Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: The Key to Communicating the Truth in Communist Romania
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Word Count: 1187
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"The power of the radio is not that it speaks to millions, but that it speaks intimately and privately to each one of those millions."
—Hallie Flanagan (Vajiram and Ravi Staff, “World Radio Day 2019”)
The uprising in Timișoara sparked the Romanian Revolution of 1989, but it would not have been possible without Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). RFE/RL broadcasted the news of the uprising and of the army opening fire on the population. Without the information provided by RFE/RL, the knowledge of the event would not have reached many of the Romanian people, and the movement to overthrow the communist regime would not have started on December 15, 1989. It was instrumental in shaping Romania into the country it is today.
(Constantinoiu, Marina. “Şerban Orescu, Neculai Constantin Munteanu, Emil Hurezeanu.” 1983-1994. Photograph.
"No less important, Radio Free Europe supported all dissident and opposition activities in Romania. It became a tribune for defying the regime's self-serving propaganda."
—Vladmire Tismaneanu (Tismaneanu, "RFE's Romanian Service Opened Our Eyes," 1 Aug. 2008)
RFE/RL is a private, nonprofit corporation founded in 1950 and funded by the US Congress through the CIA. The mission of RFE/RL was to communicate uncensored information to countries where the only news available was propaganda. During communism, RFE/RL was considered by many to be one of the few sources of reliable information.
Background image: (Chapel, Amos. "Protesters Block a Road near the Center of Timisoara on December 16, 1989." 16 December 1989. Photograph. RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.)