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  • Freedom Has Lost A Passionate Champion

    Candles illuminate a portrait of former Czech President Vaclav Havel displayed on Tomas Garrique Masaryks statue on December 19, 2011 in Prague. Havel, a dissident and playwright who was the hero of the 1989 Velvet Revolution against communist rule and became his country's first post-independence president, died on December 19 aged 75. AFP PHOTO/ STR

    The cause of freedom lost a passionate advocate with the death of former Czech president, dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel. President Havel inspired freedom-loving peoples throughout Europe in 1989, the “year of miracles.”  Defying one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in history, Havel led Czechoslovakia from the darkness of Soviet totalitarianism to the light of democracy.

    Small wonder that he was one of the first recipients of the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, awarded by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

    In the years that followed, Mr. Havel became a beacon of hope for oppressed people from Cuba to China. The United States also had a strong friend in the dissident-turned-leader.  In 2003 he was one of the signatories of the Letter of Eight—the eight European leaders who supported George W. Bush’s bid to liberate Iraq.

    Mr. Havel once said that he believed in “the power of words to change history.”  But he knew that changing history required more than mere words.  It requires men and women with the courage to risk everything to make their ideas, expressed in words, a reality.  Vaclav Havel had the words—and the will—to make freedom a reality for millions of his countrymen.  May he rest in peace.

    Edwin J. Feulner
    President, The Heritage Foundation

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Freedom Has Lost A Passionate Champion

    1. Bobbie says:

      God Bless Mr. Haval. He was a very dignified and decent man of positive human qualities! Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all he's inspired! God Bless the good of the world!

    2. Stewart Engelman says:

      The world has lost a great man. While the end of the Cold War and the breakdown of the Soviet Empire was in part due to an arms race the Russians couldn't compete with financially, it was no less due to valiant heroes of Mr. Havel's time who had the courage to challenge the status quo and risk everything to fight Soviet domination. Vaclav Havel will be sorely missed.

    3. Patriot Act says:

      R.I.P. Mr. Havel and thank you for your courage, leadership, and everything you did for people all over the world in the name of freedom and liberty.

    4. Ed Davis says:

      I had the good fortune to visit the Czech Republic shortly after the Velvet Revolution. My company was exploring the possibility of building a printing plant there(We eventually did)….I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the Czech people for their new democracy. The country was alive with energy. Part of that was because of Havel's leadership and energy!….He was a great patriot and I liken him to our George Washington……The Czech people were gracious and genuine and I have followed their success closely. Truly, Havel was a man for the ages….

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