Vaclav Havel was a prominent playwright, essayist and poet. He was also, for a time, a political prisoner, jailed for his writings that satirized communist bureaucracy and for his involvement in the Prague Spring reform movement of 1968. His contentious letter to then President Gustav Husak didn't result in any action being taken, but the text quickly went viral at least by the standards of the pre-Internet era. His work was banned by the government, yet it brought the world's attention to Soviet-dominated Czechoslovakia's plight. Havel would be subjected to police harassment and arrests, and in 1979 he was sentenced to 4½ years in prison for subversion of the republic. Upon his release, Havel became a leading figure in what would become known as the Velvet Revolution of 1989. He won the presidency that year and subsequently became the first President of the newly formed Czech Republic in 1993. His lifelong motto: "Truth and love must prevail over lies and hate."
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