Obama hails Havel's 'moral leadership'

2011-12-18 20:44

Washington - US President Barack Obama on Sunday praised late former Czech president Vaclav Havel as a leader of great vision and moral courage who "shook the foundations of an empire" with his peaceful resistance to communist rule.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing today [Sunday] of Vaclav Havel, a playwright and prisoner of conscience who became president of Czechoslovakia and of the Czech Republic," he said in a statement.

"Having encountered many setbacks, Havel lived with a spirit of hope, which he defined as 'the ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed'.

"His peaceful resistance shook the foundations of an empire, exposed the emptiness of a repressive ideology, and proved that moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon," Obama said, as tributes for Havel poured in to the Czech Republic from around the world.

Havel, who was the hero of the 1989 Velvet Revolution against communist rule and became his country's first post-independence president, died on Sunday aged 75.

"He played a seminal role in the Velvet Revolution that won his people their freedom and inspired generations to reach for self-determination and dignity in all parts of the world," Obama added in his eulogy to the playwright and long-time dissident.

"He also embodied the aspirations of half a continent that had been cut off by the Iron Curtain, and helped unleash tides of history that led to a united and democratic Europe.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.