I'm no expert in recent European history, but that sounds more or less right to me (if you set aside some nuances in the political change already stemming from Moscow). What am I missing?
Come on Gokul, it's a guessing game.
Is this statement true or a bit of exaggeration?
By the time of the Velvet Revolution, the old Soviet Union had essentially collapsed. It's economy was in a shambles, the Military had just lost a war to the Afghans, and Gorbachev's reforms were well underway. Those reforms led to more political and economic openness. The Velvet Revolution was the final straw on that camel's back.
Yes, the language is certainly overly flowery and generous, but I guess that's the kind of stuff you say when you are a guest. Especially, since this is the 20th anniversary year of the Velvet Revolution.
Maybe I would have personally preferred a speech with a little less flattery, but I'm not sure there would be too many political advisers or diplomats that would propose a speech that said: "Yeah, we know that Gorby was already making changes and the Velvet Rev was more symbolic of political change than actually a primary instrument of political upheaval, but yeah, goodish job, y'all. You broke an old and tired camel's back. I give you half a thumbs up."
Likewise, no one celebrating say the anniversary of Gandhi's birthday is likely to choose that moment to point out that the Brits were already dismantling their Empire, and that perhaps Gandhi just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
Overall, not a biggie, if you ask me.
Prague spring was in 68
not 20 years ago
that was the Velvet Revolution in 89
two very different outcomes in the same place
That was my first idea too, but he never said it was the same event. He mentioned both in two consecutive phrases, you may as well read it "we are here because of both events".
As every politician, he speaks in round sentences that doesn't mean much. Professional trait.
Besides, it was Solidarity in Poland not the Velvet Revolution that counts when it comes to "shaking the foundation of an empire" Obama has his first serious negative mark in my register.
Yes, when thinking of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, Solidarnosc comes to mind. And even the pope. (the previous one).
the Polish factor is certainly there but Prague is no to be ruled out from reforming the world.
Separate names with a comma.