The Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic, together with the country’s pro-Beijing President, are being accused by bereaved family members of threatening the late Senate President of the Czech Republic and of causing his death, citing two “threatening letters” as evidence. The alleged issue is said to have been over the late Senate President’s plans to visit Taiwan.
More news has surfaced this week, involving meddling by Beijing in the politics of the Czech Republic. After the sudden death in January of Senator Jaroslav Kubera, the President of the Czech Senate, his bereaved family went on television on Jan. 27 and accused Czech president Miloš Zeman, who is known to be pro-Beijing leaning, and Zhang Jian-Ming, the Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic, of threatening and obstructing Jaroslav Kubera from visiting Taiwan and of allegedly hounding him to death.
This came at about the same time that displays of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre were exhibited on the streets of Prague, the Capital of the Czech Republic, and reports that the city’s Mayor, Zdenek Hrib, was being protected by the police for two weeks because he was allegedly a target for poisoning for removing a statue from the Soviet Union.
The accusations that pro-Beijing President Miloš Zeman and Chinese ambassador Zhang Jian-Ming have hounded the late Senator Kubera to death with harassment and threats have caused a major political scandal in the Czech Republic.
Senator Kubera was an important figure during the 1989 Velvet Revolution and has been the number two most important figure in the Czech Republic’s constitutionalism. He was also very friendly with democratic Taiwan. Additionally, during his 2019 term, the Senate passed a resolution supporting religious groups in China, including the spiritual group Falun Gong and calling on the Czech president to demand an end to religious persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Kubera was scheduled to visit Taiwan in February but died from a heart attack on January 20. His wife Vera and his daughter accepted an interview with Czech Television on April 27, accusing the Presidential Palace of the Czech Republic and the Chinese embassy in the Czech Republic of continuously threatening and pressuring Kubera to cancel the trip to Taiwan.
On Oct. 10, 2019, Kubera spoke at a Taiwan National Day Celebration, saying: “This is not my first time attending the National Day Celebration of Taiwan. Thank you for inviting me. I wish the Taiwanese people all the best and admire them for their hard work and achievements. My heartfelt blessings to you all.”
His wife said in the interview that 3 days before he died, Kubera had a “very unpleasant backroom meeting” during the Chinese New Years dinner hosted by the Chinese ambassador. He even advised his wife not to eat the food provided by the Chinese embassy.
After his death, when she and her daughter were sorting out her husband’s belongings, they found in his briefcase two letters from the Czech Republic’s Presidential Palace and the Chinese embassy. The letters were threatening in nature and meant to obstruct Kubera’s visit to Taiwan, even reminding him to consider “the safety of the Kubera family,” according to his wife.
His wife continued, saying that they were terrified after reading the letters and believe that these two letters were the reason for Kubera’s death. She mentioned that Kubera was depressed and did not want to talk seven days before his death. However, he insisted on visiting Taiwan. He once told the family: “Nobody was going to stop Kubera during the days of the communist dictatorship! Now that the Czech Republic is a democratic country, there is no reason to surrender to this type of pressure!”
The new President of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, announced that he sent out three consecutive letters to Czech President Miloš Zeman, demanding an explanation for the two “threatening letters” that have caused a major scandal. However, President Zeman has rejected an invitation by Congress to answer questions and help investigate, he said.
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