Washington, DC – “Today the world lost a great leader and role model.  Margaret Thatcher led the United Kingdom during a time of enormous change and was instrumental in ending the Cold War.  As Prime Minister, Thatcher’s view of the triumph of human freedom was vital in prompting the end of the repressive communist system in Europe and saw the expansion of democratic experiments throughout the world.

“Thatcher’s leadership was vital to ending communism.  Lech Walesa some years ago praised her leadership, saying ‘It is obvious that like the pieces of a global chain of events, Ronald Reagan, John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher and even Mikhail Gorbachev helped bring about this new age in Europe.’  As Thatcher stated in a 1981 speech, ‘It is the task of our generation to ensure that the light spreads across the globe, growing brighter as it goes.  And in this, the partnership of Britain and Europe and America will be the very heart of the matter.’

“In 1982, at the invitation of Thatcher, President Reagan traveled to London to deliver his Westminster Speech in which he called for a world ‘in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.’  They established institutions, such as the Westminster Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy and IRI to carry forth their shared vision.  IRI is proud today to work alongside Thatcher’s Conservative Party in continuing to spread her message and methods of freedom throughout the world.”

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