[Marxism] Kerry: Bush is too soft on Cuba
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed May 12 06:50:08 MDT 2004
May 11, 2004
U.S. Seeks to Subvert Succession in Cuba
By George Gedda
Washington - Cuban President Fidel Castro (news - web sites) usually
offers an inviting target during U.S. presidential election campaigns.
President Bush (news - web sites), accused by some in his party of not
doing enough to confront Castro, offered them on Thursday what amounts
to a policy of regime change in Cuba.
"We're not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom, we are working for the
day of freedom in Cuba," Bush told reporters.
A presidential commission recommended that the United States subvert the
planned succession in Cuba under which power would pass from Castro to
his younger brother, Raul.
Although Bush did not address that issue directly, an aide said the
president generally accepts the commission's proposals.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) said
Bush was playing election-year politics.
"Four years after candidate Bush came to Florida and promised
Cuban-Americans the moon, all they've gotten from this president is lip
service and broken promises," Kerry said in a statement.
Kerry pledged that, as president, he would fight full time for freedom
and democracy on the island.
Bush has taken some steps to demonstrate his deep disregard for the
Cuban leader, who turns 78 in August. But his comments Thursday seemed
to add a new dimension to his belligerence.
Cuban-American Republican members of Congress said they were pleased.
Five senators, including two Republicans, were not.
"Opening America's doors to Cuba - and challenging Cuba to open its
doors to the rest of the world - will be an act of strength and
magnanimity," they said in a letter to Bush.
The commission, headed by Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web
sites), said the United States "rejects the continuation of a communist
dictatorship" on the island.
The commission recommended measures in its report "to focus pressure and
attention on the ruling elite so that a succession by this elite or any
one of its individuals is seen as what it would be: an impediment to a
democratic and free Cuba."
The 500-page report was made public after Bush discussed it with
commission members at the White House.
A White House fact sheet listed several immediate actions ordered by
Bush based on the report. He restricted family visits by Cuban-Americans
to once every three years instead of the current one-per-year. He
retained the $1,200-a-year limit on dollar transfers that Cuban-American
families can send to the island.
He also restricted remittances and gift parcels to immediate family
members. Recipients could not include "certain Cuban officials and
Communist Party members."
Also, the authorized per diem amount for a family visit was lowered to
$50, compared with $164 now.
It was unclear how these restrictions would be enforced.
The plan under which Defense Minister Raul Castro would succeed his
brother has been in place for years.
Fidel Castro is president of the council of state and of the council of
ministers. Raul, who will turn 73 in June, is the first vice president
of both councils.
"The Castro dictatorship is pursuing every means at its disposal to
survive and perpetuate itself through a 'succession strategy' from Fidel
Castro to Raul Castro and beyond," the commission said.
It was uncertain whether the question of subverting the succession plan
is addressed in more detail in a classified section of the report.
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