This is a catching up story. I actually have been meaning to post something about this for a couple of weeks.
Last month, Vaclav Havel, the first Democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia (and the Czech Republic, for that matter) and the father of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that freed Czechosolovakia from Communism.
Overlooked somewhat in the news Victor Havel’s death a few weeks ago is that he died from smoking. Havel, who led the Velvet Revolution that freed Czechoslovakia from Communism, will go down in the history as one of the great champions of Democracy in Europe. I can’t help but notice the irony that this guy had the cajones to stare down the fucking Soviet Union, but wasn’t able to break his addiction to nicotine. He had two surgeries to remove tumours from his lungs a few years ago. Ultimately, he died of COPD.
Havel was 75 and had suffered for years from chronic respiratory ailments. He was a notorious chain smoker, common in Eastern Europe still to this day.
Havel spent years in prison and was the first president of Czechoslovakia and oversaw the peaceful split between the Czech Republican and Slovakia. One of the great leaders of the late 20th Century, taken too young by lung disease and tobacco. He was a great man.