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'Most-Favored' Romania Status

August 23, 1985

It is seldom that Romania's name shows up in the editorial page of The Times and thus gives its readers the opportunity to reflect upon the tragic fate of the Romanian people. Your editorial favors continuation of the "most-favored-nation" clause. It should be recalled that the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik human rights amendment had been waived for Romania for the last 10 years. After so many years, should we not question what benefits did the United States reap as result of the concession, besides having the Romanian team show up at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Did this policy help the Romanian people?

Today the Romanian economy is a shambles, and the government has become more and more dependent on the Soviet Union. There is less and less talk about "independence from Moscow".

Maybe the "despotic, Stalinist-type government that represses its own people and cynically sells exit visas for Jews and other emigration-minded citizens"--to quote your own editorial--should be compared to the repressive regime in South Africa. Maybe we should be guided by the words of the Nobel Prize winner, Bishop Tutu, who only recently chided President Reagan for "giving aid and comfort to as vicious a system as apartheid".

Maybe Congress should consider not giving "aid and comfort" to as vicious a system as the one that governs the Romanian people today.

MIRCEA IONNITIU

Woodland Hills

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