Romanian National Committee
Romanian National Committee
Comitetul Național Român
|International affiliation||Assembly of Captive European Nations|
Romanian National Committee (Romanian: Comitetul Național Român, CNR) was an anti-communist organization of Romanian post-World War II exiles in the West. It claimed to represent a government in exile.
The committee was established in Washington, D.C. by the General Nicolae Rădescu, one of the premiers of Romania after the overthrow of dictator Ion Antonescu by Mihai I of Romania and the opposition parties. He was also the last premier of Romania not to be affiliated with the Communists. The committee was one of nine organizations that made up the Assembly of Captive European Nations. At the time of establishment, the committee consisted of ten members from three major pre-war Romanian parties, the National Peasants' Party, the Liberal Party and a faction of the Socialist Party that rejected its merger into the Romanian Workers' Party. Former king Mihai I, who had abdicated in 1947, supported the new organization.
The co-founders of the organization were Cornel Bianu (the envoy of Iuliu Maniu to London during World War II), Alexandru Cretzianu (former Romanian minister in Ankara and initiator of secret negotiations with the Allies in Cairo in 1944), Mihail Fărcășanu (president of the Romanian Liberal Youth Organization), Grigore Niculescu-Buzeşti (former Minister of Foreign Affairs), Augustin Popa (former member of the Parliament of Romania), Constantin Vişoianu (former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and participant of secret negotiations with the Allies in Cairo in 1944), Iancu Zissu (member of the Independent Socialist Party), Nicolae Caranfil (former Minister of Aviation) and Grigore Gafencu (former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania), the last two having served as ministers during the pre-war dictatorship of King Carol II. Historian Neagu Djuvara, himself an exilé at the time, mentions a slightly different composition, excluding Bianu and Buzeşti, but including Peasants' Party's Emil Ghilezan, liberal Vintilă Brătianu and trade unioninst Eftimie Gherman. However he acknowledges the important role of Niculescu-Buzeşti in the creation of the organization.
Charter and members
The charter of the CNR stated that the purpose of the committee was to represent the Romanian nation and defend its national interests until the "national liberation"; take actions by any possible means to "liberate" Romania and to reestablish a democratic government in the country; coordinate and support the welfare of all Romanian refugees; manage cooperation of Romanian diaspora abroad to arrive at the fulfillment of their purposes. In light of conflicts over administration of controversial funds of the organization four members of the committee (Rădescu, Gafencu, Fărcăşanu, and Caranfil) resigned in summer of 1950. Neagu Djuvara also mentions the dispute around the inclusion in the committee of a former Romanian minister to Washington as a further cause of the split. Constantin Vişoianu became the new president, either by election or, as Djuvara suggests, appointment by the former king. New members included George Assan, Alexandru Bunescu, Dumitru Ciotori, Anton Crihan, Sabin Manuilă, and Mihai Rautu.
The committee members split the responsibilities and developed relations with the U.S. State Department, United Nations, foreign ambassadors, other Eastern European national committees; published and disseminated propaganda material about CNR, worked with the media.
The committee collected data and wrote reports for both U.S. and international officials on political, economic, and social relations of the People's Republic of Romania. Its reports were published in newsletters Romania and La Natione Roumaine. One of the main purposes of the organization was also lobbying for sanctions against the communist authorities’ abuse of human rights. The committee gradually started using its importance throughout the years and its main sponsor National Committee for a Free Europe which also funded the Assembly of Captive European Nations and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, decreased its funding in 1960's due to new American policy of building bridges with the Communist governments of Eastern Europe. In the beginning of 1970's, it was revealed that the National Committee for a Free Europe was actually a CIA-sponsored organization. In 1972, CNR already lacked any external financial support and had to dissolve.
- "Romania - List of Archival Holdings. Comitetul National Roman". Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Djuvara, Neagu. "Formarea Comitetului National Român" [The Formation of the Romanian National Committee] (in Romanian). Retrieved 2010-08-25.