December 29, 1981 – Poland in the news. This time with “official word” that order was restored, General Wozek Jaruzelski was still in charge and that the striking miners at the Pilast Mines had gone back to work. In short; nothing to see here – keep moving along.
If that were only so. Uncensored news reports leaked from inside Warsaw told of strikes continuing. And those who “went back to work”, were going back to work in name only. Most workers either showed up and did nothing, or in the case of dock workers at the port of Szcecin, were merely re-cycling cargo; loaded and unloading the same goods, giving the impression work was going on, when in fact, nothing was happening and the country was at a virtual standstill. How long this seeming non-work atmosphere would prevail was anyone’s guess, but it was certain the higher-ups in Poland couldn’t pretend for too much longer.
Meanwhile, President Reagan was preparing to announce a series of economic and political sanctions against the Soviet Union because of its involvement in the Polish crackdown. Reportedly, the President will halt the export of high-tech to the Soviets, and block the sale of equipment for a pipeline that would carry natural gas from Siberia into Western Europe.
Back home; conditions appeared to be normal at the Krome Avenue Federal detention center in Miami, where several hundred Haitian refugees staged a hunger strike over the Christmas holiday. A rumor kept Haitian refugees at a federal detention center facility fasting for five days. In a hunger strike which sparked an angry demonstration between rock-throwing protestors and guards lobbing teargas. But officials said the strike was now apparently over. All 600 Haitians ate lunch the day before, after the INS circulated a memo. The memo denied a rumor that the refugees would be detained for an additional year at the camp for ending the strike. Immigration officials were criticizing Haitian activists, who they say are using the refugees as pawns to gain attention. They claimed the activists not only instigated the strike, but a protest in which Haitian demonstrators tried to rush into the facility. 110 Haitians escaped during the incident. Spokespeople for the Haitians say there will be more demonstrations until all the Haitian refugees are released.
And that’s a small slice of what happened on this December 29, 1981 – as reported by CBS Radio News on The Hour along with commentary from Spectrum.