In Romania, turmoil fuels nostalgia for communism

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BUCHAREST, Romania – Tears run down Elena Bocanu's careworn cheeks as she lights a candle and places it on the grave, next to chrysanthemums left by another admirer.

The object of her devotion is Nicolae Ceausescu, the communist dictator most Romanians associate with hunger, state paranoia, AIDS-ridden orphanages, and chronic power outages. Today, as the new EU member grapples with economic havoc and widening gaps between rich and poor, more people remember not the dysfunctional final years of Ceausescu's regime but an earlier time in which his state provided basics in exchange for obedience.

"You gave us homes, you gave us gas for heating," says Bocanu, a 72-year-old former cleaning lady who scrapes through on the equivalent of $70 a month.

"Now we are miserable, like dogs."...

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