The Unique Experience of Romania
Telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to all Embassies, December 1989
As the confrontation in Timisoara continued, the Romanian government tried to stonewall in its diplomatic contacts, and thus control the flow of information, in the hope that the repression unleashed against protesters would succeed in pacifying the rebels and then the dictatorship could resume business as usual. Personnel in all Romanian embassies around the world were asked to a) pretend that nothing unusual was going on, and b) if asked directly about the events, claim that Romania would defend its sovereignty against any outside interference, thus implying that the disturbances were the result of hostile foreign intervention.
Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs— Arhivele Ministerului Afacerilor Externe (AMAE), Ministry Telegrams, vol. 4/1989, pp. 387-388. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu.
Primary Source— Full Text
Cde. Chief of Mission,
In case you are asked during the exercise of your diplomatic attributes (we repeat: only in case you are asked) about the so-called events taking place in Timisoara, reiterate, with all clarity, that you have no knowledge of such events. After this short answer, and without allowing you to be drawn into a prolonged discussion, resolutely present the following:
We strongly reject any attempts to intervene in the internal affairs of S.R. Romania, a free and independent state. [We reject] any attempt to ignore the fundamental attributes of our national independence and sovereignty, any attempt at [harming] the security interests of our country, of violating its laws. The Romanian [government] will take strong actions against any such attempts, against any actions meant to provoke or cause confusion, [actions] initiated by reactionary circles, anti-Romanian circles, foreign special services and espionage organizations. The [Romanian] socialist state, our society, will not tolerate under any circumstances a violation of its vital interests, of the Constitution, and will take [any] necessary action to maintain the strict following of the letter of the law, the rule of law, without which the normal operation of all spheres of society would be impossible. No one, no matter who he is, is allowed to break the laws of the country without suffering the consequences of his actions.
Instruct all members of the mission to act in conformity with the above instructions. Inform [the Minister of Foreign Affairs] immediately of any discussions on this topic.
Aurel Duma [Secretary of State, MFA]
How to Cite this Source
"Telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to all Embassies, December 1989," Making the History of 1989, Item #693, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/693 (accessed March 12 2014, 3:38 am).