Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bush speech preview #2

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
Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. He will call on other countries to follow suit and to make tangible efforts to show public support for pro-democracy activists on the island -- such things as interacting with pro-democracy leaders, inviting them to embassy events, encouraging their country's NGOs to reach out directly to Cuba's independent civil society.

Turning back to the
U.S. support for pro-democracy activists on the island, he will note that the U.S. Congress has approved his -- the President's request for additional funding to support Cuban democracy efforts. He will thank the members of Congress for this bipartisan support and urge them to get the law -- or the bill to him that they approved -- get the bill to him so that he can sign it. They will also urge members of Congress to show our support and solidarity for fundamental change in Cuba by maintaining our embargo until there is fundamental change in Cuba.

He will note that the regime does use the embargo as a scapegoat, but that Presidents of both countries have understood that
Cuba's suffering is a result of the system imposed on the Cuban people. It is not a function or result of U.S. policy, that the only thing that trade will do is further enrich and strengthen the regime and their grip on the political and economic life of the island.

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
United States is one of the, if not the largest, providers of humanitarian aid to the Cuban people in the world.

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
U.S. is prepared to take now to help the Cuban people directly if the Cuban regime will allow it to happen, if the regime will get out of the way. One initiative will be to -- one initiative he will announce is that the United States government is prepared to license NGOs and faith-based groups to provide computers and Internet access to Cuban students, and here we would like to be able to provide this to a Cuba in which there are no restrictions on Cubans on Internet access -- so that we would look at expanding this category of getting more computers with Internet access capability to the island, if Cuba's rulers end their restrictions on Internet access for all Cubans.

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
Cuba's rulers to allow Cuban youth to freely participate.

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
Cuba; our policy is not stability for Cuba, it is freedom, and that the way to get to a stable Cuba is through the Cuban people being given their freedom and fundamental rights.

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
Cuba. They will be asked to go work with international partners and to look at how we can -- how we, the international community, can work together to be prepared to assist Cubans as they transition to democracy. But a key to this is going to be at a point at which there is a transitional government in place that respects fundamental freedoms -- freedom of speech, press, freedom to form political parties, the freedom to change their government through periodic multiparty elections. And also key to this is going to be the government that releases political prisoners, and which no longer imprisons or represses individuals who exercise their conscience freely, and frankly, where the shackles of dictatorship are removed.

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
Cuba for those who support Cuba's democratic evolution.

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.


Anonymous said...

Paternalism lives on in the US.

Anonymous said...

Se lo van a comer por una pata con lo de la Internet

Fantomas said...

excellent speech by our President , too little too late...

I did not see anywhere that Cubans in the US could use US ports of exit to launch incursions into Cuba to liberate our homeland without fear of being persecuted by Us laws.

Anonymous said...

Hey fantomas, go ahead and try.. I would LOVE to see it. remember the Bay of Pigs you facist D*ck!!

the cuban peolple (not military) would stop you in your tracks just like the way they b*tch-slapped your white looking facist grand daddy.

Anonymous said...

Bush speech clealry shows our intentions are not pure but rather imperalistic and right wing in nature.

The cubans deserve freedom but not of Bush's or his conservative cronies image.

and bush , hang it up you CAN"t speak spanish - much like the folks over there at babalu.

Anonymous said...

Pinga y cepillo. Eso fue el discurso de Bush para garantizar el voto de la minorĂ­a recalcitrante de los cubanoamericanos de Miami y de personajillos como Fantomas.

Fantomas said...

pinga cepillo y mucho mas ..no quedara ni un solo hijo de puta cobarde de las brigadas de respuesta rapido y a las negras cerdas que ofrecen los odiados actos de repudio en una Cuba libre y democratica que esta a la vuelta de la esquina... Menos mal que la lista con videos. fotos y direcciones de todos ellos ya estan listas ...los sacaremos debajos de las camas uno a uno

y dormiremos tranquilos todos alla donde debemos estar todos juntos

Anonymous said...

ron paul made this comment referring to the recent armenian resolution but using it as an example of any resolution which is not in the best interest of the united states.

"The House has passed similar resolutions for years, praising some foreign countries or political groups while chastising others. It is my policy to vote against resolutions of this sort whenever they have the impact of placing our country in the middle of an internal political problem of some other nation, or involving us in some regional conflict. In fact, this is almost always the specific intent of resolutions of this sort. Often, I am the only Member of Congress to vote against these resolutions."

here in america we need to be americans and think of what is best for our new country..love her or leave her,

Anonymous said...

The whole point is to critizise everything the president of the US has to say. Had it been another president, then the other side would be critizising him. It is a never ending arguement.

For those who believe he did it for the Cuban-American vote, I say the following: The elections are a year away. There isn't even a clear candidate for the Republican Party and Bush isn't up for re-election. He didn't give that speech from a booth in La Calle Ocho. Many many things can happen in 12 months, why not wait to give that speech closer to election day, if that was his purpose?

Furthermore, we sit here at our desks, at our offices or homes and critizise whatever the president says for shits and giggles.

Have you all noticed that if the same number of people around the world who say they are against the Cuban regime were to all at once come out and critize said regime with the same energy they expended bashing the Presindent after his speech, as has been done since yesterday afternoon, a difference could be made? I think so, but people only unite to critizise the US and not the Cuban government.

I for one am thankful that over 30 minutes were spent on Cuba in the State Department. I'm grateful that he put faces and names to the political prisoners. Yes I know many people have before, but how many US presidents have done it?

News Flash, if Perico Perez stands in a corner in Spain talking about Oscar E. Biscet, he will never get the attention the President got yesterday. This blog and many others are evidence of that.

I am grateful for him calling Cuba by what it really is, a tropical gulag. I'm grateful because besides all the crap people have spoken, the President of the United States said things the media has ignored for over 40 years. The only way that newspapers across the world were ever going to print in black and white the words "tropical gulag" about Cuba for all to read, was this way.


leftside said...

The speech was even more arrogent and desperate than I thought possible. Who is advising Bush on Cuba?? Cuz I would think even Cuban exile leaders would have been smarter than to propose University scholarships and youth computer clubs. After all Cuba has more Universities and Professors per capita than anyone else in the region and is a net importer of scholarship students. Also, there are 2 million Cuban youth already enrolled in computer clubs, where access to the intranet is provided free of charge. 35% of Cubans access the net regularly, which is about the same percentage in Puerto Rico or US cities like Cincinatti or Louisville. Soon, Cuba will be manufacturing 120,000 computers a year...

The speech really showed the desperation of the Bush Admin. and exiles. Perhaps they know a Democratic President is coming and will likely not veto major changes to the embargo. So this is a sort of last hurrah. In that sense, his words about explicitly valuing "freedom over stability" is not so implicit call to arms, which could not be more reckless -however improbable. Radicals outside Cuba (like fantomas) are likely to see this speech as a carte blanche to embark on the wildest of adventures. Inside Cuba, Bush has alienated even open dissidents like Chepe - and his words will be taken as more proof the US retains its nefarious ambitions and condescension about Cuba.

There, amazingly was no recognition that the transition has already occured, nor of the processes of free speech and dialogue that is erupting right now in Cuban neighborhoods and workplaces.

The call for a freedom fund is little more than a recognition that money is all the US has to try to influence events in a Cuba. Do they really think Cubans will sell out their independence, their dignity for the promise of some start up capital that the US government controls access to??

Fortunately, the speech is being greeted with the derision it deserves and there appears to be a political concensus forming that this approach has reached the point of bankruptcy - domestically and internationally. If Bush thinks other countries are going to join the not-so esteemed ranks of Poland and the Czech Republic right now, without any movement away from past failed policies, they don't know the first thing about European politics. These 2 government are laughed at.

This is a gift to the exile community and nothing more. I just hope that there is not more going on than under the surface. There is still the possibility Bush would be foolish enough to try to salvage his freedom legacy with a last ditch attempt at subversion in Cuba.

Anonymous said...

the delirious response by the regime and its toadies like leftside indicates Bush really struck a nerve. The only thing I sadly disagree with is when the day of reckoning comes and the enormity of the regime's crimes is revealed, the Left will evade accountability like they always do. The execrable likes of Leftside will simply move on to defend Chavez...and no one will bat an eye.

Anonymous said...

Hey leftside are you saying it is good that 2 million students in Cuba have access to the INTRANET?? Intranet?? You're ok with that? It is ok that they only have access to what the government sees fit?

You speak of Cuba as if it were any other country were people actually have a right to vote in real multi-party elections.

Why do you speak so loud about the things Bush says and not stand up and scream about the abuse going on in Cuba?

Why have the roaches all over the world come out in ugly numbers trying to dminish what was said yesterday by Bush, but not a peep is heard when people like Michael Moore put out such filth as Siko?

Listen, I know you have to support the left if you're a leftist, complain about dictators such as Pinochet and the likes, but to look the other way at the abuses that are going on now for almost 50 years in Cuba because that dictator-tyrant leans the the left is HIPOCRACY.

Go save the enviornment I'm sure your needed there.

Anonymous said...

seriously, Peters, is there some way to block leftside from posting here -- like other blogs have done? He diminishes the seriousness of any discussion with his ludicrous statements. It's not censorship; he can rant on his own blog.

leftside said...

Anonomous trio - It sounds like I am the one striking nerves, not Bush. The Cuban government are having a field day with Bush's speech, as it plays into their propoganda perfectly.

Anon1 - What "enormous crimes" do you suspect have remained hidden all these years? What things do we not know about that millions of Cuban immigrants (including high-ranking defectors) have not already revealed in the US?

Anon2 - Yes, it is good that hundreds of thousands of students are mastering information technology and that computer time and training is available for all Cuban students who want it. Any country in the world would be jealous of that. As for using the intranet vs the internet, the regime says current technology (expensive and inefficient satellite links) forces them to rationalize and prioritize full internet usage. If you or Bush don't believe this line, then the thing to do would be to allow Cuba to connect to the fiber optic cable 12 miles from shore and get rid of the embargo excuse. But obviously that is not the point. Playing on the myth of a closed, dictatorial regime scared of information is what sells the current bankrupt policy (as Peters made clear by mocking Bush's words about the supposed great peril of listening to Bush's words, only to have Granma print them verbatim).

Anon 3 - You have an interesting view of censorship.

Anonymous said...

Toady...er, leftside, why don't you write a book, call it "Cuba: The Myth of Dictatorship," and let the marketplace render its judgment on your arguments....

Anonymous said...

What I wanna know is why Val Prieto just doesn't use his real name over here when he posts. The misspellings and the reference to Sicko has that gasbag's signature all over it. What is he so damned ashamed of?

Phil Peters said...

Anon from 2:54, I have my hands full enough writing without spending time censoring or kicking people out of here. I have deleted comments in very few cases where comments were way out of bounds, or when they were spam. More important than all that, I don't mind seeing opinions way over to one side or the other. In fact I like it.

Anonymous said...

Guys just ignore leftside's comments since he is a socislist from Chiocago who gets his ideas and clues from Chomsky. What else can he say? According to him Cuban youths have unlimited Internet access, love the revolution and are very happy. And he would love the USa to be just like Cuba. Except he will never move to the Cuba he so much admires because he is what is known as a "caviar revolutionary" happy to prasie and sing loas to a regime he will never be able to live under. This regime is good enough for the ignorant and Third World Cubans but not good enough for him to live there. People like this type of commenters should be dealt swiftly with the best weapons available in our arsenal: ignoring them.

leftside said...

All I want is America to be free of homelessness, to have free and universal health care, to have equal educational opportunities, to have art and culture be nurtured, to have good jobs for everyone, to alleviate hunger and need... to achieve true social and economic justice. That Cuba has done quite a bit in these areas is why I am interested in it. However the Cuban historic and experience is rightly unique and different than everywhere else.