Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
An Appeal for Heroic Lithuania
“TFP on Lithuania”, June 1991, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)
Recently Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, president of the Brazilian TFP, sent an appeal to all the heads of state of the Free World asking them to establish diplomatic relations with Lithuania. The letter as addressed to President Bush follows.
São Paulo, March 7, 1991
The Honorable George Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Dear Mr. President
I write this letter moved by the cry of a people and in defense of a right.
1) For half a century, captive Lithuania suffered hunger, misery and persecution under the Soviet boot of the Communist regime, the irreducible adversary of religion, family and private property. At long last, it saw, if just for a moment, the sun of independence dawn, revealing before it the path to the civilization and prosperity of the past, so long and mercilessly denied it by the Communist regime. At once, Lithuania reaffirmed its independence, established its own government and began reconstructing the country.
Frustrating the vain hopes of the West, born from his policy of perestroika, Gorbachev violated the sovereignty of the newly reborn nation. Using the pretext that Lithuania's sons had refused to serve in the Soviet army, seen as a foreign force, he ordered the Lithuanian resistance crushed.
2) Mr. President, Communist tanks then advanced against a defenseless populace heartened only by their spiritual weapons of the Catholic Faith and by their indomitable will to secure independence.
The disarmed Lithuanian people, singing hymns of Faith and patriotism, rose as live barriers before the Soviet tanks. To the shock of the Kremlin-ordered aggressors and the wonder of the world, even when the first victims were barbarously butchered, they did not abandon the field of honor nor retreat.
How would Moscow respond? Realizing that the bloodbath would evoke the just indignation of the free peoples of the world, Gorbachev disclaimed the attack. The Kremlin attributed the responsibility for the aggression to the commander of the Soviet forces stationed in Lithuania and ordered a partial recall of the paratroopers which it had sent against Lithuania.
But, and there is a "but" in all this, soon afterwards, the Soviet Interior Minister, Col. Boris Pugo, named as a prime instigator of the savage deeds of the Russian troops in Lithuania, was promoted to general. Scarcely had the measures disavowing the recent Soviet brutalities in Vilnius been divulged, with evident propaganda advantage to Gorbachev in the West, then the "guilty party" was awarded with promotion to General. Thus, the hypocrisy of the so-called censure was revealed and duplicity added to aggression!
3) In this milieu, however inauspicious, Lithuania's head of state, President Vytautas Landsbergis, courageously and forthrightly convoked a plebiscite to grant every Lithuanian citizen the right to freely state whether he desired to continue under the communist domination of the Kremlin or to continue, at whatever risks, to pursue the glorious path to national independence.
As you and the world well know, Mr. President, this plebiscite was conducted in a most calm and orderly manner. Its results, verified in an equally exemplary way, demonstrated before God and man, before the Present in which the Lithuanians find themselves, and the Future that awaits them, that:
a) 90.47% of the voters supported independence—obviously, absolute, total and immediate independence;
b) 6.56% of the votes were cast against independence;
c) 84.52% of the electorate voted.
4) This having been stated, better yet, proclaimed, either the world's free nations solicitous of Lithuanian independence will rush to its aid, entering into immediate diplomatic relations, establishing embassies in Vilnius and allowing Lithuania to establish embassies in their capitals, or, on the other hand, they will hedge and hesitate. Perhaps, only a few nations will be spirited enough to dare to defend this small nation, adorned in glory, against what the media insist on portraying as the Soviet “Colossus”.
Those nations that vacillate admit implicitly that they do not have clear and certain right to their own liberty, for by wavering in recognizing the indisputable rights of the weak today, they call into question the identical rights they may have to defend against the same, stronger aggressor tomorrow. Those who deny the unambiguous and irrefutable rights of others simply because their unjust disputant is powerful reveal that they have nothing to claim in their defense when this same contender unleashes its fury on their own nations which witnessed the prior aggression with crossed arms and sealed lips.
Most assuredly, Mr. President, you shall not consent that your noble and illustrious country should ever find itself in such an ignoble position.
Accordingly, representing, as President of its National Council, the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), and on behalf of the 14 autonomous sister TFPs, in Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela, I entreat you, Mr. President, to enter into urgent contact with the Lithuanian government in Vilnius in order to normalize diplomatic relations with this heroic nation, and to initiate talks to open embassies in your respective capitals.
I am sending this same request to all the heads of state of the Free World.
5) Mr. President, all that I have asserted in certainly evident. Accordingly, my request, that you make your own the cause pleaded in my message and that you see it for what it truly is—an appeal in defense of the Lithuanian cause, which is identical to the cause of all free nations and to the very cause of Christian civilization itself—is surely in harmony with the fundamental principles that resound within your conscience.
The lessons of History foretell that a dreadful identity crisis could strike your country should its citizenry realize that the authorities of your illustrious nation, destined by Providence to exercise an irreplaceable influence in the world newly opening before us with the advent of the third millennium, failed to run swiftly to the aid of little yet heroic Lithuania, through peaceful, diplomatic means.
Mr. President, I extend to you in advance my compliments for all that, in the aforementioned perspective, your country will owe your patriotism and your vision.
With this, I present you my highest appreciation and consideration.
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
President of the National Council of the Brazilian TFP