Final Word from Friday, March 21, 2003

When U.S. Ambassador Craig Stapleton spoke on Feb. 13 about U.S.-Czech relations, he named Václav Havel 22 times in 30 minutes. Vladimír Špidla and Miloš Zeman were mentioned once, and Václav Klaus not at all. Stapleton stressed Havel's contribution to bilateral relations and said he hoped the next president would build on the foundation Havel left. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda is trying harder than Klaus or anyone else (except perhaps Deputy Minister Alexandr Vondra) to carry the Havel torch. Svoboda said on Czech Radio that the U.S. has done more in history to help the CR than Germany or France and that the U.S. has no imperial aspirations. Svoboda also supports the U.S. side in the TV Nova dispute (causing Nova to sharply attack him last night). Svoboda is ambitious and apparently thinks that support for the U.S. can do for his career what it did for Havel's.


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FS Final Word