Remarks from President Bush on Cuba

Cant find a video link yet, but here are some remarks from the President’s briefing on Cuba this afternoon:

Now is the time to support the democratic movement growing on the island.
Now is the time to stand with the Cuban people as they stand up for their liberty. And now is the time for the world to put aside its differences and prepare for Cubans’ transition to a future of freedom and progress and promise.
The dissidents of today will be the nation’s leaders. And when freedom finally comes, they will surely remember who stood with them.
As with all totalitarian systems, Cuba’s regime no doubt has other horrors still unknown to the rest of the world. Once revealed, they will shock the conscience of humanity, and they will shame the regime’s defenders and all those democracies that had been silent.

He spoke to the Cuban people directly as well as to the Cuban military:

You have the power to shape your own destiny. You can bring about a future where your leaders answers to you.
You may have once believed in the revolution. Now you can see its failure.
Do not believe the tired lies you are told about America. We want nothing from you except to welcome you to the hope and joy of freedom. Do not fear the future.

Like Henry stated, there will no doubt be a bit of huffawing and such about the President’s briefing. Undoubtedly some will complain that it isnt enough, or about this or about that.
Let’s keep this in mind, folks: George W. Bush is the President of the United States of America and is arguably the most powerful man in the world. When he speaks, people listen.
Satement from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:

Washington, DC —– Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after President Bush’s remarks on his Administration’s Cuba policy:
“President Bush has once again demonstrated that his government is right on track in dealing with the dying Castro regime. His call for the military and security forces to choose between supporting the people or continuing to allow the Castro brothers to brutalize them is a clear testament that this Administration believes that the future of Cuba lies with its people and not with the current regime.
We have said time and time again that the US will not accept a new face oppressing Cuba and denying the Cuban people the inalienable rights that the rest of the world takes for granted; The President’s remarks now makes this point as concise and plain as it can be said.
President Bush understands that life will not improve for Cubans under the communist form of government that rules the island and that nothing will change in Cuba if we sought to accommodate the regime for the sake of stability. Stability comes from the ballot box and from having a free and transparent form of government that respects the rights of its people and whose guiding light is to advance the economic and social conditions of the people, not to perpetually keep itself in power for the sake of power.
I once again thank President Bush for having the best interests of the oppressed Cuban people in his mind and his heart. My brothers and sisters on the island are tired and weary of the abuses and the hunger they endure because of the disaster that Cuba has become due to Fidel Castro. I ask them to continue to endure and to struggle because the end of the regime is near and liberty and freedom are the future of Cuba.”

Statement from Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart:

“President Bush has firmly endorsed the path for Cuba’s transition to democracy when the tyrant dies. He spoke directly to the Cuban armed forces: You can have an appropriate role in the democratic Cuba that is approaching, but don’t stand in the way of the democratic transition, but rather, assist it. And he spoke clearly to the international community, asking it to join us in strongly supporting the Cuban pro-democracy movement and in demanding the release of all political prisoners and the scheduling of free, multi-party elections in Cuba. President Bush’s leadership on the issue of Cuba’s freedom, especially at this time when the tyrant’s death is approaching, is historic and decisive,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart.

17 thoughts on “Remarks from President Bush on Cuba”

  1. That’s what I’m wondering — what prompted this speech? I’m thinking maybe he has some solid intel that Fidel is either already dead or just hours/days away.

  2. YOU KNOW WHAT! Instead of all the verbal yadda-yadda that’s more of the same (whether it’s Bush, Clinton, etc…), here’s what he NEEDS TO SAY to start getting my attention (and more importantly > CUBA’S ATTENTION):

    “I call on the ‘popular forces’ in Cuba to remove those now in power that impede the will of the Cuban people”.

    “Especially, Fidel and Raul Castro, who will be brought to justice for crimes committed against U.S. and Cuban citizens, and for their direct responsibility in narco traffic!”

    “Upon their removal, and the releasing of all political prisoners, and the implementation of freedom of speech and association for the Cuban people, we will provide unconditional support and if requested, direct HUMANITARIAN and MILITARY ASSISTANCE to those ‘popular forces’ who’s objectives are for the establishment a free and democratic Cuba.

    Now THAT, will get CUBA’s ATTENTION!!!!

  3. I thought it was because of Hugorilla’s speeches these past days, regarding his wishies for a Cubazuela.
    After reading the above comments, I’d love for that instead to be the reason.

  4. Blah blah blah…. again… what gets me is two things. 1) The president is calling for a country with leaders that fear its people when he is leading a country that wants its people to fear their leaders.
    2) If Bush really didn’t want to “accept a new face oppressing Cuba”, then perhaps it would have been a good idea to step in and do something when a “new face” (that of Raul) stepped in and continued to oppress Cuba.
    When Castro is dead and there is not enough intelligence left in the leaders there to continue the regime (which Raul does not have) then there will probably be a civil war and a terrible situation. Then after a few years of that, maybe the island can finally start moving forward. But don’t expect the US Government to save the day, because it won’t!

  5. It may be argued that all this is “just talk,” but if every democratic government in the world would take the same position and talk the same talk, you’d better believe it’d make a difference. A big one. It most certainly did in the case of South Africa. Much of the supposedly freedom-loving world is too hypocritical to even come close to what Bush is doing, to its immense shame (regardless of whether it feels it or not).

  6. La Conchita,
    I dont know what to say. First of all,the president on one country “calling on” the poeple of another to do this or that is not only un-diplomatic, but incredibly arrogant. there’s no way in hell any US president would do that, with Cuba or any other country, unless there are some pretty extenuating circumstances.
    And, if you see the tiny snipet in henry’s post above, you can see him directly “calling out” and criticizing Cuba’s leadership.
    Sheesh, this is called DIPLOMACY folks. POLITICS.
    I certainly would hate to have the President of the US stoop to the inane level of rhetoric we see from the likes of fidel castro and hugo chavez.
    It simply aint gonna happen. The US does not have to make threats or act like a tinpot fucking bully little dictator to get its point across.
    God damnit man, Some people just cant be fucking pleased.

  7. 1) The president is calling for a country with leaders that fear its people when he is leading a country that wants its people to fear their leaders.


  8. Canes Fan,
    Your little “blahblahblah” really pissed me off. tell us all here, what the hell have you done for Cuba’s freedom?
    God damnit this is some fucking frustrating tiring shit.

  9. Val,
    Here is a switch. While I am not a Bush fan or even a conservative I thought the President’s speech was good.
    With Iraq, Iran, Afganistan, global terror, a slowing economy and now these fires in California,
    he has a lot on his plate.
    At least this shows that Cuba is on his radar.
    I’m not so sure I would read any castro death messages into the President’s speech though.
    What annoys me but does not surprise me is that I subscribe to Comcast and logging on now I see a headline: “Castro: Bush could trigger a nuclear war.”
    This is the schmuck who damn near started one in 1962 and even begged the Russians to nuke the US and he blames the US for wanting to start a nuclear war?
    Hnery is right. Short of the Marines invading, most other measures do seem to fall short, but for my two cents its probably the best he or any President could do for now.

  10. Interesting language, considering the circumstances.
    Remember that for whatever as-of-yet-not-publicly-known reason, the United States is prevented from direct action in Cuba, at least as long as fidel castro is alive. This seems to extend to overly-froggy threats against fidel and his regime as well.
    We have had almost 50 years to prepare for the day that whatever-it-is no longer applies.

  11. Sorry if I ruffled a few feathers Val but I think that I’ve done the same thing that 99% of the rest of the Cuban-American population has done in this country. I enjoy my life here in the United States and I don’t plan on going to Cuba unless it is free and I am going for a vacation, maybe that’s because I was born here and my immediate family has all been here for 30 years. But it just makes me wonder where all of that Cuban patriotism that you are looking for me to have has been for the last 50 years? There was a revolution in Cuba against a hated regime, but that was a different regime and it’s been a very long time since that happened.
    I know, I know, America won’t let you go back to the island and assassinate Castro that’s why you won’t do it. I guess the Americans didn’t stop the revolutionaries in 1959 and that’s why the island is no longer led by Batista.
    So, after I have told you what I have done, what have you done Val other than complain about the regime??

  12. 1) The president is calling for a country with leaders that fear its people when he is leading a country that wants its people to fear their leaders.



    This is of course intended to mean that Bush is a hypocrite because America is as bad is Cuba and Bush is somehow worse than Castro. Or (gasp!) at least that we’re sliding headlong into a Bushitler Rove-Cheney Patriot Act neocon dictatorship!


    Country “wants” its people to fear its leaders. Where’d you get the mind-reading skills?

  13. -“Sheesh, this is called DIPLOMACY folks. POLITICS.”


    What the hell has “DIPLOMACY” gotten in 50 years??

    Well, you know what? I WILL criticize this President or ANY President who won’t do shit about this, and continue to the same old crap of NOT DOING SHIT.

    I won’t settle to speak out for REAL MEASURES to take down this regime. THEY NEED TO HEAR ABOUT THIS.

    One more thing. I agree with your last word. This is TOTALLY about “POLITICS“!

  14. “It simply aint gonna happen. The US does not have to make threats or act like a tinpot fucking bully little dictator to get its point across.”
    I thought that was pretty much the US policy in Latin America during the Cold War and beyond, except not through theatrical speeches in the spirit of El Chapulin Chavez but through more covert means, like, you know, coups, propaganda campaigns etc. I agree, the United States shouldn’t make threats or act like a “fucking bully” but it seems to be doing it in plenty of other contexts CUANDO LE CONVIENE.

  15. Canes Fan,
    what have I done for Cuba? Well, if we compare the four years of work here on this blog decrying the evils of castro and highlighting the dissidents and brutality of the castro regime to one forty minute speech bythe President of the United States of America on the same subject, then I have done absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch.
    You are free to croiticize anything and anyone you want at will. Its your right livinghere as an Aerican. And while Im aware that there are many many things to criticize the US about regarding its cuba policy, Imnot gonna look a gift hoirse in the mouth nor am I goingto bad mouth someone who has done something, ANYTHING, to highlight Cuba’s issues.
    I said this in another thread, but the President really has nothing to gain politically from this speech, Nada, Nothing. Zilch. If anything, he just placed yet another target on his back for the castro lovers and their ilk of the world to criticize him and debase him.
    Im not sure what forty year old Cold war policiy and actions have to do with todays speech by the presidentnor my comment. I also dont agree that the US is actinglike a bully anywhere else. And please, do not bring the Iraq war into this.

  16. I appreciate Bush’s speech. Better than no speech. That said, forgive me for being a skeptic.
    Bush is still a member of the Republican party and so is his brother. His legacy is tied to his party and he can’t just let the Cuban American vote go wasted (i.e. Democrat). So there are plenty of reasons for him to do what all Republican politicians do every 4 years – pander to us and raise our hopes for effective policies that will bring change (key-in on the word “effective”).
    So, until proven otherwise, and I am hoping to loose here, it is more of the same as far as I’m concerned.

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