CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
The last decade of the century was marked by major political and economic changes. The end of the Cold War ignites the transformations that paved the way for the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the advent of democracy in countries formerly ruled by authoritarianism. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela an icon of the fight against racial segregation, was released from jail after 30 years behind the bars. Author Asturo Uslar Pietri won the Prince of Asturias Prince
In Poland, Lech Walesa won 74.2 percent of votes in a second run of the presidential election File Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation / Langevin / AP
Political and economic reforms in Europe would define the
relation between old super powers; new democracies vanquished
The Soviet Union Leader Mikhail Gorbachev made decisive changes to open the communist bloc to the world. Under his government program called "perestroika," the armed forces were curtailed and Soviet troops pulled out of Central Europe. The new Soviet trend convinced Western countries, and NATO officially declared the end of the Cold War, which for almost 50 years governed the relations between the Eastern-communist and Western-capitalist blocs. Gorbachev's decision to grant full freedom to the bloc nations to choose their own governments was strongly refused by Soviet conservatives. Not only was it internationally acknowledged but also resulted in political changes in East European countries.
Lech Walesa, an electrician at a shipyard in Gdansk and the founder of trade union Solidarity, which managed to gather about 10 million workers, became the first democratic president in Poland, during free elections after 40 years of communism. The Polish worker was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and was regarded as the man who "broke the ice" in Central Europe. Walesa's efforts for two decades turned into a shock wave in Europe and undermined the foundations of a deteriorated communist model.
Rumania held its first free election after 24 years of government under Stalinist Nikolai Ceausescu, viewed as one of the most brutal dictators in the 20th Century. Ion Iliescu, candidate for the National Salvation Front and head of the provisional government after Ceausescu's downfall, was elected president.
In the neighboring continent, Nelson Mandela, a symbol of the struggle waged by black South Africans against racial segregation or apartheid, was released after serving almost three decades in prison for fighting the "white monopoly over the political power" and an iron fist on his people. During a speech in Cape Town, the 71-year-old leader of the African National Congress heralded the birth of democracy to eliminate the destruction caused by racial segregation in South Africa.
Latin American arts were globally recognized. Venezuelan journalist, writer and lawyer Arturo Úslar Pietri was awarded in Spain the Prize Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras, for his literary contribution to the relations between Spain and the Americas through the Hispanic American modern literature. Mexican author Octavio Paz won the Nobel Literature Prize.
5.- Renewed status
6.- Radio Capital
9.- Cyber Radio
MEMORY GAME >>
Try your ability to keep images in your head and discover wonderful pictures of all times !