East-West: Our Time Has Come

Czechoslovaks oust a hard-line regime, giving the superpowers another reason to put Communist upheavals atop the Malta summit agenda

"Dubcek! Dubcek!" Who ever expected to see the day when Alexander Dubcek, the man who first tried to give East European Communism a "human face," would return to Prague so triumphantly, or be welcomed so deliriously? Yet day after day, as the leaden skies of late autumn began turning to dusk, the crowds beneath the statue of St. Wenceslas in downtown Prague kept growing, in size and in confidence. By late last week they had swelled into the largest protests in Czechoslovakia's history: a half million chanting, shouting, horn- honking people, all bent on ousting the repressive rule of Communist Party...

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