Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In Bucharest

It’s taken more than a decade but the Romanians appear to have finally come to terms with their horrific Communist past. At least officially.

The current president, Traian Basescu, has now formally condemned the Communist dictatorship that ruled the Eastern European nation for over 40 years, especially the regime led by the odious Nicolae Ceausescu and his equally dreadful wife, Elena.

It’s the first time a Romanian head of state has officially denounced the Soviet-era system, according to this report in The International Herald-Tribune.

And it’s been quite a controversial step to take since many former high ranking Communist Party officials and apologists are now prominent members of the new, democratic class.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Basescu said an independent report had confirmed that the previous regime had acted in a criminal, illegitimate and undemocratic manner, ordering the “extermination” of thousands of citizens and forcing the deportation of many, many more.

As you can read in this BBC report of the speech, the victims of the former Communist regime are believed to number between 500,000 and two million.
At least 10,000 women are said to have died between the mid 1960s and 1989 as a direct result of secret abortions, which were strictly forbidden by Ceausescu, who wanted to increase the Romanian population at all costs despite widespread hunger and lack of basic services.
The independent report also fingers a raft of Communist apologists, including musicians, writers and poets who happily sold their souls (and dignity) to the mad dictator during that terrible time.
Perhaps, one day ... In Havana.
H/T to Val and the crew at Babalu.


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