throughout Romania. As Dej opined to the Romanian ambassador to the United States,Silviu Brucan, in 1956: “if I don’t do a U-turn now in our relations with the Sovietauthorities, we are lost.”
Drawing on archival documents, published memoirs, and recent Romanian scholarship,this article will examine the patterns of deception Dej employed to achieve greaterindependence from the Soviet Union. The cunning strategist feigned loyalty to Khrushchev(whom he loathed) and kept a low profile in order to survive destalinization and eventuallyexpel Soviet troops from his country.
Unlike Ceauşescu, Dej forfeited short-term forms of ego gratification in exchange for a long-term, but permanent,
(a country rid of Soviet troops).Just two months after the twentieth congress of the communist party of the SovietUnion (CPSU), February 14-25, 1956, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs(
Ministerul Afacerilor Externe
, or MAE) took measures to resume diplomatic relations withseveral capitalist democracies, and even NATO members, such as Norway, Iceland, Greece,Brazil, Burma, as well as with less stable countries like Sudan and Uruguay.
MAE alsoattempted to resolve old financial issues with the United States, Great Britain, and Greece.MAE sent a proposal to Washington on March 7, 1956, for example, to begin negotiationsto resolve the problem of sequestered or liquidated Romanian funds in the United States.Robert Thayer, the U.S. minister to Romania, replied and suggested a further exchange of memoranda about both this issue and about the restrictions imposed on the U.S. legation inBucharest and the statute regarding American citizens in Romania.
Romanian officialsissued a visa for an American agricultural expert to visit Romania and requested a visa fora Romanian agricultural expert to visit the United States.
In addition, the Romaniangovernment accepted an invitation from Washington to send two or three representativesto the United States for an expense-paid, two-week visit so they could "observe thebipartite electoral process." Other bloc states were invited, but only the Romanians - like