December 18, 2011
Dec 18

Statement by President and Secretary Clinton on the Passing of Vaclav Havel


“Hillary and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of our friend Vaclav Havel. He was a towering figure in the world of human rights and a force for progress in Eastern Europe. He lived his life by the slogan he promoted, ‘may truth and love triumph over lies and hatred.’

Through his involvement with the human rights manifesto Charter 77 he exposed an oppressive political ideology. As president, he presided over Czechoslovakia’s transition to democracy, a free-market economy, and full membership in NATO. Until the day he died he continued to speak out and stand up for those who were underprivileged and underrepresented.

We were delighted to host him in the White House and were inspired by his words and ideas. As people gather in Wenceslas Square, throughout the Czech Republic and in places around the world, know that we are mourning with you. President Havel is irreplaceable and his passing reminds us of the work that remains to give more people opportunities to fulfill her or his God given potential. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones.”

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