Today, Cuba celebrates Independence Day, and US President George W.Bush announced at a press conference in the White House today that America’s policy regarding Cuba remains the same.
Americans are to be prohibited from traveling to Cuba, and a referendum on political freedoms and then democratic elections to the national assembly are to be held in the country. George Bush says that political prisoners are to be amnestied, the dictatorship of one party is to be abolished, a free market economy is to be fostered, etc.
Still, the embargo imposed on Cuba will remain in force. As President Bush says, “ thelifting of embargo under the present-day conditions will not help the Cuban people; it will merely enrich Castro and his cronies and prop up their dictatorship.”
The statement was called George Bush’s “Initiative for a New Cuba," based on the results of an analysis held by the US administration. Bush plans to demand far-reaching changes in Cuba's political and economic systems before he will consider easing the embargo.
Thus, the US president gave an estimate to public statements made by American ex-president Jimmy Carter during his private Cuban tour (PRAVDA.Ru informed about it in the article Carter vs. Bush). The US president also made ordinary Cuban people understand that he wishes to do them no evil, and even a special personal humanitarian aid program will be created for those who wish to receive a education in the USA. It was added at that Washington was indignant mostly at “one of the last biggest tyrants on the planet," as White House press-secretary Ari Fleisher called Fidel Castro. However, the demonstrative statements and appeals from the White House are not comforting enough for George Bush.
Head of the Cuban work group, Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, let President Bush down. BBC cites his words: “In a word, US policy regarding Cuba has failed. Over forty years have passed, and Castro still strictly controls the island.”
In addition, a workgroup that calls for the partial relaxation of the US policy toward Cuba consists of 40 Congressmen, both Republicans and Democrats. Still, the groups suggestions are ignored by the presidential administration.
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/05/20/41406.html