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Posts Tagged ‘Vaclav Havel’

A U.S. delegation headed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended the funeral of former Czech President Vaclav Havel at Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral today.  The delegation included former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who served in Clinton’s cabinet at the time Havel, the leader of the “Velvet Revolution” that brought down communist rule in Czechoslovakia,  was president.  It appears, although I cannot be certain, that Secretary Clinton was wearing a velvet coat.  It has been noted in these pages over the years that Mme. Secretary uses her wardrobe as part of her diplomacy much the way her predecessor, Secretary Albright used brooches.

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From today’s press briefing:

Mark C. Toner
Acting Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
December 23, 2011

QUESTION: Can you let us know, Mark, when the Secretary’s back in the United States?

MR. TONER: I will. She is wheels-up from Prague, so she’s (inaudible).

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. TONER: Again, merry Christmas and happy New Year and all that stuff.

(The briefing was concluded at 12:23 p.m.)

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Passing of Vaclav Havel

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 18, 2011

 


I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Vaclav Havel, the Czech Republic’s first democratically elected president and leader of the Velvet Revolution. His death is a loss for the Czech Republic and for human rights defenders around the world. He was an inspiration to me and I was proud to call him a friend.

He once said that his hope was for history to remember him as having done something useful. President Havel spent his life removing chains of oppression, standing up for the downtrodden, and advancing the tenets of democracy and freedom. When communism threatened the peace and prosperity of our world and covered Eastern Europe in a cloud of hopelessness, he wrote plays so powerful they changed the course of history and created new democratic opportunities for millions. And when the people of the Czech Republic were finally allowed to express themselves freely, they overwhelmingly chose a man who never wanted to be in politics.

He did something more than useful – he did something extraordinary, and history will remember it. Today, a black flag hangs over the Prague castle in honor of his life and commitment to a better world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, the people of the Czech Republic, and all those who are committed to advancing human rights.

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