Final Word from Monday, June 1, 2020

To understand Donald Trump's policy toward Hong Kong, Czechs need only look to their own history. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used different language last week when he said that, "No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China," but the resemblance to Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech is striking. This applies even more so to a speech by Vice Pres. Mike Pence as far back as Oct. 4, 2018. Churchill said on March 5, 1946, that "an iron curtain has descended across the Continent" and that "behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe." He was condemning the increasing Soviet influence over "Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia ... in what I must call the Soviet sphere." Even more importantly, though, Churchill was affirming and accelerating the Soviet encroachment. Just before Churchill spoke that day, U.S. Pres. Harry Truman said that he had grown very fond of Churchill and Joseph Stalin and that they were leaders at a time when the world needed leadership. [ Czech Republic president United States of American Soviet Union USSR Russia ]

Glossary of difficult words

to assert - to state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully;

resemblance - the state of being alike;

to affirm - to accept or confirm the validity of;

encroachment - intrusion on a person's territory, rights, etc.;

fond - having an affection or liking for.


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