Former Czech President Vaclav Havel Dies
The man who led the Czech Republic through the end of the Cold War has died at age 75.
Former dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel led the peaceful „Velvet Revolution“ that ended Soviet rule in Prague.
As president he oversaw the country’s transition to democracy and helped open up the economy.
He was a heavy smoker and his death follows a long battle with lung cancer.
It was under his tenure that Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993, and the latter joined NATO in 1999.
Both countries joined the European Union just months after Havel left office in 2003.