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Bloody revolution

What you need to know:
Romania was Eastern Europe's most notorious dictatorship. Nicolae Ceausescu, the hardline Communist leader, had virtually unchecked power which allowed him run a brutal police state and embark on policies that were destroying the country's economy and forcing people to endure harsh food and power shortages. As communism fell in the other Soviet satellite states, Ceausescu continued to reject any softening of the Warsaw Pact. In December 1989, he accused the West of being "out to liquidate socialism" and called on Eastern European heads of state to renew strength and fight Nato. His rule would soon come to bloody end.