• Short Summary

    ALEXANDER DUBCEK, THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA, FELL FROM POWER TONIGHT (THURSDAY).

  • Description

    ALEXANDER DUBCEK, THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA, FELL FROM POWER TONIGHT (THURSDAY). THE 47-YEAR-OLD REFORMIST CHAMPION IS TO RECEIVE "A LEADING STATE FUNCTION". HIS SUCCESSOR IS TO SLOVAK COMMUNIST LEADER, DR. GUSTAV HUSAK.

    MR. DUBCEK CAME INTO THE LEADERSHIP OF HIS COUNTRY WHEN HE REPLACED MR. ANTONIN NOVOTNY IN JANUARY 1968. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THE NEW FIRST SECRETARY INITIATED A NUMBER OF REFORMS AS PART OF WHAT WAS CALLED THE "SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION". CHANGES IN THE JUDICIAL STRUCTURE FOLLOWED AND BY JUNE PRESS BROADCASTING CENSORSHIP WERE ABOLISHED.

    OTHER SOCIALIST COUNTRIES SAW MR. DUBCEK'S PROGRAMME AS A DANCER TO SOCIALISM. THE SOVIET UNION WAS PARTICULARLY CRITICAL AND WHEN MR. DUBCEK REFUSED TO VISIT MOSCOW, BI-LATERAL TALKS BETWEEN THE RUSSIANS AND CZECHS WERE HELD AT CIERNA. BUT THE OUTCOME OF THE MEETING WAS INDECISIVE.

    CRITICISM FROM THE SOVIET UNION, BULGARIA, HUNGARY, EAST GERMANY, AND POLAND CONTINUED AND ON AUGUST 2ND THE LEADERS OF THESE FIVE WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES MET THE CZECH LEADERSHIP AT BRATISLAVA.

    IN WHAT SEEMED A VINDICATION OF MR. DUBCEK'S POLICIES, THE JOINT DECLARATION FOLLOWING THE MEETING SPOKE OF EACH NATIONAL PARTY TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE CONDITIONS IN ITS OWN COUNTRY.

    THREE WEEKS LATER TROOPS OF THE FIVE WARSAW PACT COUNTRIES CROSSED THE BORDERS OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA. THE CAREFULLY PLANNED ARMED INTERVENTION GAINED CONTROL OF THE COUNTRY IN A MATTER OF HOURS. THE ONLY OPPOSITION CAME FROM HOSTILE CZECHS.

    MR. DUCEK'S WHEREABOUT REMAINED A MYSTERY IN THE CRISIS FOLLOWING THE INTERVENTION, BUT HE REAPPEARED IN MOSCOW ON AUGUST 24TH WITH PRESIDENT SVOBODA. THE TALKS CONTINUED TO THE 26TH AND ENDED WITH THE AGREEMENT TO ALLOW WARSAW PACT FORCES TO REMAIN ON CZECH SOIL UNTIL "NORMALISATION" HAD BEEN ACHIEVED.

    A WARM WELCOME AWAITED MR. DUBCEK WHEN HE RETURNED TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND HE SAID HE BELIEVED THE MOSCOW AGREEMENT WOULD STILL ALLOW THE IMPLEMENTATION OF HIS PROGRAMME OF REFORMS. MR. DUBCEK'S RESOLVE SINCE THE WARSAW PACT INTERVENTION HAS MADE HIM A NATIONAL HERO WITH THE CZECHS CRITICAL OF THE SOVIET UNION.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6M3INIFOGI4LI7N5YK5EZAAMQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA6M3INIFOGI4LI7N5YK5EZAAMQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/04/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:07:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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