“Now, the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom.
We hear much from Moscow about a policy of reform and openness.
Some political prisoners are being released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from State control.
Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet State? Or are they token gestures intended to raise false hopes in the West or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it?
We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together—that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.
There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate [25 second applause]. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict this continent. And I pledge to you my country’s efforts to help overcome these burdens—to be sure we in the West must resist Soviet expansion. So, we must maintain defensed of unassailable strength. Yet, we seek peace. So, we must strive to reduce arms on both sides.”
– President Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987