Tito's Yugoslavia

December 18, 1968

Report Outline
Independent Communism in East Europe
Rise of Yugoslavia on the World Scene
Forward-looking Trends in Yugoslavia

Independent Communism in East Europe

New Soviet Cloud on Anniversary of Titoism

Yugoslavia entered last summer upon the third decade of its existence as an independent Communist state, traveling its own rather than Moscow's “road to socialism.” The 20-year period since the break between Tito and Stalin in June 1948 has been marked in Yugoslavia by a degree of progress toward political and economic democracy not matched in any other Communist country. However, a cloud has appeared on the Yugoslav horizon as a result of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. On Oct. 3, six weeks after the latter event, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko said in the United Nations General Assembly:

The Soviet Union deems it necessary to proclaim from this rostrum …that the socialist states cannot and will not allow a situation where the vital interests of socialism are infringed upon and encroachments are made on the inviolability of the boundaries of the socialist commonwealth and, therefore, on the foundations of international peace.

Gromyko's warning, amounting to declaration by Moscow of a right to act in defense of its brand of communism anywhere in the “socialist commonwealth,” was echoed subsequently by Leonid I. Brezhnev, secretary general of the Soviet Communist Party. It presumably could be used, if the appropriate moment arose, as justification for intervention by the Soviet Union—with or without its Warsaw Pact partners—in Yugoslavia, Rumania or any other Communist state behaving in a manner repugnant to the Kremlin.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aug. 21, 2012  The Troubled Balkans
Jun. 06, 1973  Yugoslavia in Flux
Dec. 18, 1968  Tito's Yugoslavia
Nov. 29, 1961  Yugoslav Neutralism
Nov. 04, 1949  Relations with Yugoslavia
Regional Political Affairs: Europe