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Public Papers - 1990

Radio Address to the People of Czechoslovakia


Indeed, it is an honor for me to be here on the first anniversary of your Velvet Revolution. And I'm doubly honored to be the first American President ever to visit Czechoslovakia. And President Havel, I thank you for inviting me to visit your country. Barbara and I are delighted to be here, and I'm flattered that you invited me to join you in this weekly radio talk.

I spent a marvelous and moving day here in Prague. I met the new leaders of Czechoslovakia, both Federal and Republic. And I spoke before your Federal Assembly, that hall that has now sprung to life in building your new democracy. And on Wenceslas Square, I joined you in celebrating the first anniversary of your Velvet Revolution. And it's really been among the most thrilling days of my life.

The ties between our two countries are unique, going way back to the creation of the Czechoslovak state. And Americans feel a special attachment to your Czech and Slovak federation.

Our peoples were cut off from each other for most of the Communist period, and we've now begun making up for what we missed through those two generations. And I regret that I was unable to visit Slovakia during this brief visit, so let me extend a special word or greeting to the people of Slovakia and say how delighted I am that the United States will soon reopen its consulate there in Bratislava.

And let me say to all the citizens of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic: We rejoice with you in your liberty, and we pledge that we will not fail you in this decisive moment of your history.

President Havel, once again, sir, my thanks to you for allowing me to join you on the airwaves of free Czechoslovakia. God bless you all.

Note: The address was recorded at 6:40 p.m. on November 17 at Hradcany Castle in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and was broadcast as a part of President Havel's weekly radio program at 2 p.m. on November 18. Following the recording session, President Bush attended a reception at the castle hosted by President Havel. Later, President Bush went to the U.S. Ambassador's residence, where he stayed overnight.

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