18 Dec 2011

Czech Dissident And Former President Vaclav Havel Died

Vaclav Havel, the Czech Republic's first post-communist president, has died. He was 75-years-old. According to his assistant Sabina Dancecova, the playwright, who was a leading member of the country's dissident movement, passed away on Sunday morning following a long bout of ill heath.

Vaclav Havel

The hero of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which saw non-violent protests topple the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, died at his house in the north of the country.

During the 1960's, Havel became increasingly interested in politics, using theatre to critique the regime. Following the collapse of the soviet system and the end of the Cold War, Havel spent 13 years in power, overseeing the country's often bumpy transition from Stalinism to capitalism. He left power during the country's peacefully split in 1993, but returned following the consequent birth of the Czech Republic.

Huffington Post