Diaz-Balart mourns the death of President Vaclav Havel, Former President of Czech Republic

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 18, 2011

Diaz-Balart mourns the death of President Vaclav Havel, Former President of Czech Republic

Miami, FL – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in response to Former President Vaclav Havel’s passing. Diaz-Balart comments:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of President Vaclav Havel.  I send my heartfelt condolences to his family and to the people of the Czech Republic for this terrible loss.

“Through his leadership that helped to spark the Czech Republic’s Velvet Revolution, and his solidarity with those who struggle against repression throughout the world, President Havel was a true hero.  He became an icon of freedom which helped to spark the tremendous transformation in Eastern Europe.

“A former political prisoner himself, President Havel was particularly attuned to the sufferings of pro-democracy leaders in Cuba who often are brutally beaten, harrassed, imprisoned, and some even murdered by the dictatorship.  He called on the international community to demonstrate solidarity with the Cuban people by avoiding tourism travel to Cuba so long as egregious human rights abuses continued.  He said, “I cannot go to Cuba to relax on the beach and keep my eyes shut, while dozens of political prisoners are behind bars there.”  He also worked extensively with the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba which brought together leaders from around the world to support freedom for the Cuban people.

“There will never be another Vaclav Havel.  With his passing, we have lost a great advocate for freedom.  His life will forever be an inspiration to those whose hope for freedom cannot be crushed and who continue the difficult struggle against tyranny.  God bless President Havel.”

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