En-claves del pensamiento
versão impressa ISSN 1870-879X
VIEYRA BALBOA, Gabriela E.. Una antorcha por la libertad: el legado de Jan Palach, cuatro décadas después. En-clav. pen [online]. 2011, vol.5, n.9, pp.131-156. ISSN 1870-879X.
Twenty years afterthe fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the article reflects upon the role of dissidence in the transition process towards democracy in the former Republic of Czechoslovakia, from the 1969 Prague Spring to the 1989 Velvet Revolution. As the axis of such reflection, it recalls and analyzes the impact of a particular sample of the above mentioned dissidence: the death by self immolation of the 21 year-old student Jan Palach, on January 16, 1969 in St. Wenceslas Square as an act of protest against the Soviet occupation of his country. From a historic, political and ethical point of view, the following pages echo on the lessons that Palach and the Czechoslovak dissidents have inherited to those who, four decades after his death, wish and deserve to live in freedom, sheltered by democracy.
Palavras-chave : Jan Palach; Checoslovaquia; freedom; democracy; dissidence; Communist Regime; Prague Spring; Velvet Revolution.