Kudirka comes home

  • 2000-07-13
VILNIUS (BNS) - Simas Kudirka, whose attempt to escape to the United States from behind the Iron Curtain in 1970 created an international incident, has said that Lithuania is now headed by "political daltonics."

Kudirka, now 70, is back in Lithuania after 30 years as an emigre and is arranging the purchase of a house in the Vilkaviskis district, the Ekstra weekly magazine reported on July 10.

He was a sailor on the fishing trawler Sovietskaya Litva when he bravely jumped to the deck of a U.S. Coast Guard vessel and requested political asylum. However, he was returned to the Soviet ship by force and later sentenced to 10 years in prison for his attempted flight. At the time, the story was given wide coverage in the United States and Western press and was even later made into a television movie by one of the major American networks. Kudirka was eventually granted permission to go to the United States after almost four years in Soviet labor camps, as his mother had been born there and was therefore a citizen. He eventually settled in California.

He was recently quoted as saying, in reference to today's Lithuania, that "[large] numbers of people do not have enough money to buy food, while the pederasty is marching in wide steps seizing everything on the way." The "pederasty," in Kudirka's terms, are the country's leaders who "rape their nation."

"People are starting to say that the Soviet times were better. This is bad, very bad," said Kudirka.

"I say, we should stand firm on a Lithuanian brick and keep the color[ed] liquid from leaking into our pants. It is fine if we are not accepted into Europe, but we should never again bring the 'sun' from Moscow," the Ekstra weekly quoted him as saying. o