1951, he was arrested, tried on false charges of "Slovak bourgeois nationalism," and sentenced to life imprisonment. Released from jail in 1960, Husak was rehabilitated four years later. Between 1964 and 1968, Husak worked as a researcher at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. After the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Husak was among the hard-liners who supported the invasion. He was named first secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist party in April 1969 and was appointed president of the republic in 1975.
Husak had no use for the communist reformers. He eased them out of office and from national politics altogether but, unlike his counterpart in Hungary, Janos Kadar, did not have them killed or jailed. Eventually, Husak was forced by circumstances to adopt some of the economic policies proposed during the Dubcek era, except those that would have infringed upon the monopoly of the Communist party over politics. His politics, however, created a lethargic population. An atmosphere of hopelessness pervaded national life, and it was not lifted until the end of the 1980s. This was called "normalization" (see "Normalization" Czechoslovakia).
For two decades Husak maintained a rigidly conservative communist regime in Czechoslovakia. After 1985, he even resisted the influence of Mikhail-Gorbachev in his own country, just as his predecessors, Klement Gottwald and Antonyn Novotny (see Novotny, Antonyn) refused to follow a relaxed policy after the death of Stalin. Old, ailing, and cynical, he was finally replaced by another hard-liner, Milos Jakes (see Jakes, Milos), as secretary general of the party in 1988, but he remained president of the republic. He was finally dismissed after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, and his entire regime went out with him.
Pelikan Jiri, The Czechoslovak Political Trials of 1950-1954 ( Stanford, CA., 1971); Ulc Otto "The 'Normalization' of Post-Invasion Czechoslovakia," in Survey. 24.3 ( 1979), pp. 201- 214; Wolchik Sharon, "Regional Inequality in Czechoslovakia," in Daniel J. Nelson, ed. The Politics of Inequality ( Lexington, MA., 1983).
International Relations of Communist Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia, just as other members of the Soviet Bloc, had two types of international relations. One was conducted with bloc member states and Communist parties of the world; the other type was conducted with the capitalist countries. A third type emerged in the 1960s; relations with the Third World nations. Within the Soviet Bloc, Czechoslovakia was required to subordinate its national interests to that of "proletarian internationalism," namely, the Soviet Union. There was no autonomy of action for the country in any case. Relations with the Third World countries, as well as with the capitalist nations, were completely subordinated to Soviet diplomatic interests. When the Soviet Union began a campaign for peaceful coexistence, it appeared for a moment that there might emerge a possibility for independent Czechoslovak actions. However, there was no response from the leadership. In the 1960s, particularly, the Czechoslovak state simply echoed Soviet diplomatic moves.