Slovak Republic

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Essay, May/Jun 1995
Tina Rosenberg

The new democracies of Latin America and Eastern Europe are grappling with their dictatorial pasts -- deciding whether to purge the old regimes' officials, hold truth commissions, open secret police files, or try the gunmen and leaders of tyranny. But the two regions face different threats. The Latin American democracies are too weak to keep the juntas from returning, while in Eastern Europe, the state is too strong, prone to authoritarian abuses reminiscent of the bad old days.

Comment, Nov/Dec 1994
Anne Applebaum

In Central Europe the greatest threat to democracy comes not from the nationalists but from the better-organized former communist parties. Encouraging Western-style conservative parties would provide economic and political competition.

Essay, Jan 1964
Victor A. Velen

For the first time since the Communist take-over in Czechoslovakia, liberalizing forces are emerging and making headway. In 1963, ten years after Stalin's death, one of the last bastions of classical Stalinism began cautiously to de-Stalinize, rehabilitating the ghosts of the Slansky trial and purging from the government some of those who were most responsible for Stalinist crimes. Up to the fall of 1963 the most significant event in this evolution was the dismissal, on September 20, of the Prime Minister, Viliam Siroky, an old-time Stalinist wheel in the Slovak Communist Party, along with a number of other members of the government who had been deeply compromised by their activities during the period of the "cult of personality." But others, primarily President Antonin Novotny himself, still held the reins of power and were consequently dragging their feet in implementing a process that ultimately was bound to cause their own downfall.

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