A historic 20th anniversary

(Canscene)– American Republicans love to attribute the fall of communism to the rhetoric of President Ronald Reagan, especially to his “evil empire” speech.

lech-walesaBut many of us recall a pivotal moment within this empire when in 1989 Lech Walesa and his Solidarity trade union movement at the Gdansk shipyard which had developed into a political party won a semi-free election that  led to a Solidarity-led coalition government with Walesa becoming president a year later.

There can be no doubt that with Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost within the Soviet Union having caught on, the Polish example must have been a highly influential example of the tide of freedom that swept eastern Europe and led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall which began later that same year.

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