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Rice Statement: Com for Assistance to a Free Cuba

Release of Second Report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba


Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Statement by Secretary Rice and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez
Washington, DC
July 10, 2006


The United States stands in solidarity with the people of Cuba in their struggle for democracy. Today, we release the second report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba and the Compact with the People of Cuba.

The Commission's second report contains recommendations for how we can help those on the island who are willing to push for freedom despite the consequences. The Commission's recommendations include concrete support for change in Cuba including a two-year, $80 million program to break the regime's information blockade and to reinforce efforts to prepare for the day when the country will hold free and fair elections.

These recommendations reflect American resolve to keep pace with Cuba's brave opposition leaders and to encourage those Cubans still silent out of fear but free in their hearts and minds to dream of a better future for their families and their nation.

2006/663

The Commission's second report also keeps a promise the United States has made to the Cuban people: We will stand with you through the process of transformation to a democratic future. Cubans should know that we will work around the world to unite like-minded nations in support of their rights. They also can count on our commitment and expertise as we prepare the groundwork to provide specific, substantial help for a democratic transition, including humanitarian assistance.

The Compact with the People of Cuba is especially important because it is our message of hope and solidarity to Cubans on the island.

The day will come when the Cuban people take back their sovereignty through free elections for a government of their choosing. On that day, the United States will be there to support them and to begin building the close relationship that two great nations should have.

Released on July 10, 2006

ENDS

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