RECORD OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE CC OF THE RCP CONCERNING THE SITUATION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIACITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citation"Record of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the CC of the RCP concerning the situation in Czechoslovakia" August 21, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Central Historical Archives (ANIC), Fund CC of the RCP - Chancellery, File No. 133/1968, pp. 6-26. Translated by Delia Razdolescu http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110451
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Comrades Nicolae Ceasescu, Ion Gheorghe Maurer, Gheorghe Apostol, Alexandru Brladeanu, Emil Bodnaras, Chivu Stoica, Paul Niculescu-Mizil, Virgil Trofin, Ilie Verdet, Maxim Berghianu, Florian Danalache, Constantin Dragan, Ianos Fazekas, Leonte Rautu, Vasile Vlcu, Stefan Voitec, Iosif Banc, Petre Blajovici, Dumitru Coliu, Mihai Gere, Petre Lupu, Manea Manescu, Dumitru Popa, Dumitru Popescu, Mihai Dalea, Vasile Patilinet participate in the meeting.
The meeting opens at 6:30 a.m.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
This is comrades, the goal of the present meeting of the Executive Committee, convened at this early hour in the morning. Last night, we have been informed from Prague - as a matter of fact, there was also a TASS Communiqu in this sense - the Soviet troops and the troops of the other four socialist countries have occupied Czechoslovakia.
At 3:00, an officer from the Soviet Embassy in Bucharest brought a note, unsigned (see the Annexe), and left it at the Chancellery of our Central Committee; the note related the story of the events in Czechoslovakia, sustaining that there are counter-revolutionary elements in that country and given the situation, at the request of the majority of the members of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, they intervened in that country.
According to the materials we have got, foreign troops ocupied the headquarters of the Central Committee, a radio station and other institutions in fact, Czechoslovakia as a whole was occupied by Soviet troops.
In a dialogue with a secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, mandated by Dubcek, he informed us that those five had never contacted the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, that all that action was undertaken by ignoring the authority of the Central Committee, that they have no intention to address themselves to the said five under these circumstances and that they consider it would be very well if Romania, a member of the Warsaw Treaty, could do something.
All this operation occurred by night. According to the news we have got by now, the population tried to assemble and there are requests for the population to put up resistance, but officially no direction has been given in this sense. On the contrary, Prague radio station said that no resistance should be put up. The former deputy minister of Internal Affairs came forward to take over leadership; a former director of the radiotelevision system also came forward to take the leadership himself. Of course, we don't know what the Czechoslovak comrades are going to do, but practically speaking Czechoslovakia is under occupation. All this created an uncommon situation; we think the Central Committee should analyse the situation and we should decide here on the stand to be taken by us.
First of all, it would be proper to convene the plenum of the Central Committee this morning. The other secretaries and bureau members should remain in their counties, and today, by 10 a.m. plenum of the Central Committee and the Government should convene in the meeting. In view of all this, we shall make public - after announcing that the troops of those five countries entered Czechoslovakia - that given the situation created by the penetration of foreign troops in Czechoslovakia, the Executive Committee of the Central Committee decided to convene the Central Committee and the Government this morning to examine and decide upon Romania's position.
Comrade Iosif Banc:
It would be better, maybe, if the first secretaries of the Party county committees, who are not members of the Central Committee, could also come to the meeting.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
Let them come too. We'll not say that now, but we'll issue the news that the first secretaries of the Party county committees have also participated in the plenary meeting.
We should think about the stand to be taken by us and about the things to be presented to the plenary meeting. Of course, we must make a briefing about the activity carried out by our delegation that paid a visit to Czechslovakia, about the situation in that country, about what has been found out there and the situation created now. This a question of an informative nature. Then, we shall ask the approval of the plenum for the way we have taken action in this matter. As we have received that unsigned letter, besides the TASS news agency communiqu maintaining that on request of a group of activists they had intervened in Czechoslovakia, we should propose to the Central Committee to address immediately the five parties and express our astonishment, or concern about this action which means a serious violation of the provisions of Warsaw Treaty, stating at the same time, that we have noted that in Czechoslovakia the Party leadership has complete control of the situation and that we do share their view that there are counter-revolutionary elements in that country and that we think that the military intervention in Czechoslovakia is a serious mistake. This is how we should address the five parties. We should not make public the letter, but we should send it immediately.
Secondly, we shall address all socialist countries and tell them our stand. We should address also all the communist and workers' parties almost in the same sense, expressing our concern about the serious situation obtaining for the socialist countries, for the communist parties, for the entire communist movement, that this action is a heavy blow dealt to this movement, that a grave situation is being created, etc.
We should draft a statement of the Romanian Party and Government on the situation obtaining after the occupation of Czechoslovakia and the need to take all possible measures to ensure Romania's security, a statement in which we express our Party's stand that nobody, in no way whatsoever, can assume the right to interfere in the affairs of other states, that nobody is justified in any way to address another group, that only the government, the party and the elected and official bodies bear the full responsibility, that the Central Committee and the Government call the entire people to defend Romania's territorial integrity and to reject any interference in our country's domestic affairs. We think that this statement should be also brought to the notice of the UN members. Obviously, the way taken in Czechoslovakia is adventurous, offering no confidence that those states can guarantee security in any way and therefore we feel obliged to take all measures to safeguard our national sovereignty and independence. Obviously, a difficult situation is being created, but we think we do not have another way out. If a military clash is going to happen, force may eventually take the upper hand, but it is out of question to accept and participate in the country's subjection. It is sad that we came to raise this question to the socialist countries, but this is a situation created by irresponsible people.
Comrade Manea Manescu:
This is the only way we can take, to defend our homeland.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
Our people should be informed, should be mobilized, and we have to take all measures enabling us to prevent our country's occupation. This means that airports should also be put under guard.
The Executive Committee is fully responsible, and we certainly will see what the Central Committee has to say; we have to judge the situation all together, but in my opinion and according to the other comrades on the Standing Presidium there is no other way.
Comrade Emil Bodnaras:
These proposals are inspired by the proposals advanced by the Standing Presidium.
Comrade I. Gh. Maurer:
I fully agree with Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu's proposals and I think this is the sole way to assure not only Romania's free development, but also the prestige deserved by socialism in the world.
Comrade Virgil Trofin:
I also think that the proposed measures are very good and that we have no other way. We are in duty bound to the Party, to the people, to our country to keep the established line. Any derogation from these principles would be catastrophic for our Party and people. Therefore we have the duty to go to all lengths in defending the principles espoused even before the creation of this difficult situation.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
I propose that each comrade should express in turn his opinion in this matter.
Comrade Emil Bodnaras:
You have heard the proposals made here, there are many courses to steer, but the only correct way is the one shown here. It corresponds to the principled position we have taken for years, since we have liberated ourselves from the captivity of certain influences. I agree with Comrade Maurer that this in not only in the interest of safeguarding our security and national entity as a socialist state, but also in the interest of dignity and of the place socialism must rightfully occupy in the world, which expects no arbitrary decisions, no humiliation, no disregard of the peoples' national being, but freedom to enjoy higher human living conditions.
Comrade Chivu Stoica:
I agree with the proposals made here and think that this is the right way for socialism to endure not only in Romania, but also in the countries that are building socialism, whose relationships should be based on cooperation and mutual assistance and by no means on invasion and domination.
Comrade Gheorghe Apostol:
We have been here since 4:00 a.m. and Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu's proposals are judged and examined by the Standing Presidium, proposals that I firmly support. There is no other way for us. Were we to act otherwise, would be tantamount to betraying this people's interets, the general interests of socialism, the interests of all peoples fighting for liberty and national independence. The situation is undoubtedly very difficult, but we have to take all measures as from the Soviets one never knows what to expect. They won't give up their great power policy, their policy of interference in the domestic affairs of other socialist countries, their policy of diktat. We know very well our people and country's interests, interest that we must defend. Many of us as well as other people before us have laid their lives for those interests and therefore we have to do our duty to the very end.
Comrade Paul Niculescu-Mizil:
I agree with all the proposals made here.
In my opinion, the developments in Czechoslovakia are a grievous act for the entire communist movement, which have nothing to do with proletarian internationalism, with socialism. They are the expression of typical methods of subjugation, of enslaving other peoples, are the expression of those methods according to which in the socialist countries, it is not the people, not the Party, not the government that should rule in the country, but the leading force of this hegemony, which has nothing to do with socialism, the leading force of this form of imperialism of subjecting and dominating other peoples.
I think we should act in all firmness, so that we may defend our people's rights and liberty to be master of its own destiny, to help the forces that think like us in this matter.
Comrade Alexandru Brladeanu:
I think that last night's events in Czechoslovakia unmasked a series of pretentions aimed at emasculating the socialist countries. This is a great power and when you oppose it the same misfortune might befall you. This is the fate of anyone who thinks otherwise, and first of all, ours.
I consider that the measures proposed here by Comrade Ceausescu are a frontline defense of our Party and people's interests. By doing this, we try to defend not only our own interests, but also the interests of the idea of socialism all over the world. The events in Czechoslovakia throw socialism twenty years backwards, discredit the ideas advocated by the peoples, the ideas of socialism. Therefore, I support all these proposals.
Comrade Ilie Verdet:
I also fully agree with Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu's proposals. We might elaborate more in our discussions, but I think that the proposals are clearly expressing our steady principled, correct long-standing position on the Czechoslovak problem. They point out the correctness of our Party's stand on the relations between socialist states, between communist parties. I would like to say that I fully agree with the measures suggested here.
As for our defense measures, we must examine the matter very seriously and each of us should make his contribution. Interference in our domestic affairs has not been impossible, but now, when in Czechoslovakia were used methods from the czarist arsenal, a possible interference in our country's domestic affairs can by no means be excluded. As for what we can do now, our sole possibility is to defend our independence and call our people to struggle, for this is the only available way. Were we to do otherwise, we would become accomplices, but we are patriots and we must defend our independence and freedom. We must put up resistance and it would be a pity if the Czechoslovakians do not do the same. Maybe the call not to oppose the armies sounds more reasonable, but anyway the population will put up resistance. As for us, who have this possibility, we must do our best to defend Czechoslovakia.
Comrade Leonte Rautu:
The occupation of Czechoslovakia is an act of great cynicism, with no precedent in history; it is a violation of the principles governing the relationships between socialist states, and the worst violation of the principles underlying the relationships between independent states. The blow was premeditated and disguised by all the actions following the Warsaw Meeting up to now. This time, it is not only a question of divergences, of differences of opinion, it is a situation endangering the being and independence of a socialist country. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by all the countries participating in this sordid action. Therefore, I fully agree with the measures proposed for the defense of our country's territorial integrity and liberty. I think that our nation is going to support these measures, that we are going to enjoy the unconditional support of our entire people. As such, we shall serve not only the interests of the working class, of our own people, but also the interests of the international working class, the interests of socialism.
Comrade Dumitru Popescu:
I fully agree with everything said here by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu for the following reasons: to act otherwise would mean to be at variance with the whole policy carried on by us until now; to act otherwise would mean to subject the country again, to throw it in the arms of an imperialist force able to crush our neck under its boot; to act otherwise would mean to weaken the ideas of socialism al over the world. Our country has experienced such difficult moments and knew how to get through them. There are signs that today, more than ever before, our people is closely bound to the Party, to its Central Committee and is going to answer as one man to the Party's call. This is the only way in which we can act, the Party fulfilling its national and international mission of active detachment of the international communist movement.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
I think that under the circumstances we should consider the reconstitution of the workers' guards, as armed units of the working class for the defense of our people's revolutionary conquests.
Comrade Petre Lupu:
We should form patriotic guards in the countryside as well.
Comrade Mihai Dalea:
I fully agree with the measures proposed by you, Comrade Ceausescu, with the formation of workers' guards as well. I think that under such serious circumstances, we should categorically distance ourselves from the actions of the five countries, which cannot be qualified otherwise than aggression against a socialist state, against a member-country of a military alliance like the Warsaw Treaty. We must distance ourselves categorically and condemn their action, as it may have outstandingly serious consequences for the communist movement, for the socialist states, being a violation of the most elementary notions of relationships between socialist states, between communist parties.
I think it is imperative for our people to know all these problems, to be conscious of the situation created, and that we should take the necessary steps to be able to cope with a possible danger hovering above our country.
Comrade Manea Manescu:
I fully agree with Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu's proposals regarding our Party's stand concerning the piratical occupation of Czechoslovakia by the troops of the five countries. I fully agree with our Party's stand on Czechoslovakia, understanding this principled and firm attitude of our Party as a defense of the principles of socialism and communism, a defense of a people building up socialism. This stand taken by our Party increased its prestige in front of the whole Party and public opinion. The measures proposed by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu asking us to be vigilant and defend our homeland, our liberty and sovereignty is a matter of honor for us, first of all for us who are responsible for the Party, who have been entrusted by the people the leadership of the Party, and through the Party, of our people and homeland. We must take into account the teachings of history and primarily our neighbors, and I make special reference to Russia, which more than once encroached upon our people's freedom. What this great power is doing today is nothing else than resuming past methods and practices, menacing the very existence of countries and peoples. Therefore, I think it proper to take all measures concerning the armed forces and the creation of the workers' and peasant guards in order to raise a strong wall against those menaces. We have this duty towards the present generation and to the future generations to defend our sacred land, our national sovereignty and independence, without which one cannot live.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu pointed out here that we face a great force, but this people, which struggled for centuries on end, has always been able to stand the vicissitudes of history, knew how to fight and preferred to die standing on its own feet than live kneeling down. I agree with Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu's opinion that this people, our Party can be represented only by the leadership of our Party and by the Government, that we have to defend at present and in the future as well the unity of the Party, that we have to close up even more our ranks around the Central Committee, the whole people, the General Secretary, Comrade Ceausescu. In these moments, our unity, within the Party and the State, the unity of the whole people must be unshakable; we must answer so that the Party, the Government, the State, our entire people be able to make their contribution to the defense of the national being, of the ideas of socialism and communism. I agree that we have to raise a wall around the Central Committee, around you, Comrade Ceausescu, to be able to defend our sacred motherland.
Comrade Petre Lupu:
I agree with the stand taken by the Standing Presidium of the Central Committee and the measures proposed today. I would not make a very long plea, but I want to say that the agreement with this stand is grounded by very serious reasons and is not dictated by conjunctures. We learned that to be a communist means at the same time to be a patriot and an internationalist. Unfortunately, all along years, especially after liberation, we have witnessed some internationalist distortions, to the blurring of this idea. All these inconsistencies were of great concern, were quite alarming for me when thinking what was said about communism. These last years like never before, I began to feel better in the Party, and I had a clear conscience, because all I have learned about the connection between words and facts started to turn into reality.
I believe that to associate oneself to such an act of aggression, of deceit, perpetrated by our so-called brethren, is tantamount to betraying the cause of internationalism. One cannot even measure the loss caused to the prestige of socialism. We did not join the movement to betray any of the causes of socialism. I tell you that there is no other way to follow than this one.
Comrade Vasile Vlcu:
I fully agree with Comrade Ceausescu's proposals, I fully agree with the discussions and the decisions made by the Standing Presidium. I must say that at this moment, our Party is strong and united around the Central Committee, that our Party has elected its own leadership, a leadership that conducts all this country's affairs.
I think this act of brutality, of encroachment upon some countries' independence and sovereign, a dirty act. We cannot reply otherwise than by general disapproval and the general mobilization of all forces in defense of our State's independence and sovereignty, as the people as a whole will stand alongside our Party and State leadership.
I agree that nobody can speak on behalf of the Party, but the Party and State leaderships, because the Party and State have elected them. I agree with the proposals. I agree with the creation of the workers' and peasant guards in all the communes and villages, as a means of safeguarding our national sovereignty and independence.
I am an older activist, but it never occurred to me that o socialist country might occupy by the force of arms another socialist country, a people building up socialism. This is an invasion; I am not able to find the language to express my disagreement with thus brutal act, an act of military occupation, an act that only the Nazis have perpetrated.
Comrade Florian Danalache:
I agree with the proposals advanced here, because if we tried to do otherwise, we would do nothing else than fail to defend our people's interests. We have educated our people in the spirit of love of the homeland, of socialism. The problems discussed today are very serious indeed, and, eventually, we would neither avoid troubles. As a matter of fact, our Party understood that love of the homeland, to be a patriot means, for some people, to be a nationalist. It seems that the Soviet, first of all, but the others as well, have taken things like that. Therefore, I agree to arm our whole people, to make it ready and I am convinced that there will be no citizen who loves the Party, who loves our Party and State leadership to refrain from answering the call of the Party if necessary. These words are harsh enough, but confronted with such a deed of piracy, such a colonialist act, this is the sole correct answer. Otherwise, it would mean to betray the homeland, the people.
Comrade Dumitru Coliu:
As a communist as I am, at this news I was emotionally disturbed. We have been educated in the spirit of internationalism, in the spirit of brotherhood, of respect; we have been reared by the Party to fight and defend a just cause, our cause and the cause of other peoples. I hold responsible first of all the Soviets for the aggressive act perpetrated last night, as its leaders and organizers, than come the other parties in launching this barbarian and criminal action. There has never been a good reason for interfering in the domestic affairs of another people, to penetrate over night the land of a people trying to correct errors and go forward on road of socialist building, as this people is dreaming.
I agree with everything Comrade Ceausescu said here about workers' and peasant guards. We must raise an impenetrable wall within the Central Committee, between the Party and the people, between the Party and the State bodies and take all necessary measures, all necessary defense means, that is by arming our whole people. Certainly, all these things must be made calmly, quietly, take all steps to prevent the actions of some irresponsible elements, because those who thought out this act may very well fasten such provocation on us. Therefore, I express again my full agreement with the proposals advanced here and I firmly believe that our Party, by mustering around it the whole people, we are doing a patriotic, national, defensive act; at the same time, if not today, at least tomorrow history will record our principles, Marxist-Leninist stance, which has nothing to do with nationalism, as some try to fasten on us. To act like this, means to do one's duty as an internationalist.
Comrade Petre Blajovici:
I am utterly indignant at what has happened and I think that we are entitled as a governing Party, as a government of a socialist country which has militated for just relationships, for just principles in the relationships between socialist countries, to condemn the action of the five socialist countries, which I strongly believe has been initiated and directly coordinated and organized by the Soviet Union. The occupation of Czechoslovakia is an unspeakable act. It makes no difference between the occupation in the dead of night of a socialist country, when the Presidium of the Central Committee was preparing the Party congress, the measures to be taken in the economic field, and the occupation of a country according to the ruthless laws of the jungle. What is the difference between these countries' actions and the imperialists' schemes, devising plots or coups d'tat? This is just a new proof that the Soviet Union and the other four socialist states, solidary with it, and continuing to follow the political line of the CPSU and of the Soviet Union, have no regard for anybody's opinion and are capable of anything. This is further proof that they are sticking to nothing, that they are capable to violate any kind of agreements and statements.
I fully agree with Comrade Ceausescu's proposals, made in behalf of the Standing Presidium and I support these measures because we are obliged, we have the sacred duty to the people to take all necessary measures imposed by circumstances, meant to guarantee the defense of national sovereignty and independence, to be an example for the Czechoslovak people and for other peoples by taken measures enabling us to cope with any situation. The measures proposed here should be applied immediately. I fully agree with them and I firmly believe that our whole people shall consider in full responsibility the measures proposed here and shall raise a wall around the Central Committee, around the Government, but our duty is to explain to the people why those measures had to be taken and that it must be ready to face any situation. We have no guarantee whatsoever that what has happened to Czechoslovakia last night might not strike Romania on another night. Therefore, we must take measures in the military domain, as well as in other spheres.
I think it very important to show to our people the danger threatening us if we do not take such measures and do not reply to those barbarous actions and to the interference in the domestic affairs of other states, in defense of our national being, in defense of our people's conquests.
I agree with the statements made here by the other comrades, that the measures taken by us are designated to defend our national being and that they will be a contribution to the defense of the ideas of socialism, that they will prove to all communist and workers' parties that we are dissociating ourselves from such actions, that we are ready to go even further in defending our sovereignty and independence, the principles underlying the relationships between socialist countries. I believe we enjoy the support of the working class, of the intelligentsia, of the peasantry and we must all be ready to fulfil all the duties entrusted by the Party: we must work so as to fulfil the duties entrusted to us by the Party and State, in the military field as well. I am seriously worried because from such people one might expect anything. There is no guarantee whatsoever that if Czechoslovakia is occupied and does not put up resistance, in a day or two, or within a week, Romania will not be occupied in her turn, the more so as we have been since long the object of such attacks.
I declare in front of the Executive Committee that I am ready to fulfil any duty, to enable us to organize ourselves to cope with any situation. I think the situation is very serious and we shall be obliged to take measures in defense of independence and see what we can do to help the Czechoslovak people. I fully agree with the proposed measures.
Comrade Maxim Berghianu:
The occupation of Czechoslovakia proves clearly that one cannot speak of a confrontation of principles and ideas, that they are not willing to discuss these principles and that they have, eventually, resorted to force. It is a shame to use force in order to invade and subject other countries. But if the situation is like that, I think that most important and most lucid thing to do would be to draw the relevant conclusions and that the only correct stance and only way to take are no other than the ones suggested by the Standing Presidium, by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu.
History will record shamefully that socialism received a frontal and lasting blow, but it seems that the Soviets are not interested in the fate of socialism and that they persist in using the spheres of influence and resort without reserve to any means and methods to maintain a certain situation and interfere brutally in the domestic affairs of other countries.
These measures, namely, to address ourselves to the other socialist countries, to the other communist and workers' parties, as proposed by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, and to act by all means to help other parties to cope with this situation, are most reasonable. In fact, we have struggled for some principles shared by the entire Party, by the entire people. Now we have to defend not only these principles, but also our very national being, our country's dignity, independence and sovereignty. The suggested measures concerning the strengthening of our armed forces, the organization of guards in towns and at the countryside, impose a firm discipline, a monolithic unity around the Party, around the Central Committee, around Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, around the Government, to enable us to be an impenetrable fortress, without any split or cleave. We should prepare the whole Party, the entire people because this time it is not a matter of probability, and in spite of what we have said that the Warsaw Treaty was not created to interfere in the domestic affairs of other socialist countries, this thing might happen.
Our situation is very good. Our Party and its leadership enjoy a huge prestige. Therefore, we must be as strong as a wall to defend our sovereignty and independence.
I wonder if it would not be appropriate, besides a letter addressed to the United Nations, to contemplate other actions as well.
I am firmly determined, in these hard moments, decisive for the fate of socialism in the world, to make my own contribution and rigorously fulfil any mission assigned to me by the Party leadership.
Comrade Iosif Banc:
The developments in Czechoslovakia have been a cause of deep distress for me, as for all the other comrades, and at the same time, I felt profoundly indignant. I am also of the opinion that it is degrading for the leaders of the first socialist state, for the Soviet leaders, that they have found no other way to settle the problems than using force, brutality, than violating the most elementary norms of relationships between states, not only between socialist states, but inter-state relationships in general. I think that by their foul action, they dealt the heaviest possible blow to socialism. That very country, the first socialist country, its leaders themselves thought it fit in the name of the ideas advocated by Marx and Lenin, to do nothing else than deal the heaviest blow to those ideas, to that lofty ideal to which are aspiring the Soviet people, the peoples in the other socialist countries and a great part of the capitalist countries. I think that the events in Czechoslovakia offer us food for thought. We cannot expect very good things; due to our policy, we can expect anything.
I fully agree with the proposals made here by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu on behalf of the Permanent Presidium. These proposals are consistent with our Party's general line, with our people's interests. The policy of our Party is fully shared by our entire people, a policy proved practically correct in all circumstances and I think that there is no other way for us. To act otherwise, would be proof of cowardice. We should keep going along this line and history will confirm that our policy was just, that it was the fairest of all.
I agree that the measure to reorganize the workers' guards not only in towns, but in villages as well, will give us the chance to prepare the whole people. I agree that we should inform, correctly and fully, every party about what has been happening in Czechoslovakia. Our people will respond to all the Party's actions, because it places justified confidence in the Party leadership. Anyway, wavering persons will appear. Therefore, we have to take measures to strengthen the unity of the Party, of our people around the Central Committee, around Comrade Ceausescu, who has creditably won a huge prestige in the eyes of the entire people. We must go on with this development, we must raise a wall, as we experience hard times at the present moment and we must strengthen this unity, within the Central Committee, within the Executive Committee, around Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu.
Comrades, the measures proposed now are good, and maybe, in the meantime, in line with developments, we shall adopt other measures as well. Maybe we should think about speaking with the Yugoslavs too. With the Czechs it is more difficult to discuss now.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
Nevertheless, our ambassador spoke with a secretary of the Central Committee.
Comrade Iosif Banc:
Let us be kept fully informed and we might have to adopt further measures.
I repeat, I fully agree and I shall do everything incumbent on me to fulfil my duties.
Comrade Mihai Gere:
The events in Czechoslovakia annoyed me and I could not believe that something like that could happen. This is a brutal interference in the domestic affairs of another country.
I fully agree with the measures proposed by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu. This is the sole correct stance to adopt; I think it is both an obligation and a responsibility of honor towards our people to abide by our stance concerning the events in Czechoslovakia.
I declare that I am fully in accord with our country's security measures, to mobilize the people, to warn our people about every possible threat against our country's integrity. Our people, public opinion will assess these measures at their right value. I state that I am ready to do my duty, to carry out the missions entrusted to me.
Comrade Dumitru Popa:
I fully agree with the planned measures and I think there is no other way out. The measures are consistent with our principled position taken up to now. We are firmly determined to defend not only our principles, but also our country's independence and sovereignty.
The events in Czechoslovakia cause feelings of indignation; we have to take defense measures against the United States and West Germany, about which the Soviet comrades never cease speaking, but we have to take such measures against the intervention made by the first socialist state and not only by words, but by facts too. I agree with the comrades who said here that by intervening in Czechoslovakia they displayed their own colors, that they proved to be alien to Marxist-Leninist ideology. They intervened in Czechoslovakia; it was not the USA, nor West Germany that intervened, but the Soviet Union and the other four socialist countries.
As I am working in one of the largest Party organizations, I can assure you that the working people of the Capital City will fully accept the measures taken by the Central Committee, will raise a wall around the Central Committee, around Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, to defend the country. We shall mobilize all the Party organizations in defense of the conquests of socialism, in defense of our homeland's independence and sovereignty.
Comrade Vasile Patilinet:
Like the other comrades taking notice of these facts, words come hard to define such brutality, such aggression against Czechoslovakia. We have always condemned imperialism, and now we find out that everything that is happening before our own eyes is the result of an understanding between great powers over the distribution of the spheres of influence.
I have a deep feeling of indignation at this measure taken by the Soviets, which proves that they keep on being the gendarme of many peoples, as czarism used to be in the past.
In the name of defending the principles of Marxism-Leninism, of defending our state independence and sovereignty, I declare that I fully agree with the proposals made by the Party leadership, with the proposals made by the Standing Committee, with the proposals made by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, taking into account the fact that under the present, circumstances, quite serious indeed, we can expect some brutality to be perpetrated against our country as well. There were some things in the past which show that a socialist country may find itself in the same situation as Czechoslovakia.
Our people is closely united around the Party, the whole Party is united around its leadership, around Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu. I think it a good thing that the Party leadership declared the state of emergency, and therefore all necessary steps should be taken irrespective of the measures taken by the Czechs. Unlike the measures taken by the Czechs, we must be prepared to put up armed resistance by all possible means - military, civil, in enterprises, etc. This might influence and prevent an action against our country and if we cannot prevent it, there is no other alternative than to defend our country's national being. This may exert a great influence on the other communist parties, on the other states. I pledge to do my best to fulfil any duty assigned to me.
Comrade Constantin Dragan:
I arrived late at this meeting, but I understood from what was said by the comrades who spoke before certain things that would vex any honest man. There were signs even in the past that they intended to do something, but at a certain moment they seemed to have given up. This is their attitude towards internationalism, towards supporting socialism and they act in the name of these principles. That is what they aimed at when they were speaking about nationalism, all their vacuous words about some socialist countries.
I would like to say that in the policy promoted by our Party in the last 4-5 years, which was more definitely crystallized after the Ninth Congress, things were called by their proper name about the Soviets, about what they were doing. Our entire working class, all the working people support the policy of promoting national interests, to place first national interests and, by this, the interests of the socialist camp. The measures proposed here are absolutely necessary, as the Soviets have accumulated a lot of venom against us. As early as 1964 and thereafter, each measure showing another orientation added new venom, venom they can pour out anytime. Therefore, I think that our measures are good, measures necessary to strengthen the cohesion, an obvious cohesion because the working people approve our Party and State policy.
Therefore, any attempt at intervening in our situation should receive a categoric response.
I fully agree with the measures proposed by the Standing Presidium and I shall do my best, as a loyal soldier, wherever I am sent to work, to defend the grandiose principles of our Party of promoting alliance with the other socialist countries.
Comrade Janos Fazekas:
When I received that phone call I thought of two things: I asked first if the comrades who had been in Pitesti were back home, fearing some misfortune, and the second thought was this problem with Czechoslovakia.
Of course, this is a very serious thing. I consider the occupation of Czechoslovakia as a collective act, as a matter of fact counterrevolutionary I should say, because what the Soviets did together with the other four socialist countries is by no means a revolutionary act, it does not defend the interests of socialism, the interests of the Czech people, as socialism was not in jeopardy in Czechoslovakia; it is a counterrevolutionary act, directed against socialism itself, against the principles of our ideology, it is a great blow dealt to the international communist movement. To strangle the progressive forces, to strangle a country whose goals is socialism itself, is tantamount to discrediting socialism. It is a dirty, anticommunist, antihuman act, and these are not the only qualifiers of such an act.
All of us have joined the Party to serve the people, the cause of socialism. At these difficult moments for the cause of world socialism, for the cause of socialism and communism, in our homeland. Each of us is in duty bound to serve faithfully everything we have accomplished together, all the Party and State documents, to serve the cause of the entire people, the cause of socialism, because the unity of the Party, of its leadership, of the whole people is needed when times are hard. This unity exists with us; there is a Party, communist spirit like never before, and this makes possible the mobilization of the entire people in defense of socialism in this country.
I agree with all the proposals made here by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu and, as a Party's soldier, like all the other comrades, I offer everything I have learned, everything I have got from the Party to serve our people's cause.
I add a problem to those already raised here. I have never trusted this Warsaw Treaty. Therefore, I suggest to the Standing Presidium to consider our future stand towards this Treaty. It would be better not to be a signatory party, if the other signatories were attacking you, without scruples, exactly in the same way in which the fascists had done.
Comrade Manea Manescu:
Worse than the fascists.
Comrade Janos Fazekas:
When I said fascists, I put everything in a nutshell.
Therefore I think this problem should be examined, because such a state of affairs can happen to any socialist country. If they did this to a socialist country, they may do it to another one as well, if it does not act as the master dictates. Our people's physiognomy, which we represent, does not allow it to happen.
I agree with all the problems raised by Comrade Ceausescu, I support and act in defense of our country's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, I shall militate for the mobilization of the entire people, irrespective of nationality, around the Party.
Comrade Stefan Voitec:
The action perpetrated by the Soviets and those who follow them, is a typical imperialist action and it must be stigmatized in front of the entire people. I fully agree with all the measures proposed by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu and I am convinced that they shall be supported not only by the Party, but also by the people as a whole in order to defend our national being.
I agree with the creation of the patriotic guards. The Central Committee is the one that must speak on behalf of the Party and of the people. We must pay attention to acts of provocation, because we know what had happened in 1940 with such acts of provocation.
Comrade Nicolae Ceasescu:
All comrades have taken the floor.
I suggest that the representatives of all civic organizations - trade unions, women's and youth organizations, the press - should participate in the meeting.
We shall have to take measures for the protection of the embassies of those countries, explain them why we have taken the respective measure, namely, to avoid any provocation.
I would also propose to have the Grand National Assembly convened in session tomorrow and submit the official position of our country's Government for approval to the Grand National Assembly, as the supreme body of State power.
The State Council should also participate in today's meeting.
The position to be adopted tomorrow should released to the press for publication.
Comrade Petre Blajovici:
Let's contact the Yugoslavs!
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:
Everyone should go back to his post now and as soon as the members of the Central Committee are here, we'll meet in plenum. Anyway, this cannot happen before 10:00 a.m.
The meeting closed at 8:10 a.m.
[SOURCE: Central Historical National Archives Fund CC of the RCP - Chancellery, File No. 133/1968, pp. 6-26]
Translated by Delia Razdolescu