RUMANIA: Enfant Terrible

Each morning at 7:45, a black Mercedes limousine with a police escort arrives at the Bucharest mansion of Rumanian President Nicolae Ceauşescu and whisks him to his office in the columned Central Committee Building. "At 8:01 the President's advisers and ministers must be ready to receive a call from him," says an aide. The call could be about almost anything, since Ceauşescu (pronounced Chow-shess-cue) insists on passing judgment on all manner of problems, from the working conditions in a coal mine to the decor inside the capital's new National Theater.

In his very personal role as Rumania's top man, Ceauşescu...

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