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Slovakia marks 33 years since Velvet Revolution

Zuzana Caputuva, President of Slovakia, showed gratitude towards the people of Slovakia and the Czech Republic who protested against the communist regime after the fall of the Berlin wall. Today Slovakia marked 33 years since the people of Czech and Slovakia peacefully ended the authoritarian communist regime during the Velvet revolution.

Caputuva remarked,” Today, We Recognize the people who ended the continued One party rule in Slovakia. Freedom & democracy are values that aren’t given. They must be cherished and defended”.

Riot police put down a student protest in Prague on November 17, 1989. The occasion commemorated the 50th anniversary of a violently put down protest against the Nazi invasion of Prague University in 1939, which resulted in 1,200 students being captured and nine casualties. The 1989 incident spurred a series of protests that evolved into an anti-communist march from November 17 to December.

The number of demonstrators gathered in Prague on November 20 increased from 200,000 the day before to an estimated 500,000. On November 24, the Communist Party’s entire top leadership, including General Secretary Milo Jake, submitted their resignations. On November 27, the whole population of Czechoslovakia participated in a two-hour general strike.

The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia declared on November 28, 1989, that it would cede power and dismantle the one-party system in response to the fall of other Warsaw Pact countries and the escalating street demonstrations.

President Gustáv Husák resigned on December 10 after appointing the first predominantly non-communist administration in Czechoslovakia since 1948. On December 28, 1989, Alexander Dubek was chosen speaker of the federal parliament, and on December 29, 1989, Václav Havel was elected president of the Czechoslovak Republic.

The Czechoslovak Republic held its first democratic elections since 1946 in June 1990. Czechoslovakia peacefully divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on January 1, 1993.