The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation honored the memory of the approximately 100 million victims of communist regimes Friday, pledging to further the cause of a world without the left-wing ideology.
At the 10th Annual Roll Call of Nations in Washington D.C., the foundation awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom to Mart Laar, a former Estonian Prime Minister who pursued pro-growth policies in the early nineties and helped Estonia’s economy boom in the post-Soviet era.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Laar has worked for the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba, the Human Rights Foundation, and on the advisory council for the Victims of Communism Memorial to draw attention to the crimes of communist regimes.
The medal has previously been awarded to Pope John Paul II and William F. Buckley Jr. President George W. Bush dedicated the memorial in 2007.
The ceremony included dozens of embassies and human rights organizations laying wreaths at the memorial to honor those nations and peoples who are, or were formerly, “captive” under communism, according to a press release by the foundation.
The keynote remarks were delivered by Vytautas Landsbergis – a former Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania and a current member of the European Parliament. He described the struggle of communism versus freedom as “an existential rivalry between humans.”
“Communism sees one’s brother as one’s enemy,” he said.
We are commemorating here now the countless victims…of a bloody monster whose name is communism. – H.E. Vytautas Landsbergis pic.twitter.com/yc5uybTFJ9
— Victims of Communism (@VoCommunism) June 9, 2017
A Venezuelan violinist, Willy Arteaga, played music during the ceremony to protest the human rights situation in socialist Venezuela.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.