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Why the ambassador defected

From the statement by the Polish ambassador, Romuald Spasowski, at the State Department in Washington Dec. 20 upon his defection to the United States.

A week ago a state of war has been imposed upon Poland, state of war against the Polish people.

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Under the umbrella of the military, specially trained units and security police began an unprecedented reign of terror.

All communication lines have been cut off to isolate the country and to confuse the world.

Death penalty has been introduced for not reporting to work. With unique precision, the police undertook all visible steps to extinguish every ember of freedom trying to eliminate independently minded people.

The cruel night of darkness and silence was spread over my country.

In prison, in camps, in the open air without shelter, without enough food, without heating in freezing temperatures, my brothers, old and young, men and women, face brute force and are exposed to enormous sufferings. There are even indications that some are being transported to camps in neighboring countries.

This carefully orchestrated and directed crackdown is not an internal Polish issue. This is the most flagrant and brutal violation of human rights which makes a mockery of the Polish signature put under the Final Act of the Helsinki accord.

I, ladies and gentlemen, cannot be silent. I shall not have any association, not speaking about representation, with the authorities responsible for this brutality and inhumanity.

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I have decided this the moment I have learned that Lech Walesa, the most beloved leader of Solidarity, is arrested and kept by force.

This, what I am doing now, is my expression of solidarity with him.

I have decided to make this statement to stand up openly and to say that I will do everything possible to assist the Polish people in their hour of need.

Think about those Poles. Try to imagine their loss when you listen every day to the news.

Nobody can put in prison 36 million people and make them slaves in the very center of Europe. Violence and suppression will only aggravate the situation, and history proves that they are bound finally to collapse.

The road to peace is the only road.

It is natural that through the three-party talks, the church, the Solidarity, and the authorities, a real effort should be made to find accommodation and peace.

Whatever the future will be, don't be silent, Americans. To defend freedom is in your tradition. Show your solidarity, show your support and humanitarian assistance to those who are in such need at this hour.

Let me turn now to the people of Poland. All Poles abroad salute you. We will never stop struggling until Poland be Poland and you experience that dignity which should be a part of every human being, so help us God.

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