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Playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel dies

Dissident playwright was Czechoslovakia's first democratically elected president following 1989 Velvet Revolution

AP, Sunday 18 Dec 2011
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Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who wove theater into politics to peacefully bring down communism in Czechoslovakia and become a hero of the epic struggle that ended the Cold War, has died aged 75.

Havel was his country’s first democratically elected president after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that ended four decades of repression by a regime he ridiculed as “Absurdistan.”

As president, he oversaw the country’s bumpy transition to democracy and a free-market economy, as well its peaceful 1993 breakup into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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