CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.Con.Res. 212 under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.Con.Res. 212 was introduced on November 7, 2009, by Rep. John Mica (R-FL).
H.Con.Res. 212 would resolve that Congress:
• "Recognizes the 20th anniversary of the historic events in Central and Eastern Europe that brought about the collapse of the communist regimes and the fall of the Iron Curtain;
• "Commemorates, with the Slovak and Czech Republics, the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, which underscores the significance and value of reclaimed freedom and the dignity of individual citizens;
• "Commends the peoples of the Slovak and Czech Republics for their remarkable achievements over the past 20 years in building free, democratic, and prosperous societies;
• "Appreciates the contribution of the Slovak and Czech Republics as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union to the promotion and defense of common values of freedom, democracy, and liberty around the world;
• "Reaffirms the bonds of friendship and close cooperation that have existed between the United States and the Slovak and Czech Republics; and
• "Extends the warmest congratulations and best wishes to the people of the Slovak Republic and the peoples of the Czech Republic for a peaceful, prosperous, and successful future."
According to the resolution's findings, Communists seized power from the democratically elected Government of Czechoslovakia in March 1948. Troops from Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968, ousting the reformist government of Alexander Dubcek, and restoring a hard-line communist regime. On November 17, 1989, the breakup of a student demonstration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the execution of Czech student leaders and the closure of universities by the Nazis triggered mass discontent that launched the Velvet Revolution, which was characterized by reliance on nonviolence and open public discourse. The people of Czechoslovakia successfully overthrew 40 years of communist rule. Since that time, the Slovak and Czech Republics have established a democratic political systems based upon freedom of speech, a free press, free and fair open elections, and the rule of law.