Václav Havel

Václav Havel, the man who led the transition of Czechoslovakia

Havana Cuba. – On December 29, 1989 czechoslovakia began its transition to democracy at the hands of a singular individual: the playwright Václav Havel, who was the last president of that nation, and the first of the Czech Republic after the schism verified in 1993.

Havel had a long history of opposition to the Czech communist regime, which was controlled by the Soviet Union. For 20 years his works were prohibited, and in 1979 he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for subversion. International pressure failed to prevent him from serving his sentence almost in its entirety, with a negative balance for his health, which since then has been very fragile.

Václav Havel was released from prison in 1983 and only six months later he led the “Velvet Revolution”in which hundreds of thousands of people participated until ending, without bloodshed, the communist dictatorship of Gustáv Husák.

The playwright became the guarantor of the peaceful transition, achieving a notable role for Czechoslovakia on the European and global political map. Despite the fact that in 1992 he left the government due to the division of the territory, the following year he was elected as president of the new Czech Republic, which he conducted in the best possible way with radical economic reforms.

The man who did not want to be a politician for fear of ceasing to be “a normal person” today constitutes a necessary paradigm for those peoples who continue under the yoke of totalitarian regimes -some of them Stalinist in nature-, sometimes blinded by historical evils such as caudillismo. , which imposes the idea that only violent men, of military extraction, can lead the nation.

Václav Havel had ink and paper as his only weapons. He was a man deeply concerned with respect for human rights and care for the environment. In 1997 he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and the Humanities. He was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize, which he deserved and never won because we live in a fundamentally unfair world.

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