Very few people know this, but one of the most famous Soviet officials in Russian history originally learned of the many advantages of capitalism at a regular ol’ Randalls grocery store nearly three decades ago.
In 1989, then-Communist Party of the Soviet Union member Boris Yeltsin traveled to the United States to visit the Johnson Space Center in Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle.
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.
“‘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.’”
Two years later, he reportedly left the Communist Party and “began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia,” according to the Chronicle. – READ MORE
China’s Communist Party is engaged in sophisticated global influence operations using money to buy supporters and deceive foreign audiences about Beijing’s rights abuses, experts told a congressional China commission on Wednesday.
“Attempts by the Chinese government to guide, buy, or coerce political influence and control discussion of ‘sensitive’ topics are pervasive, and pose serious challenges in the United States and our like-minded allies,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), co-chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Rubio identified one party organ known as the United Front Work Department that is a key agency engaged in influence operations in China and abroad.
The party bolstered the department in 2014, calling it China’s “magic weapon” charged with promoting a positive view of China abroad and exporting its authoritarian model.