House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
For IMMEDIATE Release – December 18, 2011
Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Death of Vaclav Havel
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the death of tireless freedom advocate and former Czech President Vaclav Havel:
“Vaclav Havel shepherded his nation through a remarkable transition from totalitarianism to freedom. His steady hand and bedrock commitment to the basic principles of democracy, free enterprise, and the rule of law were indispensible during the turmoil and uncertainty leading up to and following the collapse of the Soviet Union. His vision, conviction, and ability helped establish and stabilize democracy in the Czech Republic and throughout Eastern Europe.
“President Havel’s legacy is felt far beyond the European continent. He saw the evils of communism first hand, and he was dedicated to fighting it all around the globe. He was a true ally of the Cuban people in their fight against the Castro tyranny. When others were silent or tacitly accepting of the Castro dictatorship, he spoke out against the Castro regime and advocated for peace and justice for the Cuban people. Under his leadership, the Czech Republic was – and remains today – a bulwark of support for a free Cuba.
“As we mourn the loss of President Havel we also celebrate his immeasurable contributions, and remain inspired by his commitment to freedom, and courage to stand for what is right.”