Ronald Reagan, John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher were able, thirty years ago, to bring down communism and give freedom and the West a great victory. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the symbol of the prison of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe, was the peak of that victory. Many must be very disturbed that the challenge that the West faced before them and how they were able to stand up and overcome was homely. The great John O’Sullivan told him in his fascinating book “The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister. A trio that changed the world »(Gota a Gota. Madrid, 2007). O'Sullivan explains that until that trio arrived, the West was convinced of the supposed military and moral superiority of the Soviets. And given that kind of certainty, the simplest, and even the most logical, is to surrender. But the new trio was not for the job. At the start of the 1970s, they were all well placed to reach the positions that would crown their lives. But then success was still impossible because Karol Wojtyla was too Catholic in a Church in constant surrender of his positions, a Church that sought to carry a pactist message and someone to transmit it, which was certainly not a role for the Polish Cardinal for very good actor to be; Thatcher was too conservative in a game that Edward Heath had left far from his natural positions and Ronald Reagan was too American. That is, it was the worst thing that could be for the European left.
But on February 11, 1975 Thatcher assumed the leadership of the Conservative Party and of the opposition to the Labor government of Harold Wilson. And on November 20, 1975 – of all the days that had the decade, that had to be – the former Californian governor Ronald Reagan announced in the British newspaper "The Daily Telegraph" his intention to fight for the Presidency of the United States.
The USSR and the shadow of Agca
In five years the decisive trio would be in power: John Paul II was elected in October 1978, Thatcher in May 1979 and Reagan in November 1980. It turned out to be a sweeping conjunction. On October 2, 1979, John Paul II denounced in the UN the status of second-class citizens who were imposed on believers in the USSR. Six weeks later, the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (PCUS) approved a document entitled "Decision to work against the policies of the Vatican in relation to the Socialist States" in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was urged to " get in touch with the Catholic Church groups that work for peace ”and explain to them“ the policies of the Soviet Union in favor of world peace ”. At the same time, the KGB was urged to use "special channels" to show that "the leadership of the new Pope, John Paul II, is dangerous for the Catholic Church." The document, written by Yuri Andropov, future general secretary of the CPSU, was backed by two important firms: Konstantin Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev. Both arrived at the same position as Andropov. Remember the rise of the European pacifist movements of the 1980s and the prominent role played in them by some "Catholic" activists. And it would be pure chance, but two weeks after the signing of that document, Mehmet Ali Agca was fleeing from a Turkish prison, heading for his criminal objective in St. Peter's Square.
The Central Committee document demonstrates how soon they realized the caliber of the threat. The European left embarked on a pacifist campaign that could only benefit the Soviets. Reagan, backed by Thatcher, became involved in the Strategic Defense Initiative – Vulgo «Star Wars» – which would eventually break a USSR that could no longer hide its economic ruin. The IDE was denounced even by many bishops, but never by John Paul II. For years, once a quarter, the Pope received a flying ambassador from President Reagan: the former deputy director of the CIA and deep-rooted Catholic Vernon A. Walters. Walters told me at home, in long hours of dialogue, how he taught the Pontiff a multitude of documents, satellite photographs and varied evidence of the movements of Soviet troops, their secret missile silos … of the threat of annihilation of the West , for that they had those weapons. That role played by the Reagan envoy made John Paul II never raise his voice against that "arms race" and we have never heard his positions justify the very authoritative voices that assured Reagan and Thatcher led us to the nuclear holocaust.
With the right conditions created, the system fought by John Paul II, Reagan and Thatcher quickly crumbled. In the spring of 1989 the population of the Democratic Republic of Germany manifests itself more and more frequently and some begin to actively plan their march of the GDR. After the European elections in June, MEP Otto de Habsburg, president of the Pan-European Union and Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Hungary, decided to organize a "pan-European picnic" on the border between Austria and Hungary, in Sopron. The date of August 19, 1989, the eve of the national holiday, is set. The news of the "picnic" ran like wildfire among the Germans who were looking for a way out of their prison. Hundreds of them appear in Sopron. A daughter of Otto de Habsburg, the Archduchess Walburga, cuts the fence of the border with shears and 661 refugees from the GDR cross into Austria. Since that day it was impossible to stop the dripping of Germans fleeing to the freedom of the West.
Confronted with the USSR with gestures such as Sopron's, but especially with the security exuded by the United States and the United Kingdom, all Brezhnev's commitments to the Third World were canceled between 1988 and 1992. Gorbachev could no longer prevent the fall of the Berlin wall that he did not want.
At his farewell to the White House in January 1989, Reagan evoked his Presidency as a joint effort with the American people to safeguard the United States as "the city lit on a hill": "Friends, we did it. We were not only gaining time. We create a difference. We made the city stronger. We made the city freer. And we leave it in good hands. In short, not bad. It's not bad at all. So, bye ». . (tagsToTranslate) perez (t) maura (t) wall