Ties between Alexander Dubček and Bucharest are stronger than many people realise, said Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák during the unveiling of a bust of the politician known for the Prague Spring reform efforts in a park in the centre of the Romanian capital on August 30.
During Czechoslovakia’s occupation by the Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968, Romania was the sole country in this group to refuse to participate in the invasion and to condemn it, Lajčák said.
“This is something that actually unites us and the historic ties between our two nations confirm it,” he added, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The bust was created based on the initiative of the Slovak Ambassador for Bucharest Ján Gábor, with support from the Slovak government and thanks to the friendly approach of Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, the minister said.
He described Dubček as a leader who understood people and whom people understood. Dubček has become the embodiment of a democratic reform process that was seen as a direct threat by communist leaders, as reported by TASR.
The bust’s creator is sculptor Vít Bojňanský.
Dubček (1921-1992), as secretary-general of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, was a Slovak politician who attempted to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring of 1968 but was forced to resign following the invasion. Later, after the overthrow of the communist government in 1989, he was Chairman of the federal Czechoslovak parliament – the House of Nations. Also in 1989, the European Parliament awarded Dubček the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, TASR wrote.
31. Aug 2016 at 0:15 | Compiled by Spectator staff