Soviet official walked into a Randalls in the US and walked away from the Communist Party
One of the most famous leaders in Russia’s history walked into a grocery store in the United States and abandoned communism after witnessing the advantages of American capitalism.
It’s a little-known fact, but former Russian President Boris Yeltsin originally learned of the many benefits of capitalism by walking into a regular ol’ Randalls grocery store almost three decades ago.
Then-Communist Party of the Soviet Union member Yeltsin traveled to the US in 1989 to visit the Johnson Space Center in Texas, according to the Houston Chronicle.
According to an account written by then-Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, during Mr. Yeltsin’s visit, he also stopped by a Randalls store in Houston where he “roamed the aisles of Randalls nodding his head in amazement.”
According to Western Journal, he further told his fellow comrades who followed him to America for the visit that if the lines of starving men, women, and children in Russia were to see the conditions of America’s supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”
In photos of the visit reportedly taken by the Chronicle, Yeltsin could be seen “marveling at the produce section, the fresh fish market, and the checkout counter.
“He looked especially excited about frozen pudding pops.”
“Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” he himself reportedly said, referring to the then-president of the Soviet Union.
Even after Yeltsin left Houston, he still remained transfixed by the luxuries we as Americans have always considered normal.
“For a long time, on the plane to Miami, he sat motionless, his head in his hands,” wrote biography Leon Aron in his 2000 book, “Yeltsin, A Revolutionary Life,” basing his account on quotes from Yeltsin’s associates, according to The New York Times.
“‘What have they done to our poor people?’ he said after a long silence. On his return to Moscow, Yeltsin would confess the pain he had felt after the Houston excursion: the ‘pain for all of us, for our country so rich, so talented and so exhausted by incessant experiments.’”
Experiments in communism, to be precise.
Yeltsin reportedly admitted to these thoughts in his own autobiography, writing, “When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons, and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people.”
“That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”
Two years later, he reportedly left the Communist Party and “began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia,” according to the Chronicle.
That’s putting it lightly.
Here’s how the Times describes Yeltsin’s accomplishments: “He broke up the Soviet Union.
“He laid the Communist Party low, removing the bottom brick from the one-party Soviet system.
“He upended the centralized Soviet economy that had impoverished his country, and he crushed the putsch that threatened to return the country to the old system.”
He paved the way for Russia to become a capitalist/democratic society devoid of the food shortages and scarcity of the past.
And all this because of a typical, everyday American grocery store. Go figure!
Let us know what you think about Boris Yeltsin’s stunning transformation in the comments section below.