This is a picture of a Romanian anti-Communist freedom fighter in December, 1989, which was just prior to the countries’ liberation from the brutal rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Romania, as well as Afghanistan, were the only two countries during this period in which the Communist megalomaniacs were violently overthrown (which speaks volumes as to how the vast majority of these regimes, as discombobulated as they were, ending up caving under their own weight).
Pictures like these, however, have a far more intricate story to tell than one could ascertain at first glance. The Revolutions of 1989, which began in Poland in 1988 followed by similar events in Hungary, spread across Central and Eastern Europe predominantly as well as in parts of Asia and Africa, and within a matter of five years, the world witnessed the disintegration of the Eastern Block and the USSR, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dismantling and opening of the Iron Curtain, the creation of several new countries such as Bosnia, Croatia, etc. (formerly Yugoslavia) and the Czech Republic and Slovakia (formerly Czechoslovakia), and the abandonment of Marxism-Leninism in Ethiopia, South Yemen, Angola, Benin, Afghanistan, Cambodia, and several other countries. In fact, the only countries where the Communist parties retained power were in China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam.
Nicolae Ceaușescu, who had ruled over Romania for over 20 years by December 1989, was eventually convicted and executed alongside his wife for the economic havoc they wreaked, and more importantly, for the upwards of 60,000 innocents slaughtered in what was undoubtedly a genocide.
Communism, if you asked mostly anyone in the first half of the 20th century, was an inevitable phenomenon that was set to change the world and the entire course of history, yet mostly anyone in the latter half of the 20th century saw things much differently as they looked around them at all the destruction, all the suffering, and at all those who had been displaced and were left with nothing aside from a glimmer of hope—the chance to experience freedom. The notion of communism following these events—to the dismay of the Communist utopians who witnessed it fail and to the satisfaction of those who never lost sight of the idea of freedom that prevailed—is little more than a bad taste in people’s mouths comprised of a closet of skeletons that will continue to haunt the likes of anyone who dares to peek inside.