Our Orwell

Matt Welch has an absolutely brilliant piece on former Czech President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Vaclav Havel in Reason. Havel is a political icon, and one of the greatest figures of the 20th Century, despite being little-known in the United States. His work with the Chapter 77 dissident group led to the Velvet Revolution that toppled Czechoslavakia’s Communist government and created the modern and vibrant Czech Republic.

Last September he delivered a rousing anti-communist speech over Radio Martí, a much-mocked station funded by Washington and beamed to Cuba. "When the internal crisis of the totalitarian system grows so deep that it becomes clear to everyone," he declared, "and when more and more people learn to speak their own language and reject the hollow, mendacious language of the powers that be, it means that freedom is remarkably close, if not directly within reach." He also nominated Oswald Paya Sardinas — the Cuban spokesman for the Varela Project, an opposition group modeled directly on Havel’s 1970s movement Charter 77 — for the Nobel Peace Prize. The speech was virtually ignored by the American press.

Havel has been a consistant supporter of freedom and liberation throughout the world, and it is truly shameful that his voice is little-heard in America.

(Via InstaPundit)

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