Vaclav Havel is a Czech playwright, essayist, dissident and politician. He was the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia (1989–92) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He has written over twenty plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally. Beginning in the 1960s, Havel’s work turned to focus on the politics of Czechoslovakia. After the Prague Spring, he became increasingly active. In 1977, his involvement with the human rights manifesto Charter 77 brought him international fame as the leader of the opposition in Czechoslovakia; it also led to his imprisonment. His political activities resulted in multiple stays in prison, the longest being four years under the communist regime. The 1989 “Velvet Revolution” launched Havel into the presidency. In this role he led Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic to multi-party democracy.
Left to Right: Jose Maria Aznar, Vaclav Havel and Natan Sharansky at the The Democracy and Security Conference in Prague, Czech Republic in June 2007.
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Europe’s most famous Cold War warrior and former communist political prisoner was excluded from a ceremony yesterday where Russia and the U.S. took steps toward world peace.
Vaclav Havel, the president of Czechoslovakia and then Czech Republic for 13 years, was not invited to the signing of the START II nuclear arms reduction treaty by President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, which took place in the same Prague Castle hall where the playwright-politician was first inaugurated as president after the fall of communism in 1990.
President Thin-skin must not have appreciated Havel’s feedback last year.