The crushing of Hungary’s anti-Soviet uprising 60 years ago this week stood as a tragic symbol of communist barbarism throughout the Cold War, notes Arch Puddington, head of research for Freedom House. Ideally, the anniversary of the failed revolution would be a time for the country to celebrate its commitment to freedom and democratic solidarity. Unfortunately, Hungary’s government is veering sharply away from those values, he writes for Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab.
The Hungarian uprising prompted some voices to call for the US to adopt a formal policy of non-interference. But successive administrations instead modernized Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and established the National Endowment for Democracy in order to maintain democratic solidarity with those suffering under Communist rule.
Sadly, Hungary now seems more comfortable with Russia’s imperious and repressive regime than with its neighboring European democracies, Puddington adds. Such an orientation requires a willful blindness to Hungary’s own history. RTWT