WORLD : Ex-Dissident to Be Czech Envoy

From Times Wire Services

Rita Klimova, a former teacher and dissident, was appointed ambassador to the United States by President Vaclav Havel today, the CTK news agency reported.

The appointment comes on the eve of Havel's visit to the United States, where he is scheduled to meet with President Bush on Feb. 20.

Klimova, 58, was a political economics teacher at Charles University in Prague before she was dismissed for her political views after the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

She then worked as a translator for underground publications and became known as "the voice of the revolution" for having interpreted for Havel at news conferences during Czechoslovakia's peaceful revolution in November.

Klimova spent her childhood in the United States with her parents, who fled Czechoslovakia before World War II.

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