National Defence Minister Angel Tilvar said, in a message conveyed on the Victory Day of the Romanian Revolution, that the wounds generated back then “will never close,” and the duty of those today is to defend freedom and democracy, which have been won with sacrifices.
“Today, we mark the Victory Day of the Romanian Revolution. The riot which started on 16 December 1989, in Timisoara, spread in a short time throughout the country, removing, on 22 December, the communist regime. The 1,166 dead people and just as many families destroyed and torn by pain paid for Freedom. Many more were injured, still carrying, in their bodies and souls, the pain of those days,” Tilvar wrote on Thursday, on his Facebook page.
He underscored that those who restored the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people deserve respect.
“We owe our respect and gratitude to all those who restored our freedom and dignity as a people. The wounds of the Revolution of 1989 will never close. We have the duty to defend freedom and democracy. Winning them was made with sacrifices, on behalf of the Romanian people. May God rest the souls of the martyrs of December 1989!,” the Defence minister added.
President Iohannis: Failure to do justice regarding Revolution crimes, a critical point of our society
President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday sent a message on the occasion of the Victory Day of the Romanian Revolution and Freedom, in which he says that 33 years after that moment, the life of Romanians is completely different, emphasising, however, that the failure to carry out the act of justice regarding the crimes that took place then remains “a critical point of our society”.
“December 1989 represents the moment that definitively changed the course of Romania. Through the faith and will of the Romanians who no longer endured the humiliations of the communist regime, our country irreversibly headed towards democracy, a path we have undertaken for almost three and a half decades. (…) the sacrifice of the heroes who freed us from the tyranny of communism will forever remain in our national memory. The noblest way we can honour those who gave their lives so that we can be free is to protect democracy and the rule of law and to reject any form of extremism and populism,” the head of state says in the message.
Iohannis says that, 33 years after the anti-communist revolution, the life of Romanians is completely different.
“Citizens enjoy rights and freedoms that, before December 1989, represented only aspirations that seemed rather impossible to achieve. Today, Romania is a democratic state, deeply attached to Euro-Atlantic values and a reliable partner for our allies, a proven fact constantly recognised. As a member of the European Union and NATO, Romania continues to consolidate its democracy and, through the efforts of the authorities and the support received from the structures of which it is a part, to develop and reduce the gaps generated by the communist regime and eliminate its unfortunate consequences,” says President Iohannis.
The head of state points out that, although we are living in difficult times, in which the entire European continent is suffering because of the consequences of the war on our borders, it is inconceivable that the generations who had the chance not to know the horrors of totalitarianism should fall prey to the nostalgic communist discourse. He indicates that, against the backdrop of the instability of the last period, the economic difficulties, the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the populist discourse tries to question the values of the present.
“Such dangerous visions affect us all and can gain ground amid current challenges. After 33 years since the overthrow of communism, we must categorically reject the distortion of the truth about our recent past and the evocation of feelings of nostalgia related to this period,” says Iohannis.
President Iohannis points out that the young generations have the mission of watching over the continuation of the country’s democratic course.
“The communist regime was a criminal, repressive and abusive one! Under the dictatorship, Romanians lived in terror, in the cold and in the dark in a prison society, isolated from the rest of Europe and the world, deprived of rights and freedoms. Hundreds of thousands of citizens of our country perished in prisons, hundreds of thousands more sought freedom in exile, risking their lives and exposing their families to the harshest consequences. The young generations have the mission of watching over the continuation of the democratic course of the country, aware that our rights were acquired with difficulty in 1989, through the sacrifice of Romanians driven by extraordinary courage, who stood up against the dictatorship, facing blows and bullets,” says Iohannis.
The head of state stresses that “the failure to carry out the act of justice regarding the crimes that took place during the Revolution of December 1989 remains a critical point of our society”.
“The fact that even up to this moment Justice has not identified and sanctioned the culprits for the crimes committed during the Revolution does nothing but maintain feelings of pain and frustration. In the absence of justice, the massacres committed against the civilian population will remain wounds that will never heal,” says Iohannis.
The head of state reiterates the firm commitment regarding the correct assumption of the past and the promotion of democratic values and the rule of law.
“We bow to the sacrifice of our forerunners and keep their memory alive, valuing and protecting the values for which they sacrificed in December 1989,” President Iohannis concludes.
PSD’s Ciolacu: Sacrifice made by Romanians in December 1989 must be an example for us in everything we do
Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel Ciolacu says that the sacrifice made by Romanians in December 1989 must be an example, and the best way to honour those who gave their lives so that future generations could live freely is “to stand, all of us, united”.
“33 years ago, Romanians sacrificed themselves for freedom! Thanks to the sacrifice of our heroes, Romania is today a basic pillar of NATO, member of the European Union, an organization that acted as a shield in the fight for the defense of freedom and democratic values. Therefore, the noblest way in which we can honour those who gave their lives so that future generations could live freely is to stand, all of us, united. United inside, united with the whole of Europe!,” Ciolacu wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
In this context, the Social Democrat leader also referred to the Schengen area, showing that its enlargement will strengthen Europe.
“The enlargement of the Schengen area through Romania’s inclusion will strengthen Europe even more, strengthen the economic recovery and support our collective security against growing external threats. The sacrifice made by Romanians in December 1989 must be an example for us in everything we do: let us we fight for Romania until the end!,” added Marcel Ciolacu.