How This Picture Made This Soviet Leader Abandon Communism Is Amazing….
Remembering back to when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down at the end of the 1980s there was something that happened in the world that people pretty much took for granted. There was a lot of people that became truly aware of their world for the first time.
I can recall a neighbor of ours at the time that had participated in an exchange student program with someone that was a citizen of what had formerly been East Germany. We had them over for dinner one night and asked what she thought was the most fascinating thing about America. Her response was that when you run out of things at the grocery store, it’s an actual surprise.
Think about that for a moment..
Boris Yeltsin was the first president of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. But in 1989 as a Communist Party member of the Soviet Union Yeltsin had the opportunity to visit the Johnson Space Center in Texas. While there, he had a transformative experience, that changed his whole political way of thinking and his view of capitalism. He walked into a U.S. grocery store.
From Conservative Tribune: While in Houston for the visit, he also stopped by a Randalls grocery store, where he “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” according to an account of the visit written by then-Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin.
He further told his fellow comrades who followed him to America for the visit that if the lines of starving men, women and children in Russia were to see the conditions of America’s supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”
In photos of the visit reportedly taken by the Chronicle, Yeltsin could be seen “marveling at the produce section, the fresh fish market, and the checkout counter. He looked especially excited about frozen pudding pops.”
“Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” he himself reportedly said, referring to the then-president of the Soviet Union.
Even after he left the area, he still couldn’t take his mind off of what he had seen, that normal American supermarket.
“For a long time, on the plane to Miami, he sat motionless, his head in his hands,” wrote biography Leon Aron in his 2000 book, “Yeltsin, A Revolutionary Life,” basing his account on quotes from Yeltsin’s associates, according to The New York Times.
“‘What have they done to our poor people?’ he said after a long silence. On his return to Moscow, Yeltsin would confess the pain he had felt after the Houston excursion: the ‘pain for all of us, for our country so rich, so talented and so exhausted by incessant experiments.’”
It was that simple view that blew up all the lies of Communism and changed his mind forever.
Yeltsin reportedly admitted to these thoughts in his own autobiography, writing, “When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people.”
It made him leave the Communist party and begin his push for reforms to the system to change the economy of Russia when he became president.