Valtr Komarek: One of the velvet revolutionaries


Valtr Komarek, who died yesterday at the age of 82, was a left-wing Czech politician and economist who helped overthrow the country's communist regime. He briefly served as deputy premier of the first post-communist government.

Born on 10 August 1930 in the southeast town of Hodonin, Komarek became a Communist Party member after th Second World War. From 1964-67, he served as an adviser to the Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, then minister of industry in Cuba's government.

In the 1980s, Komarek chaired a government economic institute but joined the anti-communist opposition in November 1989. He became one of the most visible faces of the so-called "Velvet Revolution" that ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia.