Monday, December 19, 2011

Two presidents die, Two reactions around the World

Vaclav Havel (Oct. 1999)
On Sunday, all news outlets in the World reported the death of Václav Havel, the former Czech president and long time human rights activist at the age of 75. He took part from the beginning in the 1960s in the struggle against soviet occupation of his country and the communist military dictatorship it imposed in Prague. After he left office, he continued his activism by supporting  minorities in the World for their freedom rights. Mr. Havel died of complications he's been having after his lung cancer few years ago. May he rest in peace with other men of good will.

The reactions around the World were unanimous in paying tribute to his legacy, rightfully so in my opinion, and citing him as an example for courage and determination to fight (peacefully) for freedom and democracy.

Kim Jong Il (September 2011)
On the other end of the spectrum, completely by surprise, Sunday night, news agencies announced (relaying the official state news from Pyang Yang) the death of Kim Jong-Il, the (crazy) dictator who ruled North Korea since 1994 following the 17 years dictatorship of his father Kim Il-Sung. We will have to see the consequences on the Korean peninsula and balance of power in the region. Let's hope this is good news for the poor people of North Korea.

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