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Vaclav Havel

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 1992
Alexander Cockburn's July 27 Column Left, "A Blowhard Behind the Hero's Mask," is a disingenuous attack on Vaclav Havel's tenure as president of the short-lived Czech and Slovak federal republic. Cockburn has castigated Havel for failing to be perfect and politically correct. If one considers that Havel was an individual who had never known what it means to live in a democratic society, let alone participate in a democratic political process, and was thrust into the leadership of a nation that has only the barest remnants of a republican tradition and faced immense social problems, it is clear that his presidency was a successful one. His tenure was far from perfect and disappointing compared to the West's high hopes, but it was not "inglorious."
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OPINION
December 20, 2011
According to his obituary in The Times, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il hired a personal sushi chef from Tokyo and a personal pizza chef from Italy even as his country suffered through a famine that killed as many as 2 million of his people. He kept a library of 20,000 movies for his own entertainment although ordinary citizens could be sent to prison camps for watching South Korean or American movies. He beat back economic reforms and led North Korea's economy to the brink of collapse while building a nuclear weapons program opposed by the rest of the world.
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NEWS
July 5, 1990 | From Associated Press
The country's new Parliament today reelected former dissident playwright Vaclav Havel as president, completing the political transition from communist to democratic rule. He is to serve a two-year term. The immensely popular Havel, running unopposed, was elected with the necessary three-fifths majority in a nationally televised secret ballot. A total of 234 deputies voted for him, and 50 against. There were no abstentions. Sixteen deputies were absent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2011 | David Holley, Special to the Times
Vaclav Havel, the former dissident playwright who led Czechoslovakia's 1989 "Velvet Revolution" against communism and then served as his country's president, died Sunday. He was 75. Havel, a former chain smoker with chronic respiratory problems, had been in failing health the past few months and died at his weekend home in Hradecek in the northern Czech Republic, his assistant, Sabina Tancevova, told the Associated Press. World leaders mourned his death. Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and Solidarity movement founder, called Havel "a great fighter for the freedom of nations and for democracy" whose "voice of wisdom will be missed.
OPINION
December 20, 2011
According to his obituary in The Times, North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il hired a personal sushi chef from Tokyo and a personal pizza chef from Italy even as his country suffered through a famine that killed as many as 2 million of his people. He kept a library of 20,000 movies for his own entertainment although ordinary citizens could be sent to prison camps for watching South Korean or American movies. He beat back economic reforms and led North Korea's economy to the brink of collapse while building a nuclear weapons program opposed by the rest of the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2011 | David Holley, Special to the Times
Vaclav Havel, the former dissident playwright who led Czechoslovakia's 1989 "Velvet Revolution" against communism and then served as his country's president, died Sunday. He was 75. Havel, a former chain smoker with chronic respiratory problems, had been in failing health the past few months and died at his weekend home in Hradecek in the northern Czech Republic, his assistant, Sabina Tancevova, told the Associated Press. World leaders mourned his death. Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and Solidarity movement founder, called Havel "a great fighter for the freedom of nations and for democracy" whose "voice of wisdom will be missed.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 1990 | From Times staff and wire service reports
The new president of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, will be the honored subject of three specials this spring on PBS. New York PBS station WNET will tape "An American Tribute to Vaclav Havel and a Celebration of Democracy in Czechoslovakia" tonight at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. That program is scheduled to air March 1.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2004 | From Associated Press
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel, 67, plans to spend several months in the United States this year to give lectures and maybe resume his literary career, an aide said Friday. Havel, who was invited by the Library of Congress, plans to stay from April to July, mostly in Washington. Havel, whose final term as Czech president ended last February, hopes to have enough time during his U.S. stay to start writing again.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 1989 | JUDY DEMPSEY
It is easy to walk past the entrance to the apartment block in which Vaclav Havel lives now that he is out of prison again. These old, soot-colored, shabby buildings run along the banks of the River Vltava, upon which Prague is built. But the facades, propped up by tall, thick, wooden scaffolding, are a telling reminder of the decay that has slowly eaten into one of Europe's most elegant cities. Before World War II, a thriving, industrious middle class lived here.
NEWS
January 5, 1997 | From Associated Press
Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright-turned-president, married a leading stage actress Saturday in a private civil ceremony. Dagmar Veskrnova, 43, who is famous in the Czech Republic for her theater performances, adopted the feminine version of Havel's surname--Havlova, said the president's spokesman, Ladislav Spacek. Accompanied only by Veskrnova's 19-year-old daughter, Nina, and two witnesses, they were married shortly before noon at a municipal hall, Spacek said.
BOOKS
May 20, 2007 | Richard Eder, Richard Eder, a former Times book critic, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
GIVEN his half-life as a playwright, there was only one image available to Vaclav Havel for the oddest of many odd scenes in his other half-life as a political dissident. The 1989 vote naming him president of Czechoslovakia, after his leading role in the country's Velvet Revolution, was straight out of Alfred Jarry's surreal classic, "Ubu Roi."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2005 | From Associated Press
Vaclav Havel, the former Czech president, is planning to write a another play. "I have it already well thought out," the daily Pravo on Monday quoted Havel as saying. "In my head, it's almost finished. There's just one little thing -- to write it down." Havel, 69, was a well-known playwright when he led the 1989 revolution that peacefully toppled the communist regime in his country.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2004 | From Associated Press
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel, 67, plans to spend several months in the United States this year to give lectures and maybe resume his literary career, an aide said Friday. Havel, who was invited by the Library of Congress, plans to stay from April to July, mostly in Washington. Havel, whose final term as Czech president ended last February, hopes to have enough time during his U.S. stay to start writing again.
NATIONAL
July 19, 2003 | From Associated Press
President Bush has selected 11 leaders in the arts, sports, politics, science and business for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Friday. Three of the recipients are receiving the nation's highest civilian honor posthumously. The others are invited to accept their medals at a White House ceremony with the president on Wednesday. Bush will award the medal to: * John R.
WORLD
February 2, 2003 | David Holley and Iva Drapalova, Special to The Times
PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- President Vaclav Havel, the former dissident writer who helped topple communism here, leaves office today in a transition that marks the end of an era. An international voice of moral leadership since he faced off against Czechoslovakia's Soviet-backed dictatorship at great personal risk, Havel, 66, saw his once enormous domestic popularity wane in the late 1990s to that of an ordinary politician.
WORLD
November 21, 2002 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
On the hilltop Prague Castle that he calls home, Czech President Vaclav Havel has installed a giant pulsating neon heart, in what the onetime anti-communist dissident calls a symbol of "love, understanding and decency." On the eve of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, he told President Bush and other leaders Wednesday that it was also "a sign of our hospitality."
NEWS
December 4, 1989 | TYLER MARSHALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Amid the sense of freedom that has come to Czechoslovakia during the last two weeks, a new political statement has appeared in the form of a flashy red, white and blue campaign button. In addition to the Czechoslovak national colors, the button carries the name of opposition leader Vaclav Havel and the words "Havel for President." The button reflects the popularity of the most prominent figure in the country's opposition movement, but it falls short of reality.
NEWS
December 29, 1989 | From Associated Press
Parliament today crowned the nation's peaceful revolution by electing playwright and opposition leader Vaclav Havel as Czechoslovakia's first non-Communist president in 41 years. In an unprecedented public vote that was televised nationwide, the Communist-dominated Parliament, or Federal Assembly, unanimously chose Havel, who was jailed for five years by the previous hard-line Communist leadership for speaking out against totalitarianism.
NEWS
February 19, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Czech President Vaclav Havel suffered a new clogging of his chronically ill lungs and will not be released early this week from the hospital as planned, his doctor said. "Unfortunately, clogging of Mr. President's right lung appeared again at night, and his temperature rose," Dr. Ilja Kotik told reporters outside the Prague Central Military Hospital.
NEWS
February 13, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
An ailing Czech President Vaclav Havel broke off a Mideast visit and was rushed home in the private jet of Kuwait's ruler after developing what doctors said were symptoms of pneumonia. Dr. Ilja Kotik said Havel, 64, was being treated with antibiotics at the military hospital in Prague, the Czech capital. "His condition is not critical," Kotik said. On Saturday, Havel held talks in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. He had been due to head from Kuwait to the United Arab Emirates today.
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