141. Telegram From the Legation in Romania to the Department of State 1

850. Legation telegram 782.2 Summary follows of Legation’s A–2683 pouched today which analyzes significance April 22 declaration RWP Central Committee in context related recent Rumanian actions on international scene.

As Legation commented reference telegram, declaration represents pronouncement Rumania’s right and intent to exercise national independence and equality in Communist world. In essence, it constitutes resounding proclamation of emancipation from satellite status and marks emergence of what may be justly termed new and original form national Communism. Leading up to declaration, Rumanian nationalism has been expressed in several remarkable developments over past year:

Rumania has firmly resisted Soviet moves establish supra-national agencies and more binding economic specialization within CEMA. As result, bulk of Moscow’s program—aimed at strengthening Soviet political controls as well as economic efficiency in Eastern Europe—has been stymied. USSR and like-minded CEMA members have been forced to turn increasingly to bilateral and trilateral forms cooperation, and Rumania has increasingly alienated itself from CEMA policies and organizational arrangements.
Rumania’s food-for-machines trade with West continues unabated and should increase, despite contrary pressure from some CEMA partners. Rumania seeks obtain advanced technology in West which CEMA partners either unwilling or unable to supply, but this trade also provides Rumania with strong material base for pursuance independent political relations with USSR. Rumania has also acted to improve political relations with Western powers, including US.
Rumania has taken number of steps to reduce Soviet cultural and political influence on home front and currently is quietly proceeding with extensive amnesty. These moves probably designed win popular support and lay political foundation internally for broader assertion Rumanian independence.
Rumania has pursued line on Sino-Soviet split increasingly in defiance Moscow’s wishes and skillfully used split to advance own interest. Rumanian leaders have seized on Moscow’s critical involvement with Peiping to push independent economic policies. Moreover, in progressive moves, they have directly exploited dispute to show through non-involvement that they need not fiddle to Soviet tune, through independent statements and mediation that they have right and will to take independent action, and through declaration that they intend to follow own path and reject Moscow as center world Communism.

Latter point is declaration’s central thesis and purpose. In various formulations, it stresses that “diversity” (i.e. polycentrism) among Communist states is natural and essential, that “each party has exclusive right independently to work out its own political line,” and that no party “has privileged position or can impose its line or opinions on other parties.” This bold denial Soviet hegemony is reinforced by declaration’s total silence on CPSU vanguard role.

Also, declaration considerably sharpens Rumanian stance on earlier key issues, by explicitly stating opposition to CEMA supranationalism, by condemning Moscow and Peiping equally for polemics, and by squarely opposing Soviet call for international conference to “rebuff” Chinese.

In light declaration, Rumania’s independent economic line should be regarded as part of general effort to place its political as well as economic relations with erstwhile master on new basis. Rumania seems intent on having full direction over its internal affairs as well as right set own foreign policies when its national interests deviate from Moscow’s, and on gaining acceptance principle Moscow no longer “Rome” of Communist movement. Economic self-interest and opportunistic exploitation Sino-Soviet dispute are probably main motivating forces this development, but cohesiveness of long-established home-grown Communist leadership doubtless another important factor. There may also be further clarifying elements which not yet fully apparent stemming from past Soviet interference in Rumanian Party affairs.

Despite many uncertainties, Legation believes Rumania’s nascent national Communism likely to grow. Soviet pressures in response declaration would probably widen gap between Moscow and Bucharest. Other Rumanian trends point toward widening differences.

I have already submitted (Legation telegram 795)4 several recommendations re negotiating position for Gaston-Marin talks in light issuance declaration. One of these—establishment special Rumanian [Page 389] general license list close if not equal to Polish list—seems to me to be particularly pertinent in view of fact declaration apparently goes further than former Polish public statements in rejecting Moscow’s claim to leadership Communist world. After Gaston-Marin talks held, I believe Department should carefully assess foregoing developments as well as results of talks to determine whether any steps beyond those now taken in coming months. [sic]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 RUM. Confidential. Repeated to Belgrade, Bonn, Budapest, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, Sofia, Vienna, Warsaw, Berlin, and Munich.
  2. Telegram 782, April 27, reported and analyzed the Romanian Communist Party’s declaration on the Sino-Soviet conflict. (Ibid.)
  3. Airgram A–268, May 12, reported on the new approach that Romania was taking in foreign affairs as part of its changing “national” Communist policy. (Ibid., POL 2 RUM)
  4. Telegram 795, April 29, forwarded Crawford’s evaluation of the impact of the Romanian declaration on the Sino-Soviet conflict on upcoming U.S.-Romanian talks. (Ibid., FT 1 RUM–US)