Compact archive August 21, 2008

Barack Obama Video About August 1968 Czechoslovakia and Present Georgia

Barack Obama made the video about Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic respectively, as a reaction to recent Russian actions in Georgia. “ Forty years ago, Soviet tanks invaded Czechoslovakia to crush a brief experiment in liberty.” Things that happened in 1968 Obama labelled as “Dark days of 20th century”. Similar situations must be stopped..: “Because what happened to Czechs and Slovaks must not repeat”

Obama pointed out the USA didn’t help the occupied Czechoslovakia. But forty years later, they helped the Easter European countries “…to build the principles of democracy, to stand on their feet and find security within NATO”

“Those dark days of Cold war must not return. Georgia and all the nations of Europe must have the right to live freely and securely within their borders. The right that was so severely denied to Czechs and Slovaks in 1968.”

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Czech Government gave millions to Georgia, Disapproves with Russian Invasion

It was officially proclaimed yesterday, the Czech Government stands at the side of Georgia, which is still being occupied by Russian militia. They also agreed to give there 150 millions czk for renewing destroyed infrastructure. The Prime Minister Topolanek cited the declaration: “The Czech republic supports independendence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia including Southern Ossetia and Abchazia. The continuing Russian invasion to Georgia is unacceptable.”

The ongoing argument among the government and Vaclav Klaus, who declared Georgia is officially guilty from the conflict. Mirek Topolanek continues: “The official position of the Czech State is the the position of the Czech Government. It is true the president represents the country outside, but in this matter he doesn’t have support of the parliament.” Klaus still stands on the side of Russia and commented: “If the government would stay one-sided in this conflict, it would be sad and piteous.”

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Russian Invasion of Czechoslovakia Happened Exactly 40 Years Ago

On August 21, 1968, the Soviet Union and all of its Warsaw Pact allies with the exception of Romania invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, after failed negotiations, in order to prevent Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring reforms from continuing. In the operation, codenamed “Danube”, the Soviets sent thousands of troops from several Warsaw pact countries; 72 Czechoslovaks were killed by Soviet tanks. The invasion was successful in stopping the partial democratization reforms and strengthening the authority of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The foreign policy of the Soviet Union during this era would be known as the Brezhnev Doctrine.

Dubček was appointed as leader of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) after the resignation of Antonin Novotny. Dubček’s reforms consisted of his Action Programme which would guarantee additional rights to the citizens. The Soviets attempted to limit the changes made in Czechoslovakia by negotiating with them; this failed and the invasion was implemented. After the Bratislava Declaration, Soviet troops moved out of Prague and other cities, but remained along Czechoslovak borders.

Commentary on politics was disallowed again in mainstream media and political statements by anyone who was not considered to have “full political trust” were also banned. Czechoslovakia than struggled until 1989 under Russia to watch its economical, political and moral decay of severe impact.

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iPhone in Prague Starts to Sell Tomorrow

The most wanted cell phone iPhone 3G is finally possible to get in the Czech Republic. O2 starts to sell it tomorrow. For how much? Telefonica 02 offers it for endowed price 1 czk, when you sign a contract for one year. Non-endowed price for the 8GB mobile is 12 000 czk (800 $). The 16 GB iPhone costs 14 000 czk (930 $). It costs quite a lot, let’s say about 600 $ more than in the US. This is due to overpricing in the CR that became a standard.

The most important upgrade of the iPhone 3G (3rd generation) is that its wi-fi achieves download speeds up to 3,6 MB/s. Czechs will still have to wait for iPhone Touch some time, and the only shop that sells iPhone is one at Narodni Trida, logically expecting crowds tomorrow. The other companies that plants to launch iPhone in CR are Vodafone and T-Mobile.

Pro-US Radar demonstration in Prague

A group of Czech US radar supporters made a sort of a camp at Jana Palacha square – so called sleep-in was called in on the 40th anniversary of Soviet invasion. The square changed into a bedroom with about 20 beds, the participants were dressed in pyjamas and night gowns during the afternoon.

Why a sleep event? The group, called Pro, believe that the Czech Republic need the US radar to sleep well. After protesters, from the lines of Greenpeace and others, organized anti-radar rallies, there has been a pro-radar rallies as well, the J.X.Dolezal hunger strike for example.

The truth is, more than two thirds of Czechs hadn’t wanted the radar here in the Czech Republic, but that was before Russia bombed Georgia. As the U.S. anti-missile shield in central Europe is fundamentally resented by Russia, we can expect the general public opinions to change nowadays.

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