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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Czech Senate leader vows ‘never again’ to communist authoritarianism

The world knew little of Czech Senate leader Milos Vistrasil until he led a Czech parliamentary and business delegation to Taiwan in autumn 2020, defying threats of serious retaliation from Beijing. And that’s how his late father must have liked it.

“He always insisted that we live a normal, average life, which doesn’t show up much,” Vystrcil told VOA during a visit to Washington last week.

Vystrcil was born in the city of Telc in 1960, 12 years after the Soviet-backed local Communist Party took control of the then Czechoslovak Republic. In order for him and his sister to lead as normal a life as possible, “my father created such a bubble,” Vystrcil recalled. “For me, it just wasn’t right.”

It was not until he was about 15 that his father told him that his family was on the wrong side of the communist revolution because Vistrasil’s grandfather had set up a factory that produced agricultural machinery and fire extinguishers. As a result, his family was a family of “exploiters” and was closely watched by the country’s new guardians of perceived equality and egalitarianism.

“My father was afraid all his life that someone would come and stop us from working or they would actually force us to relocate somewhere else,” he said.

Vistrasil’s father became so pessimistic about life that “he didn’t even want to get married at one point because he knew his children’s lives would be very difficult,” he told an interpreter. There was a fear that their children would suffer just by being their children.”

Everything changed on 17 November 1989. Or almost everything.

That day marked the beginning of a series of mostly peaceful demonstrations known as the “Velvet Revolution”, which culminated 11 days later when the Communist Party announced it was leaving power.

fear of a father

Vistrasil, 29, embarked on a new path – one that his father looked down upon with great restlessness.

“I remember writing an article after 1989. My father read it and he came up to me and said: ‘Why are you doing this? What would he say now?'”

Little Vystrcil grew from a high school teacher to the mayor of the town of Telc, where the family had lived for generations. He became the governor of the region.

By the time his father died in 2017 at the age of 92, Vystrcil had been elected as a federal senator; Three years later, he became the leader of the Senate.

It was in that capacity that he led a delegation to Taipei in 2020, showing his country’s support for another victim of the communist threat, and later invited Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, to Prague, thereby Fierce Chinese threats of retaliation were made.

But, Vystrcil said in an interview diplomat During his visit to Washington, he personally did not feel additional pressure from Beijing at the conclusion of the visit, partly because “the whole democratic world really stood up for us and stood behind our mission to Taiwan.” When we were threatened by the People’s Republic of China.”

“On the other hand, it certainly does not mean that the Chinese have forgotten or will not do anything,” he said.

In the same interview, he said that it is an inherent duty of a politician to be able to “keep one’s back straight” and not succumb to pressure, to help build a “strong and proud nation” capable of meeting challenges.

Vystrcil shook his head when asked by the VOA whether his father ever overcame his anxiety given his son’s political ascent. “To answer your question, I am afraid that he did not let go of his fear, even till the end of his life, he was not able to do so.”

Vystrcil said that his father was “always afraid, because” [he would say] ‘The higher you climb the ladder, the stronger your enemies, the more visible you are.’ He always warned me: ‘Be careful.'” Vistrasil’s eyes moistened remembering his father’s warning, and love. But he didn’t allow himself to dwell on it.

“Now that we’ve discussed it together, that’s probably one of the reasons that convinced me ‘never again’ – we should never let it happen again,” he said of the period of one-party rule in his country. Said about

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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