Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 104 Part 6.djvu/915

This page needs to be proofread.


PROCLAMATION 6146—JUNE 14, 1990 104 STAT. 5305 Proclamation 6146 of June 14, 1990 Baltic Freedom Day, 1990 | By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation The struggle for Baltic freedom has entered a new era of great promise and hope. The 50-year-long effort by the peoples of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to regain freedom and democracy has begun to bear fruit. The international community has long decried the dark summer of 1940 when, as a result of a self-serving agreement made earlier by Hitler and Stalin in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Baltic States were denied their independent status. During that fateful summer, Soviet troops invaded and occupied the Baltic States. The rigged elections that followed put an end to Baltic self-determination. These events, however, did not end the desire of the Baltic peoples for freedom and independence. During the past year, they have taken major steps toward achieving self-determination. Generally free and fair elections based on a vigorous multiparty political system produced popular legislatures. In decisions reflecting the will of the Baltic peoples, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have asserted their intention to restore their independence. The representatives of the Baltic peoples have taken a nonviolent path and have consistently appealed for dialogue and negotiations with Moscow. For 50 years the United States has refused to recognize the forced incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union. As I assured the Prime Minister of Lithuania during her recent visit, the United States will remain faithful to this policy. We support self-determination for the Baltic peoples, and we call upon the Soviet Union to enter a good-faith dialogue with representatives of the Baltic governments who received popular mandates in free and fair elections. We are encouraged by recent steps in that direction and hope that a full and productive dialogue will materialize. The right to liberty and self-determination; free and fair elections; a better life for themselves and for their children—these are the just aspirations of the people of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. On this Baltic Freedom Day, we reaffirm our support for them. The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 251, has designated June 14, 1990, as "Baltic Freedom Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 1990, as Baltic Freedom Day. I call upon the people of the United States of America to observe this day with appropriate remembrances and ceremonies to reaffirm their commitment to principles of freedom and liberty for all oppressed people. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and