Former Polish President and Nobel laureate Lech Walesa was discharged from a U.S. hospital Tuesday, four days after doctors successfully fitted him with a pacemaker.

In a statement, Mr. Walesa said it has been a long time since he has felt this good. He added that dictators and oppressors should continue to fear him because he will be here for a long time.

The 64-year-old Mr. Walesa also thanked the physicians and employees of the hospital in Houston, Texas.

Doctors say the pacemaker is designed to improve the function of Mr. Walesa's heart. They hope the procedure will prevent him from needing a transplant.

Mr. Walesa served a five-year term as Poland's president beginning in 1990.

He rose to fame in 1980 by leading a labor strike against Poland's communist authorities. That action grew into the nationwide Solidarity freedom movement, which was seen as leading to the end of communist rule in the country.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his part in the movement.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.