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Which political events of the 1980's had the most influence on the collapse of Communism in Europe and the end of the Cold War?

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Here are my thoughts/notes on some events that you should consider:

Election of Ronald Reagan

The Reagan Administration embarked on an ideological ("Evil Empire" rhetoric embarrassed Soviets -see their memoirs), political, diplomatic, economic (in addition to stiffening export controls for sensitive industry, there was collusion with the Saudis to drive down the price of oil, thus hurting the Soviet economy still further). The Reagan Doctrine itself represented the combination of containment and roll-back on periphery - support anti-communist resistance in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Cambodia, even covert support for Solidarity.

The Reagan Administration had the sagacity to perceive the growing economic crisis the Soviet Union was facing and resolved to aggravate the situation. Arms race, especially concerning SDI, conventional buildup (qualitative/quantative), Reagan Doctrine raises the price of intervention abroad. Limit technology transports, drive down energy prices. These strategies not only made intervention more costly, but made the arms race worse too, while ...

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