January 11, 1990 |
If the symbol of the Romanian revolution is the national flag with a hole where the Communist emblem has been ripped away, the symbol of Czechoslovakia's political transformation is a "happy face." It comes from the stylized initials in Czech for Civic Forum, the popular movement that rose from nothing to overthrow the hard-line Communist regime last year in a matter of days. The name in Czech is Obcanske Forum , and the "O" is rendered with eyes and a smiling mouth.
January 14, 1990 |
A potentially powerful but controversial new political party, described by opponents as a front for the old regime, temporarily banned recent Communist Party defectors from its leading ranks at a sometimes stormy founding congress here Saturday.
November 25, 1989 |
This nation's tragic past greeted its hopeful future Friday in a massive political seance in Wenceslas Square here, and the medium was an old Communist reformer who has spent most of his time lately tending trees. "The move to freedom was started 20 years ago by Alexander Dubcek, who will speak to you now," said the moderator, and the crowd of about 300,000 exploded in a roar of approval.
December 9, 1989 |
With his broken wrist, rumpled suit and apologetic manner, Frantisek Valabek somehow personified the Communist Party for which he spoke. For Valabek, the problem was personal and immediate, but it spoke volumes about the state of affairs within the party. Standing awkwardly Friday in the press room of the party's Central Committee office, Valabek admitted his problem.
November 25, 1989
August 22--Authorities arrest 370 people for taking part in a demonstration marking the 21st anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion that crushed the "Prague Spring" reform movement. October 27--Police in Prague round up major dissidents, including Vaclav Havel, the country's most famous playwright and founder of Charter 77 human rights group. October 28--Government uses heavily armed police to crush Prague demonstration demanding freedom and end to communism.
June 1, 1990 |
The peaceful revolution that swept away Communist rule in Czechoslovakia six months ago was engineered jointly by leaders of the secret police in Moscow and Prague, the British Broadcasting Corp. has reported. A BBC television documentary contends that secret police leaders in both the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia conspired to bring down the hard-line Communist leadership in Prague because it rejected Mikhail S. Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union.