Today in 1991: “El dia que se acabo la URSS”

It was not “nosotros que nos queremos tanto debemos separarnos….”, like the famous romantic song from pre-Castro Cuba.

It was more practical than that.   It was a realization that the USSR was no longer a viable country.

On this day in 1991, we heard that it was over:

“After a long meeting between Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin, a spokesman for the latter announces that the Soviet Union will officially cease to exist on or before New Year’s Eve. Yeltsin declared that, “There will be no more red flag.” It was a rather anti-climactic culmination of events leading toward the dismantling of the Soviet Union.”

What was the tipping point? What broke the Kremlin’s back and made the ending inevitable?

My guess is that it was 1986, or the moment that President Reagan walked out and refused to sign a deal for the heck of having a deal:

“On the evening of Oct. 12, 1986, the Reykjavik Summit appeared to have ended in failure for President Reagan. Two days of talks between him and Mikhail Gorbachev over the reduction of their nations’ vast missile arsenals had resulted in Reagan walking out at the last minute.

The issue? Gorbachev wouldn’t agree to any agreement unless the U.S. ceased its research on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

Reagan said no.”

The end started at that moment. We did not know in 1986 that it would happen so quickly, such as the collapse of Eastern Europe in 1989 or the USSR in 1991.

Moral of the story: Reagan said no! That was the beginning of the end for “la URSS”.