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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 21, 1989

TRANSCRIPT OF MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE POLITBURO OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE ROMANIAN COMMUNIST PARTY

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    Ceauşescu and the Romanian Executive Politburo discuss events in Poland in August 1989 and Ceauşescu's message to the other socialist countries concerning it.
    "Transcript of Meeting of the Executive Politburo of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party," August 21, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Stenograma şedinţei Comitetului Politic Executiv al C.C. al P.C.R. din ziua de 21 august 1989, Arhiva Nationale Romanesti, Fond CC al PCR, Sectia Cancelarie, Dosar Nr. 57/1989, f. 1-6. Translated for CWIHP by Larry Watts. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121611
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Transcript of Meeting of the Executive Political Bureau of the Central Committee

of the Romanian Communist Party of 21 August 1989

The meeting was presided over by comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu, secretary general of the Romanian Communist Party.

Participating in the meeting were: Emil Bobu, Elena Ceaușescu, Lina Ciobanu, Ion Coman, Nicolae Constantin, Constantin Dascalescu, Ion Dinca, Miu Dobrescu, Ludovic Fazekas, Manea Manescu, Constantin Olteanu, Gheorghe Oprea, Gheorghe Pana, Dumitru Popescu, Gheorghe Radulescu, Stefan Andrei, Radu Balan, Gheorghe David, Mihai Gere, Nicolae Giosan, Vasile Milea, Ana Muresan, Cornel Pacoste, Barbu Petrescu, Tudor Postelnicu, Constantin Radu, Ion Radu, Ion Stoian, Ioan Toma, Ioan Totu, Ion Ursu.

Also invited were comrades Vasile Barbulescu, Silviu Curticeanu, Ion Sirbu.

Cde. Nicolae Ceaușescu:

Comrades,

I believe that everyone is familiar with the events in Poland, the fact that the representative that was given the task of forming the government presented his resignation, which was accepted, and one of the leaders of “Solidarity” known to be an anti-socialist in close connection with imperialist reactionary circles was given the task of forming the government.

In connection with that, on Saturday we took counsel with several comrades that could be found immediately and we addressed a message to the Soviet leadership, and then separate messages to all of the socialist countries.

Comrade Totu will read the message to the Soviets so you will all know it.

(Comrade Ioan Totu read the message).

In corresponding manner, addressing ourselves to the other states that same evening and up until 3 o’clock in the morning [of August 20], messages were also transmitted to the socialist countries, through ambassadors. All said that they would transmit the message immediately. Some also made their own comments, but all said that they were worried.

We received the response of comrade Gorbachev to our message.

(Comrade Ioan Totu read the response of comrade Gorbachev.)

Cde. Ioan Totu:

On the basis of the indications of comrade secretary general Nicolae Ceaușescu, a response was elaborated to that of comrade Gorbachev, which remains to be given him.

(Comrade Ioan Totu read this response as well.)

(During the reading of the response to comrade M. S. Gorbachev, comrade Secretary General Nicolae Ceaușescu made the following clarifications and completions:

“The elaboration of an emergency plan should be established.”

“At the same time, such a meeting would also constitute a powerful demonstration of the unit of our socialist countries, the affirmation of their solidarity and decisiveness for strengthening that solidarity.”)

Cde. Nicolae Ceaușescu:

We have also received a report regarding the position of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party on the problem of the formation of the new government and the current political situation.

(Comrade Silviu Curticeanu read the respective information.)

That is the position of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party.

As you have seen, comrades, the orientation of the Poles is in accord with that of the Soviet Union and I believe one could say even more, namely, that it is even taken on the advice of the Soviet Union.

However, in my opinion, the advice is in error, it does not correspond to the interests of Poland, nor does it correspond to the cause of socialism in Poland, because it opens the path for “Solidarity” which is, as it demonstrated over the last decade, an agency of foreign imperialism, in the first place of the United States of America.

You have now heard what is also the position of the Polish United Workers Party which, in a certain sense is something, it seems, more firm.

Although we do not know the situation completely, we believe that matters have become very serious. In any case, the Polish United Workers Party has pronounced in favor of maintaining an important role in political life. Of course, it is hard for us to say how things will evolve.

I believe that the response that we gave to the Soviets, under these circumstances, is very good, and they, if they will agree, can persuade the Polish United Workers Party to take a firmer position. I believe, however, that they [the Poles] incline toward the opinion of the Soviets, who persuade them to accept “Solidarity.”

In fond, now we discuss amongst ourselves.

It has been 50 years since they [the Soviets] divided up Poland with Germany and now it seems that there is an agreement with the U.S.A. at the expense of Poland, or an attempt to fix their problems with the U.S.A. at the expense of Poland.

We must not admit this and we must act.

In general, for the time being, everything we discuss now is a strictly internal problem of the party. Nothing will be published.

However, we must act.

Maybe we should think and we should address once again, today even, the leadership of the Polish United Workers Party. In any case, their position is somewhat clearer and, if they would see that they also found a certain support, without a doubt they would be encouraged to act.

Of course, the problem is not whether they would receive representatives of “Solidarity” in the government or not, but the handing over of the government leadership to the leadership of “Solidarity” is very serious. The reception in the government of some representatives of “Solidarity” could be a solution, but, in my opinion, handing it over is serious. In the same manner, they publicize [favorably] the two formations that have changed their positions precisely because of the Soviet Union and, certainly, the pressures of the Americans and of the Western countries.

I have been thinking that, this afternoon, in my speech, I should refer to this problem as well.

I already have a reference to the beginning of the war, 50 years ago today, to the division of Poland and to the assistance that Romania gave her and that, after all, was the only assistance [she received]. I refer to the fact that the Western countries did not respect their engagements and Romania did accord her all assistance. I said in the speech that Romania was the only state that accorded assistance and that is the reality.

After that, I was thinking of adding that, in the difficult situation that was created, we expressed our full solidarity with the party and with the Polish people and wish it, in full unity, to overcome this situation and we wish them complete solidarity.

In a certain form we say the same also to Czechoslovakia, which 50 years ago, in 1939, was sacrificed.

Do you agree that we should proceed in this way?

(All the comrades agree.)

We will reflect a little longer to see how we can address the leadership of the Polish United Workers Party again. We no longer say anything to the other countries.

In any case, we are insisting that Shevardnadze come here these days, independently of 23 August [Socialist Romania’s National Day]. He may come tomorrow, and the day after, because this may also persuade the Soviet leadership to reflect a bit.

In the same manner, we have the impression that this position, after they said something else yesterday, at the closing of their Plenum – reflects a little a certain change. At the Plenum they said something else altogether and now there was something, something more real.

Cde. Manea Manescu:

We are in complete agreement with what you have said.

Cde. Nicolae Ceaușescu:

Even more than before, the demonstration for 23 August must be a powerful anti-imperialist, anti-war manifestation against any imperialist interference in the socialist countries, for the unity of the socialist countries, for socialism.

All propaganda must be seen in this sense, including in radio-television and in the press.

Thus we must firmly underscore this, our “23 August” should be a new “1939”, but not “May 1” and the entire demonstration should be at the level of force that we represent now.

Attention should be drawn to these manifestations at assemblies, at demonstrations, everywhere where they are held.

We that, the meeting is concluded.

21.VIII.1989

TL, 2 ex.

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