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Communism Is Making a Comeback; So Should Captive Nations Week

July 14, 2019


Welcome to Captive Nations Week. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Yet this usually-forgotten, federally mandated occasion — now in its 60th year — is worth resurrecting in the 21st century. Congress created Captive Nations Week in 1959, making the third week in July a time to show Americans’ solidarity with the nations dominated by communism. The original law listed 22 captive nations, most of which had substantial communities of citizens in major American cities. After the law’s passage, these communities began to hold parades and rallies every year, from Miami to New York to Los Angeles to Chicago and many other cities.


The original list included mainland China, Tibet, North Korea, and Vietnam — all of which are still under communist sway. So are several countries added to the list over the years — for instance, Cuba and Laos. The original law also noted geographic areas, such as the part of Turkestan, now called Xinjiang by the People’s Republic of China, which is still brutalized by Communist China.


The American people still stand with those who yearn for freedom from Communist oppression. Sixty years after its founding, and 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s time to bring back Captive Nations Week.

At the time of publishing, Marion Smith was executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Originally published in the Miami Herald.

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