RIP Vaclav Havel; Symbol of the Velvet Revolution

Havel speaking in Prague on 20th anniversary of revolution (c) Ben Skala

The last president of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992), dissident, king of democracy and renowned writer Vaclav Havel passed away at his home in Hradecek pri Trutnove yesterday aged 75.

The condolences came flooding in from all over the world, with Slovak politicians expressing their grief, as well. President Ivan Gasparovic noted the key role Havel played during and after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, and how he had left a strong imprint not just on Czechs and Slovak societies, but also on democracy in Europe.

Acting Prime Minister Iveta Radicova recalled how she had spoken to him just a few days ago, sending her condolences to all his loved ones. Opposition leader Robert Fico acknowledged the stature of the man and the role he played in the post-November period. Foreign minister Mikulas Dzurinda said Havel had done more to bring down the totalitarian regime than anyone else.

Havel had been having health problems for the past few years, and things deteriorated recently after he had been working too much as director on his first film Departure, with severe respiratory problems taking their toll. May there be many more like him.

Read more about Vaclav Havel


  1. Blimmy James did some put a extra vitamins in your Pedigree Chum ?

    Down attack dog , down….sit !

    I have to admit , I know very little about the guy, other than he was meant to be corrupt …but then aren`t all (Czecho) Slovaks in any kind of power or influence, just corrupt, with there fingers in every cookie jar ? I mean, why has no one asked, why the current PM decided she had enough of all this shite not to even stand as an MP ? Does anyone think she was happy about the Kosice Tax Office scandal , or a good soldier in the end just backing her party members as crooked as they were and there need to raise some cash to pay off the money lenders ?

    1. BTW smug people ….read on OK .

  2. Not even a candle lit in Trencin for the man to respect his accomplishments. On the other hand the entire country practically shut down when Demitra was killed. I think that says a lot for the condition of the SK people.

    1. Oh heavens Marek, you`re not actually admitting to the fact that Slovaks are both corrupt AND STUPID are you ???

      1. So you’re saying they’re corrupt for not respecting the accomplishments of a man you suggest was corrupt? You’re trying to have it so many ways you’re getting contorted.

        For me, the muted reaction to Havel’s death compared with the outpouring that followed Demitra’s is at least as much a symbol of the power of celebrity as anything else. Another manifestation is that, back in the late 90s, Nova, Blesk and other purveyors of tabloid poison were absolutely merciless in their pursuit of ‘Vasek and Dasa’ stories. Would it be inappropriate to speculate that the respects so many Czechs are now paying Havel partly spring from guilt at the way they so eagarly lapped up such nonsense?

        I also wonder if many Slovaks aren’t quietly sharing the sorrow Havel felt back in ’93 that he couldn’t hold Czechoslovakia together.

  3. Dear Paul W, `Everyone is ‘corrupt’ to some degree…but compared with Fico, Meciar, Slota, Harabin?`

    You mean you …you are corrupt ?

    1. Everyone is ‘corrupt’ to some degree, as everyone is a ‘fallen creature’ to follow the Augustinian philosophy, slightly more pessimistic than the Rousseauan philosophy that man is basically good.

  4. Typical comment from The Daily’s resident troll.

    Everyone is ‘corrupt’ to some degree…but compared with Fico, Meciar, Slota, Harabin?

    I read Fico nauseating, half-hearted, so-called ‘tribute’.
    What will Fico’s legacy be compared with Havel?….zilch.
    Pity we can’t already talk about Fico’s legacy, alas his political career of siphoning, fixing, and screwing up is still pretty much current.

    1. Fico isn’t fit to lick ‘ordure’ off the late czech president’s shoes

  5. …….errr, wasn`t he corrupt ??

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