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Statement by President George W. Bush on the Passing of Vaclav Havel

February 2, 2013

Laura and I are saddened by the loss of our friend, Vaclav Havel.  His strong voice for human liberty changed the course of his country and crossed continents. In the days of Communist rule over Czechoslovakia, he was viewed as an enemy of the state for ridiculing the pretensions of an oppressive government.  The most subversive act of the playwright from Prague was telling the truth about tyranny.  And when that truth finally triumphed, the people elected this dignified, charming, humble, determined man to lead their country.  Unintimidated by threats, unchanged by political power, Vaclav Havel suffered much in the cause of freedom and became one of its greatest heroes.  We send our heartfelt condolences to his dear wife, Dagmar, and the people of the Czech Republic as they celebrate the life of a great man.