Statement on the Situation in Poland

June 13, 1982

Six months ago today darkness descended on Poland as the Warsaw Government declared a ``state of war'' on its own people. Today the Polish people's spirit remains unbroken, and as the widespread popular demonstrations in early May indicate, the gap between the Polish people and their leaders has widened since December 13, 1981.

The broad range of economic sanctions which we introduced against the Warsaw Government last December has had a strong impact on the Polish economy, a fact which is acknowledged by Polish officials. With each passing day, the impact of these sanctions grows, particularly in light of the unwillingness of Warsaw's allies to provide substantial assistance. We made it clear when we introduced these sanctions that they were reversible if and when Polish authorities restored the internationally recognized human rights of the Polish people. In addition, we stated that the United States Government stands ready to provide assistance to such a Poland to help its economic recovery. But the United States cannot and will not take these steps until the Polish Government has ended martial law, released all political prisoners, and reopened a genuine dialog with the church and Solidarity.

Our hearts go out to the brave Polish people, who have suffered so much through the years. The United States will continue to help provide humanitarian assistance to the Polish people through such organizations as Catholic Relief Services, CARE, and Project HOPE. Let us hope that the authorities in Warsaw will move to bring about a genuine process of reconciliation in Poland before the gap between the authorities and the people becomes even more threatening.