Exchange: The Czech Past and the Cuban Future

Issue Date April 2004
Volume 15
Issue 2
Page Numbers 160-69
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In an exchange of letters, leading Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, founder of the Varela Project and recipient of the European Parliament’s Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, discusses with Vaclav Havel the lessons that the Czechoslovak postcommunist experience offers to Cubans who aspire to see in Cuba a nonviolent end to the tyrannical communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro and then a transition to democracy.

About the Authors

Václav Havel

Václav Havel, a playwright and one of Europe’s most prominent moral and intellectual figures, was a leading dissident during the period of communist rule. He was elected as the first president of postcommunist Czechoslovakia, and later served as president of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. From April to June of 2005, he occupied the Kluge Chair for Modern Culture at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

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Oswaldo Paya

Oswaldo Payá is founder of the Varela Project, a Cuban prodemocracy movment, and the 2002 recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. His letter was translated from the Spanish by Fernando Ruiz.

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