Friday, August 19, 2011

Romania to promote Ceausescu tourist trail

(AFP)
BUCHAREST — Tourists travelling to Romania will soon be able to follow the trail of former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, tourist minister Elena Udrea said Wednesday.

"We are working on a 'red circuit' that would follow the traces of communism and the dictatorship," Udrea said in an interview with B1TV channel.

The circuit will include Ceausescu's native village of Scornicesti and the Doftana prison where he served two years for "subversive activities" between 1936 and 1938.

The tour will take in the balcony of the communist party headquarters where he delivered his last speech on December 21, 1989, before being ousted from power, and the military barracks in Targoviste where he was executed with his wife Elena on December 25, 1989.

The couple's official residence in an upmarket district of Bucharest will also be opened to visitors.

"Western tourists are very interested in Ceausescu's history, provided we can sell it properly," Udrea said.

The son of a poor farmer, Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania with an iron fist from 1965 until 1989.

In December that year, as communist regimes crumbled across eastern and central Europe, the Ceausescus fled massive protests in Bucharest and other cities.

They were arrested and executed on December 25 after a short show trial.

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