The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
February 25, 2005

Global Message

From remarks by President Bush, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2/24/05

President Bush spoke to Slovakian citizens in Hviezdoslavovo Square - where nearly 17 years ago, thousands of Slovaks gathered peacefully to pray for an end to tyranny and the restoration of religious liberty.

By claiming their own freedom, the Slovaks inspired a revolution that liberated their nation, and helped to transform a continent.

In recent times, we have witnessed landmark events in the history of liberty, a Rose Revolution in Georgia, an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and now, a Purple Revolution in Iraq.

With their votes cast and counted, the Iraqi people now begin a great and historic journey. They will form a new government, draft a democratic constitution, and govern themselves as free people.

Iraqis have demonstrated their courage and their determination to live in freedom, and that has inspired the world. It is the same determination we saw in Kiev's Independent Square, in Tbilisi's Freedom Square, and in Hviezdoslavovo Square.

We must be equally determined and patient. The advance of freedom is the concentrated work of generations. It took almost a decade after the Velvet Revolution for democracy to fully take root in Slovakia.

The democratic revolutions that swept the region more than 15 years ago are now reaching Georgia and Ukraine. In 10 days, Moldova has the opportunity to place its democratic credentials beyond doubt as its people head to the polls. Inevitably, the people of Belarus will someday proudly belong to the country of democracies.

Eventually, the call of liberty comes to every mind and every soul. And one day, freedom's promise will reach every people and every nation.

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