Attending a debate devoted to the celebration of two decades since the fall of the communism, that the Romanian Foreign Ministry, first coworker of the US Embassy Jeri Guthrie-Corn spoke about the way the diplomats of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest were experiencing the 1989 Revolution, and the Embassy having been the place where the German and the British diplomats were also taking refuge on those days.
They were permanently in touch, on phone, with the U.S. State Department, and on Dec. 24, Washington decided to call back home the Bucharest-based Embassy’s employees.
On Christmas Eve, we staged a convoy of 38 vehicles and evacuated everybody to Sofia and left for the U.S., afterwards, and this partly because some rumors and threats about snipers, who were allegedly hidden in special camps in Romania. We returned after three weeks. The Ambassador and a couple of key employees stayed at their posts, Jeri Guthrie Corn recollected.
In her opinion, the Romanian reality of the communist times is faithfully shown in Cristian Mungiu’s film “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”. In July 2008, after a 19-year absence, the U.S. diplomat returned to Bucharest and said that ‘everything is different, now.’ I was asked which is the most important change I’ve noticed. In 1989 there was no freedom, at all. North Korea would be the closest approximation to compare Bucharest of 1989 to the current regime. The cult of personality was huge, people had no food, tap water ran only two hours a day, homes got heating only from time to time, she said.
Today, even if there are still grey, ugly blocks of flats, the supermarket chains popped out all over the city. Romania became a partner, friend and allied country of the U.S., and it joined the EU. (…) Romania has been running a very long way, reaching very far in 20 years, but there is still a lot to be done and we all are here to help and promote and improve the democratic practices, the state of law and the Romanian people’s participation in making the decisions on their own society, she stressed.
Also attending the event named ‘RO 20: Romania 1989-2009’ were Foreign Ministry officials, diplomats accredited to Bucharest.
On this special occasion, a film on the Romanian Revolution as seen by the French media was shown, and Foreign Ministry launched the blog created to mark the manner how Romania has been changing over the 20 years of democracy. The Romanian Ministry also staged an exhibition showing photographs taken during the Revolution and snapshots showing the life in Romania before and after 1989.