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Monday, November 21, 2011

Reagan Statue Unveiled in Warsaw


A statue to former US president Ronald Reagan, who is highly respected in Poland for having helped hasten the fall of the Iron Curtain, was unveiled by Communist-era opposition icon Lech Walesa in Warsaw yesterday. 
A statue of former US president Ronald Reagan has been unveiled in Poland
He did not mention ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, in power from 1985 to 1991, and far less well-regarded in Moscow's former stamping ground than in Western Europe.


Mr Gorbachev also worked to temper Cold War tensions, and his reforms included giving satellites more say – but they also remember four decades of Soviet domination.

As a shipyard electrician, Mr Walesa led Solidarity, a union born during a 1980 strike in the Baltic port of Gdansk that won grudging recognition from Poland's communist authorities.

In 1981, the regime imposed martial law to crush Solidarity, but it stayed alive underground. Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his non-violent opposition.

Solidarity returned to the limelight in 1989, negotiating an election deal with the authorities and scoring a victory that brought down the regime, speeding the demise of communist rule in Europe by 1991.

In 1990, Mr Walesa became Poland's first democratically elected president since World War II, serving one five-year term.



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