Tags: Bush | Maintain | Hard | Line | Cuba

Bush To Maintain Hard Line on Cuba

Monday, 20 May 2002 12:00 AM

Bush's speech comes a few days after former President Jimmy Carter completed a historic week-long visit to Cuba.

Bush is expected to stick to his previous hard-line stance against the government of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Some aides say he hopes to slow the growing momentum to ease the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba.

"The president believes that the trade embargo is a vital part of America's foreign policy and human rights policy toward Cuba, because trade with Cuba does not benefit the people of Cuba, it's used to prop up a repressive regime," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said last week.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,R-Fla., a Cuban exile, will be among those on hand when Bush visits Miami, and she expects the president to approach the Cuban issue in a completely different manner from Carter. Carter favors stronger economic ties between the two countries.

She told CNSNews.com the president will announce what she called a "three-pronged policy" on Cuba.

That policy, according to Ros-Lehtinen, includes, "continued support for travel restrictions and economic sanctions against the [Castro] regime and not the Cuban people."

She also expects Bush to announce increased aid for dissident groups and improved broadcasts of news and information to the Cuban people.

"I think we will see a stark contrast between President Carter's approach to solving the Cuba problem and President Bush's. But President Carter was clear when he said the [economic] embargo is not the problem. Yes, he wants to lift the embargo, but he had in no way excused Fidel Castro from the problems of his police state," she said.

Ros-Lehtinen doubts Carter's trip will change many minds in the House either against or for lifting the economic embargo against Cuba.

"Carter's not a real player in the congressional arena. He wants to remain a formidable player on the world stage, as does Castro. So we are looking at two fading stars who still want to appear to be viable players," said Ros-Lehtinen.

She thinks House members who want to lift the embargo won't get much cooperation from the Bush administration.

"They are running against a brick wall and that brick wall is President George W. Bush, who has said that he will not lift any restrictions whatsoever on the current embargo unless three conditions are met," she said.

Those conditions are "freedom for political prisoners, free and democratic multi-party elections and free expression of ideas," she said. "Why should we lift all of our sanctions against Castro without any concessions at all on his part? It will not help the Cuban people get any closer to democracy than they are now."

However, Ros-Lehtinen's Arizona Republican colleague, Rep. Jeff Flake, thinks the economic embargo should be lifted.

"After 40 years of not selling American agriculture products to Cuba, Castro's grip on the island has not loosened one bit. Capitalism works, and the best way to prove that to Cubans is to open up our markets to them," said Flake.

Flake, a frequent critic of U.S.-Cuba policy, also believes that the quickest way to bring about democratic reforms and human rights improvements in Cuba is through engagement and free trade.

Copyright

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
Bush's speech comes a few days after former President Jimmy Carter completed a historic week-long visit to Cuba. Bush is expected to stick to his previous hard-line stance against the government of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Some aides say he hopes to slow the growing...
Bush,Maintain,Hard,Line,Cuba
525
2002-00-20
Monday, 20 May 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved