A Dialogue on Human Rights: America's Policy Makers and the Soviet Dissident Movements, 1956-1976
Finch, Robert James
Lampe, John R.
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Through the 1950s and 1960s, American news correspondents working in Moscow had come to befriend many of the Soviet dissidents. This friendship was realized in the American press, where there was an explosion of news coverage on the dissidents. Through this news coverage, American interest groups and politicians became interested in the plight of the Soviet dissidents and began to demand that their government make human rights an essential part of its foreign policy. American politicians challenged the Nixon administration's policy of détente by seeking to link trade with the Soviet Union to its human rights practices. By 1976, the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe were established to monitor the Soviet government's compliance with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Final Act. This represented the first time Soviet dissidents and American politicians directly communicated on issues related to human rights.