Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Opening of the U.S. Consulate in Slovakia

Today, March 1, 2023, marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Consulate in Slovakia by then Vice-Consul – and future U.S. Senator – Claiborne Pell, just days after the Communist Party takeover of the Czechoslovak government. The consulate established the first U.S. diplomatic presence in Slovakia and although deteriorating relations after the Communist takeover forced the consulate to close on May 27, 1950, its opening marked an important milestone in the U.S. – Slovak relationship.

In the absence of a formal U.S. diplomatic presence in Slovakia, the unoccupied consulate building – owned by the United States – stood as a symbol of freedom, democracy, and hope during the totalitarian rule of the Communist era.

Following the Velvet Revolution and the end of the Cold War, U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia Shirley Temple Black and Senator Pell reopened the consulate on May 27, 1991. After Slovakia’s independence, the United States established diplomatic relations with Slovakia on January 4, 1993.

The United States supported your transition to a free and independent nation and the past 30 years have been defined by our strong bilateral relationship based on shared history, common values, and commitment to our transatlantic relationship and the international, rules-based order. The past 75 years show that we have always been present here in Slovakia, always with you in solidarity, always with you in spirit even when we could not be in person. We look to the future with confidence in the strength of our bilateral relationship and faith in our record of standing, side-by-side, against totalitarianism in pursuit of a free, democratic, and just world.