Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km², the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west and Hungary to the north and Romania to the east, Albania and Greece to the south; the nation was a socialist state and a federation governed by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia with Belgrade as its capital. In addition, it included two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Vojvodina; the SFRY's origin is traced to 26 November 1942, when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia was formed during World War II. On 29 November 1945, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed after the deposition of King Peter II, thus ending the monarchy.
Until 1948, the new communist government sided with the Eastern Bloc under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito at the beginning of the Cold War, but after the Tito–Stalin split of 1948, Yugoslavia pursued a policy of neutrality. It became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, transitioned from a planned economy to market socialism; the SFRY maintained neutrality during the Cold War as part of its foreign policy. It was a founding member of CERN, the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, IFAD, WTO, BTWC. Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, the Yugoslav economy started to collapse, which increased unemployment and inflation; the economic crisis led to a rise in ethnic nationalism in early 1990s. With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, inter-republic talks on transformation of the federation failed. In 1991 some European states recognized their independence; the federation collapsed along federal borders, followed by the start of the Yugoslav Wars, the final downfall and breakup of the federation on 27 April 1992.
Two of its republics and Montenegro, remained within a reconstituted state known as the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia", but this union was not recognized internationally as the official successor state to the SFRY. The term "former Yugoslavia" is now used retrospectively; the name Yugoslavia, an Anglicised transcription of Jugoslavija, is a composite word made up of jug and slavija. The Slavic word jug means'south', while slavija denotes a'land of the Slavs'. Thus, a translation of Jugoslavija would be'South-Slavia' or'Land of the South Slavs'; the full official name of the federation varied between 1945 and 1992. Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 under the name Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. In January 1929, King Alexander I assumed dictatorship of the kingdom and renamed it the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, for the first time making the term "Yugoslavia"—which had been used colloquially for decades —the official name of the state. After the Kingdom was occupied by the Axis during World War II, the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia announced in 1943 the formation of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia in the substantial resistance-controlled areas of the country.
The name deliberately left the republic-or-kingdom question open. In 1945, King Peter II was deposed, with the state reorganized as a republic, accordingly renamed Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, with the constitution coming into force in 1946. In 1963, amid pervasive liberal constitutional reforms, the name Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was introduced; the state is most referred to by the latter name, which it held for the longest period of all. Of the three main Yugoslav languages, the Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian language name for the state was identical, while Slovene differed in capitalization and the spelling of the adjective "Socialist"; the names are as follows: Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian languages Latin: Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija Cyrillic: Социјалистичка Федеративна Република Југославија Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: Macedonian pronunciation: Slovene language Socialistična federativna republika Jugoslavija Due to the length of the name, abbreviations were used to refer to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, though the state was most known as Yugoslavia.
The most common abbreviation is SFRY, though SFR Yugoslavia was used in an official capacity by the media. On 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers led by Nazi Germany. Yugoslav resistance was soon established in two forms, the Royal Yugoslav Army in the Homeland and the Communist Yugoslav Partisans; the Partisan supreme commander was Josip Broz Tito, under his command the movement soon began establishing "liberated territories" which attracted the attention of occupying forces. Unlike the various nationalist militias operating in occupied Yugoslavia, the Partisans were a pan-Yugoslav movement promoting the "brotherhood and unity" of Yugoslav nations, representing the republican, left-wing, socialist elements of the Yugoslav political
Cuba the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet, it is east of the Yucatán Peninsula, south of both the U. S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is capital; the area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres. The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres, the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants; the territory, now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonisation in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902.
As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba; the country was a point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Cuba is one of few Marxist–Leninist socialist states, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America, it is a multiethnic country whose people and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
Cuba is a sovereign state and a founding member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States. The country is a middle power in world affairs, it has one of the world's only planned economies, its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco and skilled labor. According to the Human Development Index, Cuba has high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America, though 67th in the world, it ranks in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF. Historians believe the name Cuba comes from the Taíno language, however "its exact derivation unknown"; the exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as'where fertile land is abundant', or'great place'. Fringe theory writers who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by three distinct tribes of indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Taíno, the Guanahatabey and the Ciboney people; the ancestors of the Ciboney migrated from the mainland of South America, with the earliest sites dated to 5,000 BP. The Taíno arrived from Hispanola sometime in the 3rd century A. D; when Columbus arrived they were the dominant culture in Cuba, having an estimated population of 150,000. The Taíno were farmers, while the Ciboney were farmers as well as hunter-gatherers. After first landing on an island called Guanahani, Bahamas, on 12 October 1492, Christopher Columbus commanded his three ships: La Pinta, La Niña and the Santa María, to land on Cuba's northeastern coast on 28 October 1492. Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa. Other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which became the capital.
The native Taíno were forced to work under the encomienda system, which resembled a feudal system in Medieval Europe. Within a century the indigenous people were wiped out due to multiple factors Eurasian infectious diseases, to which they had no natural resistance, aggravated by harsh conditions of the repressive colonial subjugation. In 1529, a measles outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of those few natives who had survived smallpox. On 18 May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto departed from Havana at the head of some 600 followers into a vast expedition through the Southeastern United States, starting at La Florida, in search of gold, treasure and power. On 1 September 1548, Dr. Gonzalo Perez de Angulo was appointed governor of Cuba, he arrived in Santiago, Cuba on 4 November 1549 and declared the liberty of all natives. He became Cuba's first permanent governor to reside in Havana instead of Santiago, he built Havana's first church made of maso
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic known to as Soviet Moldavia or Soviet Moldova, was one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union which existed from 1940 to 1991. The republic was formed on 2 August 1940 from parts of Bessarabia, a region annexed from Romania on 28 June of that year, parts of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, an autonomous republic within the Ukrainian SSR. After the Declaration of Sovereignty on 23 June 1990 and until 23 May 1991 it was known as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova. From 23 May 1991 until the declaration of independence on 27 August 1991, it was renamed the Republic of Moldova whilst remaining a constituent republic of the USSR, its independence was recognized on December 26 of that year. Geographically, the Moldavian SSR was bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north and south. After the failure of the Tatarbunar Uprising, the Soviets set up an autonomous Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on October 12, 1924 within the Ukrainian SSR on part of the territory between the Dniester and Bug rivers, as a way to prop up the propaganda effort and help a potential Communist revolution in Romania.
On August 24, 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a 10-year non-aggression treaty, called the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The pact contained a secret protocol, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence"; the secret protocol placed the Romanian province of Bessarabia in the Soviet "sphere of influence." Thereafter, both the Soviet Union and Germany invaded their respective portions of Poland, while the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Lithuania and Latvia in June 1940, waged war upon Finland. On June 26, four days after France sued for an armistice with the Third Reich, the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum to Romania, demanding the latter to cede Bessarabia and Bukovina. After the Soviets agreed with Germany that they would limit their claims in Bukovina, outside the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact's secret protocols, to northern Bukovina, Germany urged Romania to accept the ultimatum, which Romania did two days later.
The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was thereafter created following the entrance of Soviet troops on June 28, 1940. The old Moldavian ASSR was dismantled and the Moldavian SSR was organized on August 2, 1940 from six full counties and small parts of three other counties of Bessarabia, the six westernmost rayons of the Moldavian ASSR. 90% of the territory of MSSR was northeast of the river Dniester, the border between the USSR and Romania prior to 1940, 10% southwest. Smaller northern and southern parts of the territories occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940, which were more heterogeneous ethnically, were transferred to the Ukrainian SSR, although their population included 337,000 Moldovans; as such, the strategically important Black Sea coast and Danube frontage were given to the Ukrainian SSR, considered more reliable than the Moldavian SSR, which could have been claimed by Romania. In the summer of 1941, Romania joined Hitler's Axis in the invasion of the Soviet Union, recovering Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, as well as occupying the territory to the east of the Dniester it dubbed "Transnistria".
By the end of World War II the Soviet Union had reconquered all of the lost territories, reestablishing Soviet authority there. Many Bessarabians who fled to Romania before the advancing Red Army were caught by Soviet security forces. On June 22, 1941, during the first day of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, 10 people were killed in Răzeni by Soviet authorities and buried in a mass grave. In July 1941 after Operation Barbarossa, a commemorative plaque was installed in Răzeni: "Aici odihnesc robii lui Dumnezeu Diomid, Niculai, Dănila, Alexandru, Alexandru, doi necunoscuţi. Omorâţi mișelește de bolșevici comuniști. 12. VII.1941". A memorial was opened in 2009; the Soviet authorities targeted several socio-economic groups due to their economic situation, political views, or ties to the former regime. They were resettled in Siberia and northern Kazakhstan. According to a report by the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania, no less than 86,604 people were arrested and deported in 1940-1941 alone.
Modern Russian historians put forward an estimative number of 90,000 for the same period. NKVD/MGB struck at anti-Soviet groups, which were most active in 1944-1952. Anti-Soviet organizations such as Democratic Agrarian Party, Freedom Party, Democratic Union of Freedom, Arcașii lui Ștefan, Vasile Lupu High School Group, Vocea Basarabiei were reprimanded and their leaders were persecuted. A de-kulakisation campaign was directed towards the rich Moldavian peasant families, which were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia as well. For instance, in just two days, July 6 and July 7, 1949, over 11,342 Moldavian families were deported by the order of the Minister of State Security, Iosif Mordovets under a plan named "Operation South". Religious persecutions during the Soviet occupation targeted numerous priests. After the Soviet occupation, the religious life underwent a persecution s
The Forest Brothers were Estonian and Lithuanian partisans who waged a guerrilla war against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the three Baltic states during, after, World War II. Similar anti-Soviet Eastern European resistance groups fought against Soviet and communist rule in Bulgaria, Poland and western Ukraine; the Red Army occupied the independent Baltic states in 1940–1941 and, after a period of German occupation, again in 1944–1945. As Stalinist repression intensified over the following years, 50,000 residents of these countries used the forested countryside as a natural refuge and base for armed anti-Soviet resistance. Resistance units varied in size and composition, ranging from individually operating guerrillas, armed for self-defense, to large and well-organized groups able to engage significant Soviet forces in battle; the term Forest Brothers first came into use in the Baltic region during the chaotic Russian Revolution of 1905. Varying sources refer to forest brothers of this era either as peasants revolting or as schoolteachers seeking refuge in the forest.
Estonia and Lithuania gained their independence in 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire. The ideals of nationalism and self-determination had taken hold with many people as a result of having the independent states of Estonia and Latvia for the first time since the 13th century. At the same time, Lithuanians re-established a sovereign state, which had a rich former history, having been the largest country in Europe during the 14th century, but, occupied by the Russian Empire since 1795. Allied declarations such as the Atlantic Charter had offered promise of a post-war world in which the three Baltic nations could re-establish themselves. Having experienced occupation by the Soviet regime followed by the Nazi regime, many people were unwilling to accept another occupation. Unlike Estonia and Latvia where the Germans conscripted the local population into military formations within the Waffen-SS, Lithuania never had its own Waffen-SS division. In 1944 the Nazi authorities had created an ill-equipped but 20,000-strong "Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force" under General Povilas Plechavičius to combat Soviet partisans led by Antanas Sniečkus.
The Germans, however came to see this force as a nationalist threat to their occupation regime. The senior staff were arrested on May 15, 1944, with General Plechavičius being deported to the concentration camp in Salaspils, Latvia; however half of the remaining forces formed guerrilla units and dissolved into the countryside in preparation for partisan operations against the Red Army as the Eastern Front approached. The guerrilla operations in Estonia and Latvia had some basis in Adolf Hitler's authorization of a full withdrawal from Estonia in mid-September 1944 — he allowed any soldiers of his Estonian forces the 20th Waffen-SS Division, who wished to stay and defend their homes to do so — and in the fate of Army Group Courland, among the last of Hitler's forces to surrender after it became trapped in the Courland Pocket on the Courland Peninsula in 1945. Many Estonian and Latvian soldiers, a few Germans, evaded capture and fought as Forest Brothers in the countryside for years after the war.
Others, such as Alfons Rebane and Alfrēds Riekstiņš escaped to the United Kingdom and Sweden and participated in Allied intelligence operations in aid of the Forest Brothers. While the Waffen-SS was found guilty of war crimes and other atrocities and declared a criminal organization after the war, the Nuremberg Trials explicitly excluded conscripts in the following terms: The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those persons, accepted as members of the SS as enumerated in the preceding paragraph, who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes, however, those who were drafted into membership by the State in such a way as to give them no choice in the matter, who had committed no such crimes. In 1949–1950 the United States Displaced Persons Commission investigated the Estonian and Latvian divisions and on September 1, 1950, adopted the following policy: The Baltic Waffen SS Units are to be considered as separate and distinct in purpose, ideology and qualifications for membership from the German SS, therefore the Commission holds them not to be a movement hostile to the Government of the United States under Section 13 of the Displaced Persons Act, as amended.
The Latvian government has asserted that the Latvian Legion composed of the 15th and 19th Latvian Waffen-SS divisions, was neither a criminal nor collaborationist organization. The ranks of the resistance swelled with the Red Army's attempts at conscription in the Baltic states after the war, with fewer than half the registered conscripts reporting in some districts; the widespread harassment of disappearing conscripts' families pushed more people to evade authorities in the forests. Many enlisted men deserted. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Joseph Stalin made a public statement on the radio calling for a scorched earth policy in the areas to be abandoned on July 3. About 10,000 Forest Brothers, which had organized themselves into countrywide Omakaitse organizations, attacked the forces of the NKVD, destruction battalions and the 8th Army (Major General Lj
The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance was an economic organization from 1949 to 1991 under the leadership of the Soviet Union that comprised the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with a number of communist states elsewhere in the world. The descriptive term was applied to all multilateral activities involving members of the organization, rather than being restricted to the direct functions of Comecon and its organs; this usage was sometimes extended as well to bilateral relations among members because in the system of socialist international economic relations, multilateral accords – of a general nature – tended to be implemented through a set of more detailed, bilateral agreements. Moscow was concerned about the Marshall Plan. Comecon was meant to prevent countries in the Soviet sphere of influence from moving towards that of the Americans and South-East Asia. Comecon was the Eastern Bloc's reply to the formation in Western Europe of the Marshall Plan; the Comecon was founded in 1949 by the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania.
The primary factors in Comecon's formation appear to have been Joseph Stalin's desire to cooperate and strengthen the international socialist relationship at an economic level with the lesser states of Central Europe, which were now cut off from their traditional markets and suppliers in the rest of Europe. Czechoslovakia and Poland had remained interested in Marshall aid despite the requirements for a convertible currency and market economies; these requirements, which would have resulted in stronger economic ties to free European markets than to the Soviet Union, were unacceptable to Stalin, who in July 1947, ordered these communist-dominated governments to pull out of the Paris Conference on the European Recovery Programme. This has been described as "the moment of truth" in the post-World War II division of Europe. According to the Soviet view the "Anglo-American bloc" and "American monopolists... whose interests had nothing in common with those of the European people" had spurned East-West collaboration within the framework agreed within the United Nations, that is, through the Economic Commission for Europe.
However, as always, Stalin's precise motives are "inscrutable" They may well have been "more negative than positive", with Stalin "more anxious to keep other powers out of neighbouring buffer states… than to integrate them." Furthermore, GATT's notion of nondiscriminatory treatment of trade partners was incompatible with notions of socialist solidarity. In any event, proposals for a customs union and economic integration of Central and Eastern Europe date back at least to the Revolutions of 1848 and the state-to-state trading inherent in centrally planned economies required some sort of coordination: otherwise, a monopolist seller would face a monopsonist buyer, with no structure to set prices. Comecon was established at a Moscow economic conference January 5–8, 1949, at which the six founding member countries were represented. Recent research by the Romanian researcher Elena Dragomir suggests that Romania played a rather important role in the Comecon's creation in 1949. Dragomir argues that Romania was interested in the creation of a “system of cooperation” to improve its trade relations with the other people's democracies with those able to export industrial equipment and machinery to Romania.
According to Dragomir, in December 1948, the Romanian leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej sent a letter to Stalin, proposing the creation of the Comecon. At first, planning seemed to be moving along rapidly. After pushing aside Nikolai Voznesensky's technocratic, price-based approach, the direction appeared to be toward a coordination of national economic plans, but with no coercive authority from Comecon itself. All decisions would require unanimous ratification, then governments would separately translate these into policy. In summer 1950 unhappy with the favorable implications for the effective individual and collective sovereignty of the smaller states, Stalin "seems to have taken personnel by surprise," bringing operations to a nearly complete halt, as the Soviet Union moved domestically toward autarky and internationally toward an "embassy system of meddling in other countries' affairs directly" rather than by "constitutional means". Comecon's scope was limited in November 1950 to "practical questions of facilitating trade."One important legacy of this brief period of activity was the Sofia principle, adopted at the August 1949 Comecon council session in Bulgaria.
This radically weakened intellectual property rights, making each country's technologies available to the others for a nominal charge that did little more than cover the cost of documentation. This benefited the less industrialized Comecon countries, the technologically lagging Soviet Union, at the expense of East Germany and Czechoslovakia and, to a lesser extent and Poland. After Stalin's death in 1953, Comecon again began to find its footing. In the early 1950s, all Comecon countries had adopted autarkic policies.
Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic known as Soviet Latvia or Latvia, was a republic of the Soviet Union. It was established on 21 July 1940, during World War II, as a Soviet puppet state in the territory of the independent Republic of Latvia after it had been occupied on June 17, 1940 by the Soviet Army, in conformity with the terms of the 23 August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Following the Welles Declaration of July 23, 1940, the annexation of Latvia into the Soviet Union on 5 August 1940 was not recognized as legitimate by the United States, the European Community, recognition of it as the nominal fifteenth constituent republic of the USSR was withheld for five decades, its territory was subsequently conquered by Nazi Germany in June–July 1941, before being retaken by the Soviets in 1944–1945. Latvia continued to exist as a de jure independent country with a number of countries continued to recognize Latvian diplomats and consuls who still functioned in the name of their former governments.
Soviet rule came to the end during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The first elected parliament of the Latvian SSR passed a declaration "On the Renewal of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia" on May 4, 1990, restoring the official name of the State of Latvia as the Republic of Latvia; the full independence of the Republic of Latvia was restored on 21 August 1991, during the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt and recognized by the Soviet Union on 6 September 1991. On September 24, 1939, the USSR entered the airspace of Estonia, flying numerous intelligence gathering operations. On September 25, Moscow demanded that Estonia sign a Soviet–Estonian Mutual Assistance Treaty that would allow the USSR to establish military bases and to station troops on its soil. Latvia was next in line; the authoritarian government of Kārlis Ulmanis accepted the ultimatum, signing the Soviet–Latvian Mutual Assistance Treaty on October 5, 1939. On June 16, 1940, after the USSR had invaded Lithuania, it issued an ultimatum to Latvia, followed by the Soviet occupation of Latvia on June 17.
Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov accused Latvia and the other Baltic states of forming a military conspiracy against the Soviet Union, so Moscow presented ultimatums, demanding new concessions, which included the replacement of governments with new ones, "determined" to "fulfill" the treaties of friendship "sincerely" and allowing an unlimited number of troops to enter the three countries. Hundreds of thousands Soviet troops entered Estonia, Lithuania; these additional Soviet military forces far outnumbered the armies of each country. Ulmanis government decided that, in conditions of international isolation and the overwhelming Soviet force both on the borders and inside the country, it was better to avoid bloodshed and an unwinnable war; the Latvian army did not fire a shot and was decimated by purges and included in the Red Army. Ulmanis' government resigned and was replaced by a left-wing government created under instructions from the USSR embassy. Up until the election of the People's Parliament on July 14–15, 1940 there were no public statements about governmental plans to introduce a Soviet political order or to join the Soviet Union.
Soon after the occupation, the Communist Party of Latvia was legalized as the only legal party and presented the "Working People's Bloc" for the elections. It was the only permitted participant in the election, after an attempt by other politicians to include the Democratic Bloc on the ballot was prevented by the government, its office was closed, election leaflets confiscated and its leaders arrested. The election results. All Soviet army personnel present in the country were allowed to vote; the newly elected People's Parliament convened on 21 July to declare the creation of the Latvian SSR and request admission to the Soviet Union on the same day. Such a change in the basic constitutional order of the state was illegal under the Constitution of Latvia, because such a change could only be enacted after a plebiscite with two-thirds of the electorate approving. On August 5, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union completed the process of annexation by accepting the Latvian petition, formally incorporated Latvia into the Soviet Union.
Some of the Latvian diplomats stayed in the West and the Latvian Diplomatic Service continued to advocate the cause of Latvia's freedom for the next 50 years. Following the Soviet pattern, the real power in the republic was in the hands of the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Latvia, while the titular head of the republic and the head of the executive were in subordinate positions. Therefore, the history of Soviet Latvia can broadly be divided in the periods of rule by the First Secretaries: Jānis Kalnbērziņš, Arvīds Pelše, Augusts Voss, Boris Pugo. In the following months of 1940 the Soviet Constitution and criminal code were introduced; the sham elections of July 1940 were followed by elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in January 1941. The remaining Baltic Germans and anyone who could claim to be one emigrated to the German Reich. On August 7, 1940 all print media and printing houses were nationalized. Most of the existing magazines and newspa
Socialist Republic of Romania
The Socialist Republic of Romania refers to Romania under Marxist-Leninist one-party communist rule that existed from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian People's Republic; the country was a Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc state with a dominant role for the Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its constitutions. As World War II ended, Romania, a former Axis member, was occupied by the Soviet Union, the sole representative of the Allies. On 6 March 1945, after mass demonstrations by communist sympathizers and political pressure from the Soviet representative of the Allied Control Commission, a new pro-Soviet government that included members of the outlawed Romanian Workers' Party was installed. More members of the Workers' Party and communist-aligned parties gained control of the administration and pre-war political leaders were eliminated from political life. In December 1947, King Michael was coerced to abdicate and the People's Republic of Romania was declared.
At first, Romania's scarce post-war resources were drained by the "SovRoms", new tax-exempt Soviet-Romanian companies that allowed the Soviet Union to control Romania's major sources of income. Another drain was the war reparations paid to the Soviet Union. In the 1950s, Romania's communist government began to assert more independence, for example, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Romania by 1958. In the 1960s and 1970s, Nicolae Ceaușescu became General Secretary of the Communist Party, Chairman of the State Council and assumed the newly established role of President in 1974. Ceaușescu's denunciation of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and a brief relaxation in internal repression helped give him a positive image both at home and in the West. However, rapid economic growth fueled in part by foreign credits gave way to an austerity and political repression that led to the fall of his totalitarian government in December 1989. A large number of people were executed or died in custody during communist Romania's existence, most during the Stalinist era of the 1950s.
While judicial executions between 1945 and 1964 numbered 137, deaths in custody are estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Many more were imprisoned for political, economical or other reasons and suffered abuse, torture and/or death. Geographically, Romania bordered the Black Sea to the east; when King Michael, supported by the main political parties, overthrew Ion Antonescu in August 1944, breaking Romania away from the Axis and bringing it over to the Allied side, Michael could do nothing to erase the memory of his country's recent active participation in the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Romanian forces fought under Soviet command, driving through Northern Transylvania into Hungary proper, on into Czechoslovakia and Austria. However, the Soviets treated Romania as conquered territory, Soviet troops remained in the country as occupying forces under the pretext that Romanian authorities could not guarantee the security and stability of Northern Transylvania; the Yalta Conference had granted the Soviet Union a predominant interest in Romania, the Paris Peace Treaties failed to acknowledge Romania as a co-belligerent, the Red Army was sitting on Romanian soil.
The Communists, as all political parties, played only a minor role in the first Michael's wartime governments, headed by General Constantin Sănătescu, though their presence increased in the one led by Nicolae Rădescu. This changed in March 1945, when Dr. Petru Groza of the Ploughmen's Front, a party associated with the Communists, became prime minister, his government was broad-based on paper, including members of most major prewar parties except the Iron Guard. However, the Communists held the key ministries, most of the ministers nominally representing non-Communist parties were, like Groza himself, fellow travelers; the King was not happy with the direction of this government, but when he attempted to force Groza's resignation by refusing to sign any legislation, Groza chose to enact laws without bothering to obtain Michael's signature. On 8 November 1945, King Michael's name day, a pro-monarchy demonstration in front of the Royal Palace in Bucharest escalated into street fights between opposition supporters and soldiers and pro-government workers, resulting in dozens of killed and wounded.
Despite the King's disapproval, the first Groza government brought women's suffrage. However, it brought the beginnings of Soviet domination of Romania. In the elections of 19 November 1946, the Communist-led Bloc of Democratic Parties claimed 84% of the votes; these elections were characterized by widespread irregularities, including intimidation, electoral fraud, assassinations Archives confirm suspicions at the time that the election results were, in fact, falsified. After forming a government, the Communists moved to eliminate the role of the centrist parties. A show trial of their leadership was arranged, they were put in jail. Other parties were forced to "merge" with the Communists. In 1946 and 1947, several high-ranking members in the pro-Axis government were executed as war criminals for their involvement in the Holocaust and for attacking the Soviet Union. Ant