December 20, 2011

Vaclav Havel, hero, R.I.P.

Insightful.
The one time leader of Czechoslovakia lead an impressively consequential life. He was a writer, a dissident and of course, a fighter for freedom.

Here's an insightful quote from Havel;
Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.
Via Wikipedia;
VΓ‘clav Havel (5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011) was a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician.
A Nobel Peace Prize nominee,[2] he was the tenth and last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) – also known as Czech and Slovak Federal Republic in between (1990–92) – and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He wrote over 20 plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally.
Havel was a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism.[3] He also received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the freedom medal of the Four Freedoms Award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award and several other distinctions.
Havel was voted 4th in Prospect magazine's 2005 global poll of the world's top 100 intellectuals.[4] 
At the time of his death he was Chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. Equally, he was the founder of VIZE97 foundation, and the Forum 2000 annual global conference.
Beginning in the 1960s, his work turned to focus on the politics of Czechoslovakia. After the Prague Spring, he became increasingly active. In 1977, he co-authored the the Human Rights charter called Charter 77, which brought him an international recognition as the leader of opposition in Czechoslovakia. Consequently, this led to his persecution by the police state, and repeated imprisonment.
The 1989 Velvet Revolution launched Havel into the presidency. In this role, he led Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic to multiparty democracy. His thirteen years in office saw radical change in his nation, including its split with Slovakia, which Havel opposed, its accession into NATO and start of the negotiations for membership in the European Union, which was attained in 2004.
Certainly a distinguished man whose contributions will not be forgotten. 
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