|Vaclav Havel awaits to a non-communist Prague after 41 years of communist rule|
Gorbachev and his reforms- In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power in the USSR and started off a series of reforms: Glasnost, (Openness), and Perestroika, (Restructuring). Gorbachev started to stop the political repression of dissidents in the Soviet Union and his reforms quickly caught the attention of the Soviet Union's communist puppets in Europe; he was even nicknamed 'Gorby' in East Germany. One of these nations was Czechoslovakia who had been a virtual puppet of the Soviet Union since 1948 and later a Warsaw Pact member. In 1968 the Soviet Union even invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress the growing liberalizing of the Czechoslovakian government in what was called the Prague Spring and the person who tried to liberalize the nation, Alexander Dubcek, was ousted from power. Thanks to Gorbachev's Glasnost a blacklist on people's families who had supported the Prague Spring gradually started to lift and even on dissident poet and playwright, Vaclav Havel, managed to get a petition signed from prison to increase living standards. East Germans living in Prague surrounded the West Berlin embassy to try and get entry into West Germany and they got their wish en masse on November 9th 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell. The seeds of the Velvet Revolution had been sown and would quickly germinate.
|A photo of the dissident poet Vaclav Havel|
|Some riot police clash with protests on 17th November|
|The statue of Saint Adalbert of Prague in anti-communist banners|
The last days of the Czechoslovakian Communists- The editorial staff of the Pravda, (the then government ran paper equivalent to the New York Times in the USA or Guardian in the UK), declare their allegiance to the protesters on the 26th. The government had no where else to go. Adamec holds his first talks with Havel on the same day. From the following day to the 29th the communist grip over the people falls with with 75% of the public wanting reform. This started with the Ministry of Culture allowing anti-communist and pro-democracy books to be released and the Communist Party loses its leading role as apart of the Constitution. On December 10th President Gustav Husak swears in the first non-communist government for 41 years and resigns. The first legitimate elections takes place and Havel is elected President. The Revolution had succeeded.
|Havel during the Revolution|
Please leave any comments and thanks for reading. Also if you live in Slovakia or the Czech Republic please give your views on the Velvet Revolution.