deny Foreign Instigation of the Timisoara Uprising

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #2 Shattered Glass: Securitate Vandalism to Justify Timisoara Crackdown

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #3 “Anti-terrorism” and Regime Repression

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #4 Timisoara Demonstrators Injured and Killed by Dum-Dum Bullets

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #5 Timisoara (Podul Decebal) Evidence Suggests only the Securitate Had Dum-Dum Bullets

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revoluion: #6 The Securitate Sends a Coded-Message to Its Undercovers in the Field (“Citeva sfaturi pentru cei aflati in aceste zile la mare,” Scinteia Tineretului, 18 December 1989)

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #7 Nicolae Ceausescu Leaves on a Less-than-spontaneous Trip to Iran (18 December 1989)

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Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Days Leading up to 9 November and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Articles from the Washington Post)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 7, 2014

Robert J. McCartney, “Long-Suffering E. Germans ‘Just Can’t Take It Anymore.’  Widespread Discontent Erupts Into Nightly Protests,” Washington Post, 29 October 1989.

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Mary Battiata, “Police Break Up Anti-Government Rally in Prague,” Washington Post, 29 October 1989.

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Mary Battiata, “Playwright In the Fire of Dissent.  In Prague, Reluctant Hero Vaclav Havel Ponders His Role,” Washington Post, 27 October 1989.

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Robert J. McCartney, “East German Chief Installed Amid Protests.  Election of Krenz Less than Unanimous,” Washington Post, 25 October 1989.

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Robert J. McCartney, “German Migration Worrying Bonn. Mass Influx is Seen Posing Housing, Employment Problems,” Washington Post, 7 November 1989.

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Blaine Harden, “Wet and Hopeful, the Sickerts Walked West.  East German Family Joins Flood of Migrants Seeking Better Lives by Fleeing Homeland,” Washington Post, 7 November 1989.

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Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #8 Romania closes its borders to almost all foreigners…except Russian tourists returning from shopping trips to Yugoslavia (18-19 December 1989)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 1, 2014

(Purely personal views as always, based on over two decades of research and publications inside and outside Romania)

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe–Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.  This (likely aperiodic) series looks at 25 things I have learned about the events of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  The numbering is not designed to assign importance, but rather–to the extent possible–to progress chronologically through those events.

Significance:  During the meeting of the equivalent of the Politburo of the Romanian Communist Party on the afternoon of 17 December 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu 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.”  On 18 December 1989, in the aftermath of the bloodbath of regime repression that had transpired in Timisoara the night before, it was officially announced–in typical Ceausist- (and undeniably Orwellian) style–that Romania would not accept any more tourists because of a “shortage of hotel rooms” and because “weather conditions” were “not suitable for tourism.”  Only it turned out in practice one group of tourists from a neighboring communist state were exempted from this requirement:  Soviet tourists returning home from shopping trips in Yugoslavia…

image0

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.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/28/yugoslavia-romania-border-19-december-1989-an-agence-france-presse-reporter-was-curtly-told-to-go-back-home-only-russians-can-get-through/

 

An excerpt from

A chapter from my Ph.D. Dissertation at Indiana University: Richard Andrew Hall, Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania (defended 16 December 1996). This is the original chapter as it appeared then [minus the xeroxes] and thus has not been revised in any form.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-6-18-22-december-1989/ (traducere de catre Marius Mioc 18-19 decembrie 1989 )

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]

[from Mircea Bunea, Praf in ochi:  Procesul celor 24-1-2 (Editura Scripta, 1994), p. 34.]

image0-001

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]

Thus, it is intriguing to see how former Securitate Colonel Filip Teodorescu tailors his characterization of Timisoara on 18 December to account for this change:

There were few foreigners in the hotels, the majority of them having fled the town after lunch [on 17 December] when the clashes began to break out. The interested parties remained. Our attention is drawn to the unjustifiably large number of Soviet tourists, be they by bus or car. Not all of them stayed in hotels. They either had left their buses, or stayed in their cars overnight. Border records indicate their points of entry as being through northern Transylvania. They all claimed they were in transit to Yugoslavia. The explanation was plausible, the Soviets being well-known for their shopping trips. Unfortunately, we did not have enough forces and the conditions did not allow us to monitor the activities of at least some of these “tourists.”[8]

[from Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 1992, p. 92]

image-68

This raises the question of why, if the Soviet tourists were the ones suspected from the first of being behind the unrest, it should have been exactly they who were given continued access into Romania? One of the most effective rejections of the “tourist” scenario came in 1991 from “a group of [Army] officers from the Timisoara garrison.” In an open letter, they proclaimed:

If they [the tourists] appeared suspect to the special forces of the Securitate and counter-military intelligence, why did they not attempt to keep them under surveillance? During this period, did the Securitate and the counter-intelligence officers not know how to do their jobs? Did they somehow forget why they were paid such weighty sums from the state budget?[9]

[Un Grup de Ofiteri din Garnizoana Timisoara, Romania Libera, 15 octombrie 1991
“4.  Existenta unui mare numar de turisti straini, care s-au deplasat (cu autoturisme) spre Timisoara si prin Timisoara.
Cine au fost acei turisti?  Turisti banuiti, si ei, de intentii destabalizatoare.
Daca fortelor speciale de securitate si contrainformatii militare li s-au parut suspecti, de ce nu s-au procedat la verificarea acestora?  Oare in acel rastimp, securistii si contrainformatorii nu mai stiau sa-si faca meseria?  Au uitat pentru ce erau platiti, din bugetul statului, cu bani grei?”]

As we mentioned earlier, in an interesting psychological twist the former Securitate sometimes appear to attribute their own actions to others, especially the convenient phantom-like “foreign tourists.” Some of the Securitate‘s arguments also appear to be based on the manipulation and perversion of real information which has been ripped from its context and placed in another one which suits the Securitate‘s institutional interests better. For example, the comments of the Yugoslav News Agency (TANJUG) correspondent at the Vatin border post on 20 December 1989 may give us a hint as to where the idea of “foreign tourists travelling in convoys of cars” originated from:

People who spent a long time at this crossing point today say that the Romanian government is even accompanying private cars of tourists returning home via Romania. They usually wait until five or six of them assemble and then let them continue in convoys led by official Romanian cars.[10]

[5].. See Mircea Bunea, Praf in Ochi. Procesul Celor 24-1-2. (Bucharest: Editura Scripta, 1994), 34.

[6].. Belgrade Domestic Service, 1400 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-243, 20 December 1989.

[7].. Agence France Presse, 19 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-242, 19 December 1989.

[8].. Filip Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat: Timisoara decembrie 1989 (Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romanesc, 1992), 92.

[9].. Un grup de ofiteri din garnizoana Timisoara, “FRICA DE PROPRIUL POPOR… [Fear of your own people]” Romania Libera, 15 October 1991, 2a.

[10].. Belgrade TANJUG, 2137 GMT 20 December 1989, in FBIS-EEU-89-244, 21 December 1989, 80. Disinformation is frequently thought of as synonymous with the “big lie,” but indeed the most effective disinformation always contains a kernel of truth. Frequently, real facts are merely presented out of context. It is also intriguing to note the almost Freudian mirror-imaging quality of this disinformation–a characteristic common to totalitarian regimes. This is especially the case when it comes to the accusations of foreign powers being engaged in “terrorist actions”–an eerily accurate description of the Ceausescu regime’s own actions.

—————————————-

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.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/23/nicolae-ceausescus-paranoia-as-a-theory-for-explaining-december-1989/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/17/filip-teodorescu-adj-sef-dir-iii-contraspionaj-d-s-s-nu-sint-date-ca-ar-exista-instigatori-sau-conducatori-anume-veniti-din-strainatate/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/16/emil-macri-rezumind-sintetic-informatiile-obtinute-ele-nu-au-pus-in-evidenta-nici-lideri-si-nici-amestecul-vreunei-puteri-straine-in-producerea-evenimentelor-de-la-timisoara/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/10/liviu-dinulescu-cpt-la-serviciul-de-pasapoarte-al-jud-timis-precizez-ca-anterior-declansarii-evenimentelor-de-la-timisoara-din-datele-ce-le-detineam-serviciul-nostru-nu-rezulta-vreun-amestec-di/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/06/secretele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-col-niculae-mavru-fost-sef-al-sectiei-filaj-si-investigatie-de-la-securitatea-timis/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/ultimul-raport-al-securitatii-catre-nicolae-ceausescu/

 

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #1 The Securitate Deny Foreign Instigation of the Timisoara Uprising

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #2 Shattered Glass: Securitate Vandalism to Justify Timisoara Crackdown

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #3 “Anti-terrorism” and Regime Repression

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #4 Timisoara Demonstrators Injured and Killed by Dum-Dum Bullets

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #5 Timisoara (Podul Decebal) Evidence Suggests only the Securitate Had Dum-Dum Bullets

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #6 The Securitate Sends a Coded-Message to Its Undercovers in the Field (“Citeva sfaturi pentru cei aflati in aceste zile la mare,” Scinteia Tineretului, 18 December 1989)

25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #7 Nicolae Ceausescu Leaves on a Less-than-spontaneous Trip to Iran (18 December 1989)

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Light and Guns of 19 August: Media Accounts and Video about an Important Day in the Fall of European Communism in 1989 (featuring Hungary, Poland, and Romania)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 16, 2014

(purely personal views, as always)

Just as 3-4 June 1989 was a very crowded news-weekend–Solidarity’s overwhelming and dramatic victory in communist Poland’s first competitive parliamentary elections, the brutal crackdown by the Chinese military on student protesters in Tiananmen Square, and the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran–so too the weekend of 19-20 August 1989 was full of, in retrospect, important events in the fall of communism in Europe in 1989, even if many of these events are less-well known than those from June:  the pan-European picnic of 19 August on the Hungarian-Austrian border which resulted in East Germans fleeing to the West; the designation of Solidarity’s Tadeusz Mazowiecki for the post of prime minister and the formation of a non-communist government; and panicked by the loss of communist control in Poland, Nicolae Ceausescu’s attempt to call for intervention by fellow Warsaw Pact members to prevent the Polish crisis from spreading elsewhere in the region.

Hungary:

West German TV,  Tagesschau vom 19.08.1989

I was reminded of this in late June of this year when I found the following interview in the weekend Hungarian publication Vasarnapi Petofi Nepe.  Like Forrest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates, you never know quite what you are going to get in a weekend publication.  In this case, an unexpected find:  Miklos Nemeth’s comments about discussions with the West Germans in the lead up to the pan-European picnic.

 

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/hubs/1989-revisited/6408378/Hungary-the-picnic-that-changed-the-world.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/08/20/world/picnic-becomes-chance-for-200-to-flee-west.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C{%222%22%3A%22RI%3A17%22} 

Picnic Becomes Chance for 200 to Flee West

Published: August 20, 1989

ST. MARGARETHEN, Austria, Aug. 19— More than 200 East Germans used a symbolic picnic on the Austrian-Hungarian border today as a cover to flee to the West.

A group of about 100 East Germans pushed through a partly open gate leading to a muddy track at the border fence and walked into Austria. Smaller groups, estimated at more than 100 people, followed as Hungarian border guards turned a blind eye.

”They just marched straight through,” said an Austrian border guard near this northeastern border village. Mostly young people, some with children, they fled Hungary with just the clothes they were wearing.

More than 1,000 East Germans have escaped west through Hungary in the last two weeks. The exodus has soured relations between the Germanys and embarrassed reform-minded Hungary.

The picnic, called ”Tear It Down and Take It With You,” had been planned as a celebration of European unity.

Visitors from Austria and Hungary were encouraged to clip bits of barbed wire as souvenirs from the border fence Hungary is dismantling. Hundreds of Austrians arriving for the event stared in amazement at the East Germans coming toward them.

 

 

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Poland:

(Note I do not know Polish; I would appreciate insights from those who know the language about anything posted here, thank you)

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/08/19/world/senior-solidarity-aide-says-he-is-being-named-premier-postwar-milestone-in-bloc.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C{%222%22%3A%22RI%3A17%22}

SENIOR SOLIDARITY AIDE SAYS HE IS BEING NAMED PREMIER

SENIOR SOLIDARITY AIDE SAYS HE IS BEING NAMED PREMIER; POSTWAR MILESTONE IN BLOC

Published: August 19, 1989

WARSAW, Aug. 18— A senior Solidarity official said today that he would be nominated as Poland’s Prime Minister. He would be the first non-Communist head of government in Eastern Europe since the early postwar years.

Various reports in the capital said that the official, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, would be formally nominated by President Wojciech Jaruzelski on Saturday. The nomination would then face a vote in Parliament.

Mr. Mazowiecki, a close aide to the Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, met with General Jaruzelski today and said afterward that he expected to be nominated and that he would accept. Key Posts for Communists

If he is indeed chosen as the head of a non-Communist coalition government, it would mark a sea change in Eastern European politics, which have been controlled exclusively by Communist Parties since the aftermath of World War II. But in a gesture to Moscow and to the continued strength of the Communist Party in Poland, the new government would allow the Communists to control the army and security police, which can be activated upon the orders of the President.

The office of the Commmunist President, General Jaruzelski, did not officially confirm the choice, but a newscast on the national radio said the President had met with Mr. Mazowiecki, who was ”generally believed to be the candidate for Prime Minister.”

Asked how soon he thought a cabinet could be assembled, Mr. Mazowiecki replied: ”I would like to know that myself. There is a great social impatience. But it is a Government formed on a completely new principle, and I need some time.” ‘Somebody Has to Try It’

He added: ”I am afraid of many things, and if I were only afraid, I would be a total pessimist. But somebody has to try it.”

His meeting with the President today became necessary after the Communist Prime Minister, Czeslaw Kiszczak, announced his resignation on Thursday after failing to assemble a cabinet against the staunch opposition of Solidarity, and General Jaruzelski announced that he would urgently consider a proposal for a Solidarity-led Government.

The government crisis followed the Communist Party’s crushing defeat in elections in June. The elections, the first virtually free vote in the East bloc since the war, were a product of negotiations involving Solidarity and the Government that ended in April. Those talks, which also led to the restoration of legal status for Solidarity after eight years of suppression, came in reaction to two waves of labor unrest that swept Poland in 1988.

Entering the white stucco Parliament building after his talks with the President, Mr. Mazowiecki was asked by reporters whether he would accept the nomination. ”Yes,” he replied, ”but everything depends on Parliament.” The next scheduled session of Parliament, at which it could take up the Mazowiecki nomination, is set for Aug. 23. But a special session could be scheduled earlier. Confers With Solidarity Leaders

At Parliament, Mr. Mazowiecki met with the Solidarity floor leader, Bronislaw Geremek, and the leader of Rural Solidarity, Jozef Slisz. Mr. Mazowiecki was clad in a gray plaid suit and was accompanied by Jacek Ambroziak, the lawyer who went to the Jaruzelski meeting with him.

Solidarity officials said details of the cabinet formation remained to be negotiated. They said Communist politicians would most certainly fill the jobs of Minister of the Interior and of Defense, essentially responsible for the army, the police and the secret police, though it remained unclear whether the Communists would demand other ministries, including Foreign Affairs. The officials said the Communists might also demand the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Such an arrangement, if accepted by Solidarity and its coalition partners, the United Peasant Alliance and the Democratic Alliance, would essentially leave political and military responsibility to the Communists, while awarding the care of the economy to Solidarity.

The President can appoint a Prime Minister, dissolve Parliament and call elections. He is also ultimately responsible for foreign relations and national defense and is the commander in chief of the armed forces. Church-Appointed Negotiator

The choice of Mr. Mazowiecki, a leading Catholic layman, underscored the role of the Roman Catholic Church as power broker.

Last year Mr. Mazowiecki was among the Catholic laymen asked by the Polish episcopate to negotiate an end to labor unrest that led to the sweeping talks between the Communists and Solidarity and yielded the present developments.

Mr. Ambroziak, a lawyer and Catholic writer, is legal adviser to the episcopate, and after the meeting with General Jaruzelski the two men drove across town to the red brick building of the episcopate to meet with Poland’s Primate, Jozef Cardinal Glemp, before going to Parliament.

Reflecting his devotion as a Catholic, Mr. Mazowiecki said while at the Parliament building, ”I think I am a believer, and I believe that Providence looks after me.”

”There have been several historic moments,” he said, ”that have demonstrated that Poles can strive for new solutions, unusual ones and truly innovative ones, and that we can get somewhere. I hope that such a moment even now, psychologically, is nearing, that people will feel that there is such a situation in which it depends on us.” Meetings With Other Parties

Mr. Mazowiecki appeared to be moving quickly to establish channels to the parties that will be represented in his cabinet. This evening the Polish press agency announced that he met in the afternoon with Mieczyslaw Rakowski, the new Communist Party leader, and with the leaders of the small Peasant and Democratic parties.

The prospect of Mr. Mazowiecki’s nomination loomed larger after leaders of the Peasant and Democratic parties, long loyal satellites of the Communists, voted on Thursday to desert their traditional allies and support a Solidarity-led cabinet.

This sudden threat to their political dominance prompted Communist leaders to call a session of their Central Committee on Saturday. The party leadership faces deep divisions in the rank and file.

On Thursday, 28 of the Communists’ 173 parliamentary deputies usually numbered among those most oriented toward change issued a resolution calling for the establishment of greater independence from party dictates and saying they would seek talks with Solidarity about greater cooperation.

At the same time, a meeting of 208 party secretaries from major national enterprises met with Mr. Rakowski and later adopted a resolution denouncing Solidarity for seeking power.

Mr. Mazowiecki, though facing an economy in collapse with serious problems of material supply, bare stores, soaring prices and the collapse of the currency, remains a reflective person. Asked by a reporter what his first steps as Prime Minister would be, he laughed and replied, ”I intend to take a trip to the woods and think about it.”

He paused and added, ”And then get to work.”

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who said he had been asked to become Poland’s Prime Minister, visiting Parliament to meet with Solidarity members (Agence France-Presse) (pg. 1); after announcing that he would be named Poland’s Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, right, went to Parliament to meet with Solidarity members, including Jozef Slisz, the leader of Rural Solidarity. (The New York Times/Witold Jaroslaw Szulecki) (pg. 4)

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Romania:

Romania’s Ceausescu Proposes Warsaw Pact Intervention in Poland

AP , Associated Press

Oct. 3, 1989 12:19 AM ET

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ President Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania proposed that forces of the Warsaw Pact military alliance intervene to stop Poland from forming a government headed by non-communists, a Hungarian official says.

The pro-Solidarity Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said Friday that Hungary’s Communist Party had received such a proposal from Romania’s Communist leaders, who staunchly oppose the wave of reform sweeping the East bloc.

Geza Kotai, secretary in charge of international affairs of the Hungarian party, said his party had rejected the proposal. His remark came in an interview with the party newspaper Nepszabadsag.

Gazeta Wyborcza said Ceausescu called in the Polish ambassador in August to complain about the planned formation of a Solidarity-led government in Poland.

It said Ceausescu decided to turn to the leaders of the Warsaw Pact to ”jointly act in favor of preventing a serious situation in Poland, in favor of defending socialism and the Polish nation.”

The article did not say if Ceausescu had appealed to other members of the seven-nation alliance led by the Soviet Union.

Kotai said, however, the Hungarian Communist Party received a call for intervention ”and we gave a definite rejection.”

Solidarity journalist Tadeusz Mazowiecki became leader of the Polish government last month, the first non-Communist prime minister in the Soviet bloc.

The Hungarian Communist Party is among the most liberal in the East bloc. It has agreed to hold free elections by June and says it will yield power and join the opposition if it loses.

© 2014  The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1989/Hungary-Rejects-Reported-Romanian-Proposal-to-Intervene-in-Poland/id-c1a992ed19733e36c92afbb4819bc30b

Hungary Rejects Reported Romanian Proposal to Intervene in Poland

AP , Associated Press

Oct. 2, 1989 9:34 PM ET

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ The Hungarian Communist Party has rejected a proposal by Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu for Warsaw Pact intervention to prevent formation of Poland’s new government led by non-Communists, an official said Monday.

Geza Kotai, the Communist Party’s secretary in charge of international affairs, made the remark in an interview with the party newspaper Nepszabadsag. He was confirming reports published in a Polish newspaper that said the Hungarian Communist Party had received such a proposal from Romania’s Communist Party.

A pro-Solidarity Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, published articles Friday saying Ceausescu had summoned the Polish ambassador in August to complain about the planned formation of a Solidarity-led government in Poland.

It said Ceausescu had decided to turn to the leaders of the Warsaw Pact to ”jointly act in favor of preventing a serious situation in Poland, in favor of defending socialism and the Polish nation.”

The report did not say if Ceausescu had made such an appeal to other members of the Warsaw Pact, a seven-nation military alliance led by the Soviet Union.

But Kotai said the Hungarian Communist Party had received a call for intervention ”and we gave a definite rejection.”

Nepszabadsag quoted Kotai as saying, ”In present day Europe, the fate of a nation is decided by the majority of the society in that country, and not by a single party”

Last month, Solidarity journalist Tadeusz Mazowiecki became the leader of the Polish government – the first non-Communist prime minister in the Soviet bloc.

Hungary’s Communist Party, among the most liberal in the East bloc, has agreed to hold free elections by June and has said it would surrender power if it loses and join the opposition.

”We categorically reject the idea of any interference here, and the Warsaw Treaty can give no grounds for such action,” Kotai told the newspaper.

At recent Warsaw Pact meetings, the members expressed the stand of non- interference in each others’ internal affairs.

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 http://www.nytimes.com/1989/09/30/world/chilly-days-for-east-germans-outside-embassy-in-prague.html

Chilly Days for East Germans Outside Embassy in Prague

Published: September 30, 1989

PRAGUE, Sept. 29— The rain has gone, giving way to crisp and cold weather, and there is no sign of a resolution to the case of 2,500 or so East Germans camped out on the grounds of the West German Embassy in Prague….

Evidence of the delicate position of the Warsaw Government of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki emerged today when the Solidarity daily, Gazeta Wyborcza, published the text of a confidental document showing that the hard-line Rumanian Government called in August for Warsaw Pact intervention in Poland to prevent the passage of power to non-Communists.

 

DOKUMENTY POLSKA- RUMUNIA

Gazeta Wyborcza nr 103, wydanie z dnia 29/09/1989, str. 6

DOKUMENTY POLSKA- RUMUNIA

Dziewiętnastego sierpnia o północy ambasador PRL w Bukareszcie został wezwany do MSZ, gdzie’ sekretarz KC Stojan przekazał mu ustnie oświadczenie, w którym z upoważnienia władz Rumuńskiej Partii Komunistycznej i osobiście Nicolae Ceausescu wypowiedział uwagi dotyczące obecnej sytuacji w Polsce, która uważana jest za bardzo poważną.Władze RPK śledzą tę sytuację z dużym zainteresowaniem i zaniepokojeniem. Oświadczają, że nie chcą ingerować w wewnętrzne sprawy Polski, ale powaga wydarzeń wykracza p…

RP-DGW

ODPOWIEDŹ BIURA POLITYCZNEGO KC PZPR

Gazeta Wyborcza nr 103, wydanie z dnia 29/09/1989, str. 6

ODPOWIEDŹ BIURA POLITYCZNEGO KC PZPR

na stanowisko PKW KC RPK i prezydenta SRR. Nicolae Ceausescu w sprawie oceny aktualnej sytuacji w Polsce, w tym powołania rządu PRLW związku z oświadczeniem sekretarza KC RPK, tow. I. Stojana w obecności wiceministra spraw zagranicznych SRR, C. Oancea, przekazanym w dniu 19.08. br. ambasadorowi PRL w Bukareszcie, z upoważnienia Biura Politycznego KC PZPR stwierdzam co następuje:1. Z uwagą zapoznaliśmy się ze stanowiskiem PKW KC RPK, które wyraża troskę o losy socjalizmu w Polsce, o nasze zobowią…

RP-DGW

Comuniştii polonezi explicau celor români “calea socialismului”

22 Aug 2009 – 00:00

22 august 1989, ora 01:45
CC al PCR – tovarăşului secretar Ion Stoian,
MAE – tovarăşului ministru Ioan Totu, – tovarăşului adjunct al ministrului, Constantin Oancea, DR I,

În seara zilei de 21.08.1989 am fost convocat la CC al PMUP, unde am fost pri­mit de tovarăşul W. Natorf, secretar al CC cu probleme internaţionale, şi de B. Kulski, ministru adjunct la MAE polonez.

Tovarăşul Natorf mi-a făcut cunoscut că m-a convocat pentru a-mi comunica punctul de vedere al conducerii PMUP referitor la considerentele condu­cerii de partid şi de stat ale RS România, personal ale tovarăşului Nicolae Ceauşescu, secretar general al Partidului Comunist Român, preşedintele Repu­blicii Socia­liste România, transmise în seara zilei de 19-20 august a.c. conduce­rilor de partid şi de stat din toate ţările socialiste.

În cuvântul său a spus următoarele:
“Conducerea de partid a fost informată despre problemele respective şi nu ascunde faptul că nu a primit cu prea multă satisfacţie această declaraţie. Noi ne străduim să informăm despre situaţia din Polonia fără a ascunde ceva, dorim să fie clar pentru conducerea Partidului Comunist Român că nu vom ceda pu­terea, că nu vom renunţa la sistemul socialist şi la obligaţiile faţă de alţii, atât în ce priveşte Tratatul de la Varşovia, cât şi cele din CAER. Ne-am străduit să fim purtătorul de cuvânt al Tratatului de la Varşovia, iar între partidele noastre să fie o colaborare cât mai bună. De aceea, sutem surprinşi de unele reproşuri care sunt cuprinse în declaraţie. Cu atât mai mult cu cât aceasta a fost transmisă şi altor ţări din Pact. Noi ne aşteptăm la sprijin, în situaţia grea pe care o avem, şi nu la critici”.
A precizat că nota nu este un protest, ci este un răspuns la punctul de vedere român.
După această introducere, mi-a înmânat punctul de vedere scris al condu­cerii PMUP, cu rugămintea de a-l transmite conducerii noastre de partid şi de stat, şi cu precizarea că acest material va fi înaintat şi celorlalte conduceri de partid, cărora partea română le-a transmis punctul ei de vedere.
Vă transmitem alăturat conţinutul integral al notei înmânate, urmând ca, prin curierul TAROM din 23.08.1989, să transmitem originalul materialului.

Răspuns
La punctul de vedere al Comitetului Politic Executiv al Partidului Comunist Român şi al preşedintelui Nicolae Ceauşescu în legătură cu aprecierea actualei situaţii din Polonia, inclusiv cu formarea guvernului Republicii Populare Polone.

În legătură cu declaraţia secretarului central al Partidului Comunist Român, tovarăşul Ion Stoian, în prezenţa adjunctului ministrului Afacerilor Externe al Republicii Socialiste România, Constantin Oancea, transmisă în ziua de 19.08.1989 ambasadorul Republicii Populare Polone din Bucureşti. Din însărcinarea Biroului Politic al Comitetului Central al Partidului Muncitoresc Unit Plonez, afirm cele ce urmează:
1. Am luat cunoştinţă cu atenţie de punctul de vedere al Comitetului Politic Executiv al Comitetului Central al Partidului Comunist Român care exprimă îngrijorarea faţă de soarta socialismului în Polonia, faţă de obligaţiile noastre de aliat şi eventualele implicaţii ale dezvoltării evenimentelor în Polonia pentru interesele comunităţii statelor socialiste.
Încercăm să înţelegem intenţiile tovarăşilor români, nu putem să acceptăm şi să recunoaştem motivaţia nici a aprecierilor şi nici a concluziilor formulate în declaraţia conducerii Partidului Comunist Român.
Analiza actualei situaţii din Polonia, inclusiv poziţia partidului în legătură cu formarea noului guvern, a fost prezentată în hotărârea celei de-a XIV-a plenare a Comitetului Central al Partidului Muncitoresc Unit Polonez. În aceasta se afirmă, între altele, că “numai un guvern care se bucură de cea mai largă încredere şi sprijin social, cu participarea reprezentanţilor tuturor forţelor politice din Seimul Republicii Populare Polone poate scoate Polonia din criză pe calea reformelor evolutive şi consecvente”.
Partidul nostru, definindu-şi actuala linie politică, se conduce după interesele supreme ale poporului şi statului, luând ca bază realităţile existente.
Suntem convinşi că linia aceasta este singura justă în condiţiile concrete poloneze şi nu există o altă alternativă la ea. Nu pierdem din vedere, de asemenea, interesele generale ale socialismului ca formaţiune socială.
Acordul partidului nostru privind crearea guvernului, cu participarea tutu­ror forţelor reprezentate în Parlament, nu înseamnă renunţarea, de către Partidul Muncitoresc Unit Polonez, la influenţa asupra formării politicii statului care să corespundă intereselor socialismului şi aşteptărilor poporului.
În conformitate cu rolul partidului nostru în societate, în organele statului şi administraţiei locale, în forţele armate şi de ordine, vom face totul pentru a fi păstrată, de asemenea, poziţia puternică a partidului în guvernul care se va forma. Baza acţiunii lui o va constitui platforma politică, asupra căreia se va cădea de acord de către partenerii coaliţiei. Garantul continuităţii regimului statului polonez şi a caracterului evolutiv al schimbărilor socialiste este funcţia de preşedinte, cu prerogativele sale constituţionale largi, cunoscute.

2. Respingem afirmaţia tovarăşilor români că participarea în guvernul Repu­blicii Populare Polone a reprezentanţilor “Solidarităţii” serveşte “celor mai reacţionare cercuri imperialiste” şi că aceasta este “nu numai oprobelmă internă a Poloniei, ci se referă la toate ţările socialiste”.
Considerăm că tovarăşii români nu au avut nici un fel de motiv de a face astfel de aprecieri, componenţa guvernului polonez şi modul lui de creare constituie o problemă exclusiv internă a poporului nostru, orice încercări de subminare a acestui principiu din afară ar fi în contradicţie cu normele fundamentale de drept internaţional – neamestecul în treburile interne ale altor state.
Conducerea româna întodeauna a expus cu o desoebită forţă acest principiu referitor la propria ţară, un caz univoc în acest sens l-a constituit nepaticiparea României la intervenţia în Cehoslovacia în 1968.
Este indamisibilă imputaţia făcută a priori unui guvern al unui stat suveran că ar sluji vreunor forţe străine.

3. Considerăm absolut nefondat reproşul că transformările care au loc în Polonia constituie o lovitură serioasă pentru Tratatul de la Varşovia, creează pentru aceasta un mare pericol şi că constituie un sprijin puternic pentru NATO; vedem aceasta ca o încercare nefondată de subminare a loialităţii ca aliat al ţării noastre. Polonia, chiar şi din punct de vedere al intereselor propriei securităţi a fost şi va rămâne fidelă obligaţiilor sale de aliat în cadrul Tratatului de la Varşovia şi, ca şi până acum, va face totul pentru a întări legăturile între partenrii-părţi ai Tratatului de la Varşovia. În această operă, Polonia are un aport serios şi care nu poate fi contestat.
Am exprimat clar acest lucru în hotărârea celei de-a XIV-a plenară a Comitetului Central al Partidului Muncitoresc Unit Polonez afirmând: “Polonia trebuie să rămână un stat loial din punct de vedere economic şi militar al CAER şi Trata­tului de la Varşovia. Participarea noastră la Tratatul de la Varşovia este de câteva decenii garanţia securităţii naţionale”. Arătăm că ţelul partidului nostru este că schimbările care au loc în Polonia să ducă la stabilizarea internă, pe baza ameliorării situaţiei economice, la consolidarea poziţiei şi rolului Poloniei în Europa şi în lume. Şi, în acelaşi timp, la întărirea participării noastre la securitatea europeană şi creşterea importanţei Tratatului de la Varşovia în relaţiile internaţionale.
Dorim să amintim că şi forţele politice din afara Partidului Muncitoresc Unit Polonez, în declaraţiile lor publice precum şi în obligaţiile adoptate în cursul desfăşurării “Mesei rotunde”, stau la baza faptului că Polonia este membră a Tratatului de la Varşovia şi îşi va menţine obligaţiile de aliat, conducându-se, bineînţeles, nu de premisele ideologice ci de realismul politic normal.
Partidul Muncitoresc Unit Polonez va transpune, cu toată puterea, în practică, păstrând controlul – printre altele – asupra resorturilor Apărării Naţionale şi Afa­cerilor Interne.

4. Considerăm că statele participante la Tratatul de la Varşovia trebuie să respecte întocmai poziţia adoptată în comun. Declaraţia română prezentată ambsadorlui nostru este în contradicţie cu comunicatul de la ultima consfătuire a Consiliului Politic Consultativ de la Bucureşti, adoptată de asemenea şi de către partea română, unde s-a afirmat că “nu există nici un fel de modele universale ale socialismului şi că nimeni nu dispune de monopolul adevărului, construcţia societăţii noi este un proces creator, care se desfăşoară în fiecare ţară, în conformitate cu tradiţiile şi necesităţile sale”.
Aşteptăm respectarea de către toţi, inclusiv şi de partea română, a principiilor aoptate în documentele comune ale statelor participante la Tratatul de la Varşovia în ceea ce priveşte dezvoltarea relaţiilor dintre ele “pe baza egalităţii, independenţei şi dreptului fiecăreia dintre ele de a-şi elabora propria linie politică în mod independent, a propriei strategii şi tactici, fără amestec din afară”.
Dorim să subliniem că transofrmările care au avut loc în Polonia şi în alte ţări socialiste nu încalcă cu nimic interesele României, ci dimpotrivă, servesc întăririi socialismului în lume, revenirii la vitalitatea ideilor socialismului şi a forţei ei de atracţie, şi prin aceasta nu dă Partidului Comunist Român motive să vină, nici faţă de celalalte partide comunsite şi muncitoreşti, cu aprecieri şi concluzii de acest gen referitoare la situaţia din Polonia, prezentate în declaraţia dată.
În situaţia aceasta, suntem nevoiţi să facem cunocsut partidelor comuniste şi muncitoreşti ale statelor participante la Tratatul de la Varşovia răspunsul nostru la această declaraţie.
Partidul Muncitoresc Unit Polonez, fiind într-adevăr într-o situaţie dificilă, se aşteaptă la ajutor şi sprijin, dar, totuşi, nu de acest gen, cum o face Partidul Comunist Român. Din partea noastră, suntem gata, ca şi până acum, să împărtăşim cu Partidul Comunist Român, în mod deschis şi sincer, experineţele şi aprecierile noastre.
Exprimăm speranţa că aceasta va permite tovarăşilor români să înţeleagă mai bine condiţiile noastre şi să-şi reconsidere aprecierile de până acum în interesul suprem al colaborării celor două partide şi state.
Varşovia – 21 august 1989
Ion Teşu

Document din volumul: 1989 – Principiul dominoului. Prăbuşirea regimurilor comuniste europene, Ediţie de: Dumitru Preda şi Mihai Retegan, Bucureşti, Editura Fundaţiei Culturale Române, 2000, p 164-167

 

Petre Opris
27 Aug 2009 – 00:00

Nicolae Ceauşescu, despre Eric Feferberg/AFP/Mediafax

În perioada 26-27 august 1989, Eduard Şevardnadze, mi­nistrul sovietic al Afacerilor Externe, s-a aflat la Bucureşti pentru a discuta cu omologul său român, Ioan Totu, despre modul cum se putea rezolva criza politică din Polonia.

Vizita a fost solicitată oficial chiar de către Nicolae Ceauşescu, la 19 august 1989. Liderul suprem al PCR a aflat în ziua respectivă despre faptul că generalul Wojciech Jaruzelski, preşedintele Poloniei, a acceptat să-i încredinţeze lui Tadeusz Mazowiecki mandatul de prim-ministru, deşi era unul dintre liderii sindicatului anticomunist “Solidaritatea”.

Reacţia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu, după aflarea informaţiei respective, a fost rapidă. Potrivit propriei declaraţii, prezentată în şedinţa Comitetului Politic Executiv din 21 august 1989, “sâmbătă (19 august 1989 – n.r.) ne-am sfătuit cu câţiva tovarăşi care au putut fi găsiţi imediat şi am adresat un mesaj conducerii sovietice, apoi un mesaj tuturor ţărilor socialiste. (…)

În mod corespunzător, adresându-ne celorlalte state, în aceeaşi seară, până la ora 3:00 dimineaţa, au fost transmise mesaje şi ţărilor socialiste, prin ambasadori. Toţi au spus că vor transmite mesajul imediat. Unii au făcut şi comentarii proprii, dar toţi au spus că sunt îngrijoraţi”.

După primirea unui răspuns oficial de la liderul sovietic Mihail Gorbaciov, Nicolae Ceauşescu a trimis la Moscova un nou mesaj, în ziua de 21 august 1989. Printre altele, secretarul general al PCR a solicitat ca Eduard Şevardnadze să efectueze de urgenţă o vizită la Bucureşti pentru a prezenta opinia sovieticilor în legătură cu “actul de trădare” de care se făcea vinovat generalul Jaruzelski în faţă “mişcării muncitoreşti şi socialiste din întreaga lume”. În şedinţa din aceeaşi zi a Comitetului Politic Executiv, Nicolae Ceauşescu a declarat: “În orice caz, insistăm ca Şevardnadze să vină aici zilele acestea, independent de (sărbătorirea zilei naţionale de la – n.r.) 23 August. Poate să vină şi mâine, şi poimâine, pentru că aceasta poate va determina şi conducerea sovietică să mai reflecte puţin”.

Ministrul sovietic al Afacerilor Externe a ajuns la Bucureşti pe data de 26 august 1989. Rezumatul discuţiilor sale cu Ioan Totu şi opinia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu faţă de poziţia adoptată de sovietici în criza politică din Polonia au fost dezvăluite chiar de preşedintele României, în şedinţa Comitetului Politic Executiv din 22 septembrie 1989.

Din conţinutul stenogramei reuniunii respective, pe care o edităm în continuare sub forma unui extras, rezultă în mod clar faptul că Nicolae Ceauşescu nu a solicitat, în mesajele sale din 19 şi 21 august 1989, intervenţia în Polonia a trupelor statelor membre ale Organizaţiei Tratatului de la Varşovia.

De asemenea, se poate deduce reacţia lide­rilor comunişti polonezi, maghiari şi iugoslavi. Aceştia i-au reamintit lui Nicolae Ceauşescu, direct sau voalat, că încălcase unul din principiile afirmate de el însuşi, în repetate rânduri, amestecându-se în “treburile interne ale altor state”. La rândul său, Nicolae Ceauşescu a făcut tri­mitere la statele capi­taliste, la “planul şi programele acestora de amestec în treburile ţărilor socialiste, de destabilizare, de finanţare a politicii de renunţare la construirea socialismului”.
Stenograma şedinţei Comitetului Politic Executiv al CC al PCR din ziua de 22 septembrie 1989
Tov. Nicolae Ceauşescu: Şi, în fine, unele probleme in­ter­na­ţionale.
După cum ştiţi, în legătură cu evenimentele care au avut loc în Polonia, noi ne-am adresat ţărilor socialiste, inclusiv polonezilor, cu o scrisoare, am trimis-o şi altor partide comuniste.
Am primit, practic, răspunsul din toate ţările socialiste, aproape. Din ţările din CAER am primit de la toate şi din Pactul de la Varşovia de la multe partide comuniste şi muncitoreşti.
Sovieticii au spus că împărtăşesc complet punctul nostru de vedere, dar consideră că trebuie să-i înţelegem pe tovarăşii polonezi că au probleme serioase, să vedem cum vor acţiona.
Şi asta, pentru că, de fapt, într-un anumit fel, ei au încurajat şi sunt de fapt principalii vinovaţi de organizarea aşa-zisei “mese rotunde”, că fără ei nu avea loc “masa rotundă” şi nu se întâmpla ce se întâmplă în Polonia; de altfel, nici în Ungaria nu s-ar fi putut întâmpla. De fapt, ei au încurajat acest lucru şi, în ultimul timp, ei au o poziţie, nu mai sunt chiar aşa entuziasmaţi, pentru că văd unde duce acest lucru.
Polonezii ne-au spus că sunt complet de acord cu aprecierea noastră, dar consideră că nu este bine că le dăm o asemenea apreciere, dar că sigur, într-adevăr, că n-au altă ieşire.
Ungurii ne-au spus că ei nu împărtăşesc părerea noastră că, sigur, sunt probleme, dar e o pro­blemă a partidului polonez şi că, de fapt, noi încălcăm principiile pe care le-am spus şi ne amestecăm în treburile altora.
Iugoslavii împărtăşesc părerea, dar, sigur, sunt probleme care să le soluţioneze polonezii, aşa, nici o poziţie fermă, dar nici altfel.

Toate celelalte partide sunt complet de acord. Au subliniat şi mai mult că – germanii, cehoslovacii, foarte mult cubanezii, vietnamezii – de altfel am trimis la tovarăşi să vadă o hotărâre a tovarăşilor vietnamezi, cum privesc ei problemele privind evitarea la ei – mongolii, bulgarii. Adică, în general, unii au subliniat şi mai mult şi au spus că într-adevăr sunt foarte mult îngrijoraţi şi trebuie să vedem.

Dintre partidele comuniste, în afară de ita­lieni, care au spus tot cam aşa, că trebuie să vedem perspectivele, şi ceva francezii, dar totuşi ei sunt preocupaţi, dar restul, toate partidele, unii chiar au spus că consi­deră că trebuie neapărat să se acţioneze într-un fel sau altul, adică, în general, au împărtăşit pre­o­cu­pă­rile şi poziţia noastră, ceea ce înseamnă că noi am procedat just şi că aceasta corespunde intereselor ţărilor socialiste, a socialismului, a mişcării comuniste şi muncitoreşti în ge­neral.

Bazat, sigur, ceea ce se poate spune acuma, este că va trebui să ne gândim cum va trebui să acţionăm în viitor pentru a determina o poziţie mai fermă faţă de ma­ni­festările ţărilor imperialiste, pe pla­nul şi programele acestora de amestec în treburile ţărilor socia­liste, de destabilizare, de finanţare a politicii de renunţare la construirea socialismului.

Este adevărat că, concret până acu­ma, n-au dat decât promisiuni şi pro­babil că au plătit pe cei care sunt în slujba lor, asta fără nici o îndoială, că pe gratis nimeni nu lucrează, dar a ajuta ţările respective pentru a de­pă­şi situaţia economică (dificilă – n.r.)
n-au făcut-o.

De altfel, cu o sută de milioane (de dolari, oferiţi – n.r.) în trei ani în Polonia şi cu 25 de mi­lioane (de dolari – n.r.) în Ungaria nu se reface economia şi se ridică nivelul de trai al popoarelor din ţările respective. Dimpotrivă, îi împinge şi mai rău spre regres şi de altfel, după datele publicate recent în Ungaria, pe 8 luni producţia a scăzut cu câteva procente, venitul naţional a scăzut, inflaţia a crescut mult. În Polonia este aceeaşi situaţie şi nici nu se poate, mergând pe această cale, să se refacă economia.

Sigur, poziţia noastră este de a acţiona pentru a dezvolta relaţiile şi cu Polonia, şi cu Ungaria. Dorim să realizăm o asemenea zisă colaborare cât mai largă, însă, desigur, nu pentru dezvoltarea sectorului capitalist, cum a spus (preşedintele american George – n.r.) Bush, ci pentru în­tă­ri­rea sectorului socialist şi suntem gata să conlucrăm foarte larg cu ei, inclusiv în cooperarea în pro­duc­ţie, în realizarea diferitelor acţiuni care să ajute realmente la depăşirea situaţiei din Polonia.
În acest spirit, aş propune Comitetului Politic să fie de acord cu aceasta, să apreciem că am procedat just şi să continuăm în acest spirit, să acţionăm în toate direcţiile.
În celelalte probleme inter­na­ţi­o­na­le sunt cunoscute, poziţia noastră este cunoscută şi nu vreau să mă refer la ele.
Sunteţi de acord?
– Toţi tovarăşii sunt de acord.

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