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IN SHORT

Slovaks inspire fight against dictatorship

SLOVAK non-governmental organizations are training Belarusian opposition leaders and preparing Cuban dissidents for "life after Fidel Castro", the Hospodárske noviny daily wrote.

According to local political experts, Slovak NGOs have experience not only with Communist totalitarianism but also with the authoritarian regime of former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar. They say that the peaceful division of the former Czechoslovakia serves as an inspiration to those fighting totalitarian regimes abroad.

"It is important to offer them a positive role model," said Milan Nič from the Pontis Foundation.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry provided Sk10 million (€260,0000) to organizations promoting a civil society in Belarus and Ukraine in 2005.

Slovak NGOs are coordinating consultations between opposition leaders and Slovak experts and helping the families of political prisoners.

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