The following editorial appeared in Friday's Orlando Sentinel:
A decade ago, the fate of the Soviet Union's reforms - and, therefore, the world - lay in doubt as hard-liners launched the infamous August coup.
Just imagine how different and more dangerous the world would be today if the plotters had prevailed and the Soviet Union had endured.
Instead, the Soviet system fell apart within months. The main successor state, Russia, soon will celebrate 10 years of freedom.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, writing soon after the crisis, said he always thought that a coup, while possible, could not succeed. His famous line, "I see no other way but democracy," still resonates.
It is a trend in Russia's history that the United States has ample reason to support and encourage.