Romania Table of Contents
Figure 12. Organization of the Ministry of Interior, 1980s
Source: Based on information from Ion Mihai Pacepa, Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief, Washington, 1987; and United States, Central Intelligence Agency, Directory of Romanian Officials, Washington, 1985.
Old Brasov town hall, site of November 1987 riots
Courtesy Scott Edelman
Figure 13. Organization of the Romanian Intelligence Service, 1980s
Source: Based on information from Ion Mihai Pacepa, Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief, Washington, 1987.
The Ministry of Interior's Department of State Security (Departamentul Securitatii Statului, popularly known as the Securitate, see Glossary) was the PCR's secret political police. The Department of External Information (Departamentul de Informatii Externe--DIE) was the principal foreign intelligence service. These organizations were shrouded in secrecy, but an increasing number of defections from their ranks shed some light on their composition and activities. The Securitate and the DIE were responsible for guarding the internal and external security of the Ceausescu regime and suppressing any unrest, disturbance, or dissident group that criticized or challenged it. They succeeded in repressing most organized opposition to the regime. Yet spontaneous outbursts of discontent with Ceausescu's "cult of personality," economic austerity policy, treatment of ethnic minorities, antireligious campaign, and lack of respect for internationally recognized civil and human rights occurred with increasing frequency after the mid-1970s.
Given the deteriorating economic situation and the growth of social unrest in the 1980s, the loyalty of the security and intelligence services was critical to the political future of the Ceausescu clan. Observers believed that the services could play a decisive role in the outcome of a future leadership struggle between Ceausescu, his heirs, and other contenders for power. Despite their treatment as a privileged caste, Securitate and DIE personnel showed signs of dissatisfaction with the regime and the situation in the country during the late 1980s. Poor living conditions were so widespread that even these individuals were affected, creating the potential for sympathy with a largely discontented population.
Data as of July 1989