The Romanian - American Committee
5150 Leesburg Pike, Alexandria, VA 22302-1030
E-mail : Bessarabia44@gmail.com
April 28, 2019
The Honorable Mike Pompeo,
United States Secretary of State
U. S. State Department
2201 C Str. NW
Washington, DC, 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
We are writing to you as responsible American citizens of Romanian descent living throughout the United States. It is our duty to bring to your attention certain events and developments happening these days in Romania and Eastern Europe, which are challenging the stability of the area and are endangering the security interests of the United States.
For more than a decade now, Romania has proved to be a reliable NATO member and a loyal ally of the United States. Romanian troops fought and sacrificed along the American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the country has welcomed American military bases on its territory. The increasing cooperation between Bucharest and Washington has not played well in Moscow, where President Putin's main objectives are breaking-up NATO and the European Union and evicting America from the continent. Romania is a case in point. Following the recent completion of the American anti-missile base at Deveselu in southern Romania, Russia has threatened Romania with ‘devastating’ military consequences.
In addition, Moscow is encouraging Budapest to incite the Szekelys (Secui) of Transylvania, a minority of some 700,000 speaking a Hungarian dialect, to declare their own separate state under the cover of ‘autonomy’. Transylvania is the ancient cradle of the Romanian nation. It joined modern Romanian in 1920 after the Paris Peace Treaty and following U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s Principle of self-determination of Nationalities. Previously, several French, British, German and Austrian experts had documented that the ethnic Romanian population represented the absolute majority of the province.
It is also worth recalling that during WWII Hitler gave northern Transylvania to Hungary, and Budapest deported all the local Jews to German concentration camps where most of them perished. The region was reintegrated into Romania at the end of the war, but in 1952 Stalin forced Bucharest to recognize a Hungarian autonomous region in the middle of the country. The region sowed deep discord, raised the old-age specter of irredentism, and was eventually disbanded in 1960.
These days Moscow is encouraging again Hungarian irredentism and is undermining the Romanian authorities who are openly pro-American. Russia has already done similar things in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. As a result, the Secui minority is challenging Romania more and more aggressively. This minority has revived its extremist past, has erected memorials to its fascist leaders, and has begun to organize into paramilitary groups. Left unaddressed and unchecked, such developments could lead to civil war, destabilization, increased Russian presence, and diminished American influence.
Mr. Secretary, this late spring Romania is awaiting the official visit of Pope Francis. While the authorities and the Orthodox Church are looking for a peaceful visit and for a deeper reconciliation between the East and the West, Moscow and Budapest are awaiting the event to sow even more instability. In fact, they are trying to enroll diplomatically certain Western and American circles in support of their separatist goal. We consider that any manifestation that could be interpreted as favoring the Russo-Hungarian goals will trigger not only a powerful anti-Hungarian reaction, but even an anti-American reaction among the Romanians. And the potential turbulence will only benefit Mr. Putin, who could use it as an excuse for further interfering in East Europe. We hope and trust that this scenario will never be enacted, but if it does the area will be again lost for America and the West. Romania and Poland represent the main allies of the United States in East Europe. While Moscow continues to threaten eastern Ukraine and is keeping a strong control over Moldova, a challenge to Transylvania could result in devastating consequences. The Romanians admire America and cherish Western values. It would be unconscionable and unpatriotic of us to keep silent and not to alert our Government in Washington in face of such a danger.
Nicholas Dima, Project Coordinator. On behalf of the Romanian-American Committee for Bessarabia.
Justin Liuba, on behalf of Iuliu Maniu Foundation
Anca Popa, on behalf of Avram Iancu Society
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Dima, President
Lia Roberts, Executive Vice President
Neculai Popa, Public Relations Vice President
Valentin V. Ţepordei, Communications Vice President
Nicholas Buda, Vice President for Youth Issues
Alexandru Tomescu, Vice President for Canada
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