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.