Famous Czech writer Vaclav Havel died today.
I had friends in Czechoslovakia during communist times and I got to know from very close how they were kept under opression, under fear. Their government told them how the world was supposed to look like.
I kept hoping for them to be free one day. And then I followed with excitement when Czechs and Slovaks started to protest, to demand democracy, pluralism and transparency. I got letters from my friends so full of joice. It was impossible not to be moved with them.
Mr Havel had fought for human rights in his country from early on. He was one of the signataries of the Charter 77. He, a prominent writer, was forced to work at a brewery, he was put in prison on numerous occasions. He kept his spirit high, his faith unbroken. It was only natural that he would lead the way and thus, he became the first president of his country in freedom. And he managed the transission in an excellent manner.
After the Czech and Slovak Republics became free, he decided not to rest. He went on promoting pluralism and democracy all over the world. And he also supported Venezuelan democratic parties in their efforts and denounced Chávez's pseudo-democracy.
Mr Havel will be missed. Děkuju, pane Havel!