From Africa to the World: Romania’s Global Turn in the 1970s

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  • Bogdan Cristian Iacob
The first postwar Romanian trans-African expedition (1970-1971) and Nicolae
Ceausescu’s first tour of African countries (1972) were symbolic moments for the local communist regime’s global turn that began at the end of the 1960s. At the same time, these momentous events underlined Romania’s ambivalent and limited global presence in post-colonial world before 1970. The acceleration and expansion of Romania’s relations with developing countries in Africa, Latin America, or Asia was inextricably connected with the country’s new identity as proclaimed by the 1969 Party Congress (in the aftermath of the previous year’s Soviet-led military intervention in Czechoslovakia), that is the status of European, socialist, developing country. The article analyzes, starting from Bucharest’s bilateralism engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa states, how solidarity with the ‚Third World’ became a central element of the Romanian state socialism’s ideological and economic emancipation within the Soviet Union-led camp and in the world. The anti-imperialist and developmental commitment of the government in Bucharest in Africa, and more generally in the Global South, was
a cardinal reference for the regime’s self-representations at home and abroad during the Cold War.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudii şi Materiale de Istorie Contemporană
Volume18/2019
Pages (from-to)149-162
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020

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