FACT SHEET: ENCOURAGING FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PROSPERITY IN CUBA

President Bush Announces A Series Of Measures To Support Growing Democratic Movements In Cuba

Today, President Bush announced measures to help prepare Cuba for transition to a democratic future, including a new initiative to develop an international multi-billion dollar Freedom Fund. 

Before his speech, the President met with family members of political prisoners in Cuba.  The President believes that now is the time to stand with the Cuban people as they stand up for their liberty.  The world should put aside its differences and prepare for Cuba's transition to a future of progress and promise.

• The President has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to lead the effort to form the Freedom Fund by enlisting foreign governments and international organizations to contribute.  This Fund would help the Cuban people rebuild their economy and make the transition to democracy.  It would give Cubans access to grants, loans, and debt relief to rebuild their country as soon as Cuba's government demonstrates that is has adopted, in word and deed, fundamental freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom to form political parties, and the freedom to change their government through periodic, multi-party elections.

• The President also announced measures that the United States government is prepared to take right now to help the Cuban people directly – but only if Cuba's ruling class gets out of the way.
- If Cuban rulers will end their restrictions on Internet access for all of the Cuban people, the U.S. is prepared to license nongovernmental organizations and faith-based groups to provide computers and Internet access to Cuban students.  

- If Cuban rulers allow them to freely participate, the U.S. is prepared to invite Cuban young people whose families suffer oppression into the Partnership for Latin American Youth Scholarship Program, designed to help them have equal access to greater educational opportunities.

• The President highlighted family members of political prisoners in Cuba who have been jailed for nothing more than their beliefs.  
- Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso was arrested for writing ideas that the Cuban authorities did not like, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. 
- Jose Luis Garcia Paneque was sentenced to 24 years in prison for daring to speak the truth about Cuba's regime. 
- Omar Pernet Hernandez is serving 25 years in prison for being an advocate of freedom and human rights and was punished for his beliefs. 
- Jorge Luis Gonzalez Tanquero was arrested and is serving time inside a Cuban prison, charged with crimes against the state after defending the human rights of his countrymen. 
- The President also mentioned leading dissidents such as Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Normando Hernandez Gonzales, and Omar Rodriguez Saludes.

The President reiterates U.S. Government policy that the embargo on the Cuban regime must stand as long as the regime maintains its monopoly over the political and economic life of the Cuban people.  Trade with Cuba under the current regime would merely enrich the elites in power and strengthen their grip. Congress should show their support and solidarity for fundamental change in Cuba by maintaining our embargo on the dictatorship until that change comes.

The Free World Can Do Much More To Show Its Solidarity With The Cuban People

The United States stands with the Cuban people in their suffering.  We have granted asylum to hundreds of thousands who have fled the repression and misery imposed by the regime, rallied nations to take up the banner of Cuban liberty, and authorized private citizens and organizations to provide food, medicine, and other aid.  This aid totaled over $270 million last year alone.

The President thanked members of Congress for their bipartisan support  in a vote for additional funding for Cuban democracy efforts and asked them to complete work on the measure, so that he may quickly sign it into law. 

President Bush also calls on other nations to make tangible efforts to show public support for dissidents in Cuba.  The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland have shown their leadership and courage by becoming vital sources of support and encouragement to Cuba's brave democratic opposition.  The President encourages other nations to follow their lead by:

• Opening their embassies in Havana to pro-democracy leaders and inviting them to events;

• Using the lobbies of their embassies to give Cubans access to the Internet, books, and magazines; and

• Encouraging their country's nongovernmental organizations to reach out directly to Cuba's independent civil society.

The United States Is Committed To Helping Cuba Join The Democracies of the World

The policy of the United States is clear: to break the absolute control the regime holds over the material resources that Cubans need to live and prosper.  The Cuban people are denied the most basic freedoms and opportunities – freedoms that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and which governments in our hemisphere have agreed to honor and defend in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Throughout the Western Hemisphere, the United States has established itself as a reliable partner that has worked to strengthen the sovereignty of our neighbors by supporting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law and by promoting open markets.

Comentarios

La familia liberal: amigos y enemigos
[10-02-2020]
Carlos Alberto Montaner
Escritor, periodista y político
  (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- Sin embargo, y aquí radica el núcleo de estas reflexiones, hay miles de chilenos destruyendo metódicamente las expresiones materiales de la formidable transformación chilena. ¿Por qué sucede este fenómeno absurdo de autofagia? ¿Por qué miles de jóvenes chilenos atentan contra su propio bienestar? Las diferencias fundamentales e insalvables, son las que se tienen con los autoritarios, ya sean francamente totalitarios, como los comunistas y fascistas, o lo que hoy se denominan “democracias iliberales”.  
Naciones Unidas finalmente certifica y reprocha a Cuba la desaparación forzosa de Ferrer
[10-02-2020]
Prisoners Defenders
  (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- EXCLUSIVA: El Comité Contra las Desapariciones Forzosas de las Naciones Unidas, tras haber dado derecho de réplica al Estado y escuchar todas las alegaciones en un proceso transparente, concluye en una carta enviada a Cuba el día 27 de enero de 2020 y remitida a Prisoners Defenders, que los familiares de José Daniel Ferrer “no conocieron el paradero del señor José Daniel Ferrer sino hasta el 7 de noviembre de 2019, treinta y siete días después de su detención”. También le instan a que Cuba “tiene la obligación de proceder sin demora a realizar una investigación exhaustiva e imparcial sobre las circunstancias de la desaparición del señor José Daniel Ferrer en los días en los que se le ha mantenido en detención sin contacto con el exterior.” Esta certificación, junto al proceso arbitrario, difamatorio y lleno de contradicciones que ha llevado a la condena mundial del caso, ponen en grave riesgo la imagen mundial de Cuba esta vez incluso ante la izquierda.
El fracaso de la formación y educación profesional en Cuba
[08-02-2020]
Elías Amor
Economista
  (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- La mayor parte de las empresas extranjeras que acuden a Cuba interesándose en hacer negocios coinciden en que existen importantes problemas de cualificación profesional de los trabajadores. Los cubanos han logrado alcanzar un alto nivel educativo, esto es incuestionable. Pero sus competencias, habilidades y destrezas para el desempeño en el mundo laboral, al menos en Cuba, son escasas, prácticamente inexistentes, y lo que es peor, rara vez se ponen en valor por el sistema económico y productivo existente en el país. Esto es interesante.
Irán, un peligroso aliado
[08-02-2020]
Pedro Corzo
Escritor, Periodista y Editor
  (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- Varios países de América Latina sostienen relaciones muy próximas con la teocracia iraní, ignorando voluntariamente que aliarse con un depredador es igual que poner la cabeza entre las fauces de un lobo, aunque es justo reconocer, que los compañeros de Teherán en el hemisferio, Venezuela, Cuba y Nicaragua, distan muchos de ser vegetarianos.
Suscripciones a Misceláneas de Cuba
Edición electrónica
Suscríbase para adquirir la revista
Colaboraciones
Envíe colaboraciones digitales a: colaborar@miscelaneasdecuba.net
Misceláneas de Cuba autoriza la reproducción de los textos aparecidos en su página digital y su revista impresa siempre y cuando se les indiquen como fuente.
Misceláneas de Cuba no comparte necesaria-mente las ideas vertidas en los artículos firmados, las cuales son responsabilidad de sus respectivos autores. La línea editorial de esta publicación quedó recogida en el artículo de fondo de su edición fundacional Pasando Revista a las Razones de la Revista.