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    Wednesday, 22 August 2018

    Czechs protest govt’s ties to communists 50 years after Soviet-led invasion

    Czechs and Slovaks on Tuesday marked 50 years since Soviet tanks crushed the “Prague Spring” democratic reform drive, while protesters used the anniversary to rail against the current Czech government’s ties to the Communist Party.
    Hundreds paid tribute to the victims of the 1968 crackdown at noon ceremonies in central Prague that also drew demonstrators chanting “Shame!” as populist billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis spoke.
    His minority coalition is the first government since the 1989 collapse of communism to rely on backing from the Communist Party to survive in parliament.
    A Communist Party member in the 1980s, Babis has denied allegations that he served as a regime secret police agent before 1989.
    “He who governs with the Communists disrespects the victims of the occupation of 1968!” read posters held by protesters in front of the radio station in downtown Prague where around 15 unarmed people, mostly youths, died trying to prevent
    the Soviets from taking the building 50 years ago.
    The burgeoning “Prague Spring” movement, led by Communist Party leader Alexander Dubcek, had tried to put “a human face on socialism” through democratic reforms to Czechoslovakia’s totalitarian regime.
    But on the night of August 20-21, 1968, Soviet soldiers backed by Bulgarian, east German, Hungarian and Polish units brutally put an end to the movement.
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    Item Reviewed: Czechs protest govt’s ties to communists 50 years after Soviet-led invasion Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Asqamar