Heritage Foundation’s Helle C. Dale in 2009 told the history of the Captive Nations Week. Ever since President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the third week of July “Captive Nations Week” in 1959, Americans have acknowledged the citizens of oppressed nations. Excerpts below:
Although the Berlin Wall fell nearly 20 years ago, and although the number of communist countries has dwindled to five–China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos–many peoples around the world face the evils of oppression, communist and otherwise.
Captive nations are unfortunately not a thing of the past. Not only do communist countries such as China and North Korea pose potential roadblocks for U.S. foreign policy, but regimes ruling Iran, Burma, and Libya, among others, provide constant sources of grave concern. Citizens subject to tyranny do not control their own future. They are denied basic human rights and liberties. The United States is often forced to confront these nations on an international stage, and each presents a unique set of problems. It is a challenge that the United States, as the world’s freest and most powerful nation, must continue to meet.
Comment: One can ask who the next Captive Nations in Europe will be. Here is the list from the beginning:
North Caucasia 1920
Far Eastern Republic 1922
Mongolian People’s Republic 1924
Slovenia 1946 (and others)
Then Czecho-Slovakia 1948
North Korea 1948
East Germany 1949
North Vietnam 1954
Who is next when the Soviet Union after 1991 could be restored?