The following is an excerpt from a White House briefing given this evening by a senior Administration official regarding the President’s speech tomorrow:
And he will then say that now is the time to stand with the democratic movements and the people of Cuba; now is the time to put aside the differences that have existed amongst the international community, and we need to be focused on how we're prepared -- we, the international community are prepared for Cuba's transition. He will acknowledge and thank three countries specifically for their efforts to stand with Cuban pro-democracy forces -- the
Turning back to the
He will note that the regime does use the embargo as a scapegoat, but that Presidents of both countries have understood that
He will note then that the United States over the years has taken a series of steps to try to help the Cuban people overcome the suffering; that we have done things such as opened up as a place of refuge the United States; that we've tried to rally other countries; that we have authorized private citizens and NGOs to provide humanitarian aid to the island. And it's to the point that the
He will note that for us the objective has been -- the objective is to get aid directly into the hands of the Cuban people, and that the heart of our policy, the essence of our policy is to break the absolute control the regime holds over the material resources that Cubans need to live and prosper.
He will then announce some initiatives that the
Excuse me, I apologize, a little tired here.
The next initiative is that we are prepared to invite Cuban young people into the scholarship program, Partnership for Latin American Youth. This is an initiative the President originally announced in March that was hemisphere-wide. He is going to extend a specific invitation to have Cuban youth participate in this, and again call upon the
The President will then make the point that life will not improve for Cubans under the current system. It will not improve by exchanging one dictator for another, and it will not improve in any way by seeking accommodation with a new tyranny for the sake of stability. He will note that our policy is based on freedom for
To help bring about that reality, the President will ask Secretary of State Rice and Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez to pursue an effort to develop an international freedom fund for
The President then will note that the speech is being carried by a number of media outlets, some of which are reaching the island. And he will, for a moment, deliver a message to members of the Cuban regime, especially members of the Cuban military and the security apparatus. He will note that they are going to face a choice, and the choice is, which side are they on, the side of Cubans who are demanding freedom, or are they going to face the choice of having to use force against a dying -- force against their own -- their fellow citizens against a dying regime. And he expresses the hope that they will make the choice for freedom, and that -- and note that they will have a place in a democratic
He will then address a comment to the ordinary Cubans who are listening. He will say to them that they have the power to change, and/or to shape their destiny; that they are the ones who will bring about a future where Cuban leaders are chosen by them, where their children can grow up in peace and prosperity. He will remind them that over the years there have been many so-called experts that have said that change would never come to certain spots in the world, that there would always be totalitarian in Central and Eastern Europe, or there would always be authoritarianism in Spain or Chile, and that has not been the case; that there you had a case in which the people understood that they could shape their own destiny. Cubans can do the same. And at that point he will pretty much end the speech.