The world has said goodbye to two leaders who were worlds apart. One was a widely celebrated anti-communist, the other a widely despised communist. However, both the lives and thoughts of the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Havel, and North Korea’s Kim Jung-il were given short shrift.
The playwright turned President Havel who parlayed human rights activism into becoming Czechoslovakia‘s post-Communist President was a leader for the pro-democracy Charter 77 Movement, not just a Red-hating politician on a power trip.
Yet, the press praised him more for what he opposed than what he believed. The people who loved him adored him for both.
One report: “Thousands of silent mourners have accompanied the body of Vaclav Havel through central Prague as the Czech Republic began three days of national mourning for the icon of the Velvet Revolution.
About 10,000 mourners mostly in black, some carrying Czech or Slovak flags, joined a solemn procession taking the former president's coffin from a church through narrow cobbled streets to Prague Castle, the seat of Czech presidents, on Wednesday.”
Havel was an intellectual, a non-violent revolutionary who also presided over the break up of his country into two: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.