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What the newspapers say: November 16, 2009

de C.B.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 16 noiembrie 2009, 9:00 English | Top News

"Heroes die, fighters return to their homes and the opportunists make it to the foreground", the BBC consultant for the 1989 Revolution said in Bucharest on Sunday. Elsewhere in the news, the Romanian 1989 Revolution is still unfinished. Last but not least, the Americans publish details about the Omar Hayssam dossier in a book by Victor Gaetan.

Gandul reads "Heroes die, fighters return to their homes and the opportunists make it to the foreground", the BBC consultant for the 1989 Revolution said in Bucharest on Sunday, while taking part at a remembrance of the events that unfolded 20 years ago. Dennis Deletant is a historian and specialist in Romania's contemporary history. He was in Bucharest in December 31, 1989, as BBC consultant. He had been in Bucharest before that date, including in 1969, when he got a scholarship to study in Bucharest. Due to the negative reporting, he was declared persona non grata by the ex-Communist regime.

"Ceausescu's death made the political shift experience in Romania to be different from other European states, which itself is a hint that, in Romania, getting rid of the dictatorship with peaceful means was impossible. While Ceausescu managed to unite Romanians in opposing him, they remained in a disorientation state after his fall from power. The legacy the Romanian totalitarian regime left in Romania was subsequently different from other countries", Deletant argued during the "TNB Conferences".

The Romanian 1989 Revolution is still unfinished, Romania Libera reads. Historians still don't know a series of details about the way events unfolded. On top of that, justice has not ruled out a verdict in the case of the 1,500 dead and the violence that took place in that period. Overthrowing the Ceausescu couple from power was the first revolution in history to be broadcasted. But the sympathy towards Romanians could not be used to its maximum potential because the new power, axed around ex-president Ion Iliescu, was anti-reformist. "Communism with a human face" and "socialist economy market" were the by-lines of the National Salvation Front (FSN), the publication goes on.

Ceausescu's attempted to flee with his helicopter after the mob yelled for his stepping down in a protest in Bucharest, following the unrest in Timisoara. The bloodshed continued on the streets of Bucharest even after December 22, but the official date when the regime shifted is still unknown. Most of the Securitate collaborators still have their identities protected: some of their dossiers have not been submitted to the Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives. The Revolution and mineriads' dossiers are still pending.

Ex-Romanian president Ion Iliescu, who was accused, among others, of genocide, war propaganda and torture complicity, has been freed from penal prosecution in June 2009. Generals Mihai Chitac and Victor Atanasie Stanculescu have been condemned to 15 years of jail service and military degradation due to their role in the Revolution from Timisoara, but the decision has been contested and unsolved so far. Plus, the report of condemning the communist period came only 16 years after the fall of the totalitarian regime.

Nestor Pradesh, formerly head of Radio Free Europe's Romanian Broadcasting Department, published in the US his book The Entangled Revolution, stressing that the particularity of the Revolution in Romania has been its violence. Nowhere in the world did the communists step off from power willingly, but there have been negotiations, Pradesh adds. Romanian historian Marius Oprea, president of the Institute for Investigating Communism Crimes in Romania, argues that without the people taking to the streets, the change in regime would have been postponed until the spring of 1990. According to him, broadcasting the revolution in Romania was part of the process of investing the new power with legitimacy.

The Americans publish details about the Omar Hayssam dossier, Cotidianul informs. The ex-prosecutor of the Romanian Direction for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Ciprian Nastasiu unveils in Victor Gaetan's book "Pradarea Romaniei" (Stealing Romania) details of the kidnapping of the three Romanian journalists in Iraq and president Traian Basescu's implication. The book is launched during the last week of presidential campaign in Romania. It argues that Basescu was the one who controlled the game in Baghdad.

Nastasiu tells the author of the book that Omar Hayssam planned the kidnapping of the three Romanian journalists in March 2005, who were lured to Iraq with promises to interview high profile Iraqis and Syrians. Nastasiu speaks about a ransom, worth of 13 - 14 million dollars, from a special fund of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE). Only 9 million dollars are said to have reached Baghdad, the rest of the money landing in "skilled hands".

The book talks about the "Ammunition traffic" dossier as well, where Hayssam is mentioned, alongside Romanian politician Victor Hrebenciuc and Romanian business man Dinu Patriciu. The book also addressed the way Hayssam ended up in freedom and the "strategic privatisations", the latter referring to the spies in the energetic sector. Here, important names from the Romanian political scene are mentioned: Theodor Stolojan, Attila Verestoy, Elena Udrea, Dorin Cocoş, and the journalist Bogdan Chirieac.


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