Monday, November 04, 2019

Hungary 1956

For those of you who missed this elsewhere today, I link to this Hungarian site (in English) about the end of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. This site is in general nowhere near as harsh about the Soviets as it could be, but about 1956, at least, it sticks to the general Hungarian opinion.

The Hungarians dealt with leftover Soviet art in an interesting manner, loading it all up into a single park out of town, Szoborpark. I wrote about it briefly years ago.  Click on the second picture to enlarge and get the full effect. Make an effort to get there if you are in Budapest, even though that might be a tight squeeze of time if you are there on one of the Danube Rive cruises.


RichardJohnson said...

One would think there would be no connection between Hungary and Latin America. Nonetheless, when I worked in Latin America, I knew three Iron Curtain refugees of Hungarian origin. All three became Argentine citizens, though one I knew outside Argentina. Two were fellow employees. Each one had a unique history. One was the son of a Hungarian diplomat who was caught in Japan when the Communist regime took over. Time to find a new country. The second was an aerospace engineer whom the Russians had jailed for 18 months after he turned down their invitation to move to Russia to work for them. Operation Paperclip, Soviet style. At the time he was released, the Communists hadn't yet taken over the Hungarian government. Otherwise, he would never have gotten out of Hungary. The third was an adolescent when his family fled Hungary after the failed 1956 Revolution.

Knowing those refugees had an influence in my change from a "progressive" of the left to an "evil" right-winger. In addition working and living in Latin America gave me exposure to their corrupt, incompetent governments that a tourist would not experience. That gave me appreciation for our government, imperfect though it may be.

A further Latin America-Hungary connection for me came with the Sandinistas in the 1980s. The Central American Crisis Reader, a collection of articles and documents on Central America, came out in 1987. It pointed out that Carlos Fonseca, one of the three founders of the Sandinistas (FSLN), expressed "credulous admiration" for the Soviet Union in writing about his visit there.

That prompted me to further investigate Carlos Fonseca. Fonseca wrote Un Nicarag├╝ense en Mosc├║ (A Nicaraguan in Moscow), a pamphlet about his attending a youth festival in the Soviet Union in 1957. Fonseca wrote about meeting a a Hungarian. (I doubt that meeting was a coincidence.) The Hungarian informed him that "We appreciated the help the Soviets gave us in preventing criminal fascists from taking power." Fonseca went on to write, "I had read in our American newspapers a very different and false description of the events in Hungary." Oh well...

Carlos Fonseca's parroting the Soviet line on the Hungarian Revolution was one more example showing that the Sandinistas were fervid and voluntary supporters of Soviet imperialism.Unfortunately, most of those examples never got translated into English.

As such, Reagan's Nicaragua policy was the right thing to do. Bernie and other lefties were quite mistaken in claiming that Reagan was driving the Sandinistas into the arms of the Soviets. The Sandinistas chose to embrace Soviet imperialism from the beginning, well before Reagan became President.

(In addition, Fonseca claimed that there was freedom of religion in the Soviet Union. What a maroon!)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Americans claimed they were only gave military aid and had soldiers in Latin American countries to prevent Soviet interference. Monroe Doctrine stuff. When the USSR fell, the Americans left and let them do whatever damfool thing they wanted. There were exceptions and limitations, mostly around insuring free trade, and some of that was crooked. But in general, we were true to our word about that.