Tags: Carter | Meets | Cuban | Dissidents

Carter Meets Cuban Dissidents

Thursday, 16 May 2002 12:00 AM

Among those who met with Carter were Vladimiro Roca, released from prison earlier this month after serving nearly five years for circulating a pro-freedom pamphlet.

Carter also met for the second time with supporters of Project Varela, a petition effort to get republican and human rights reforms in front of the citizens for a vote.

Carter plans to return home to Atlanta at midday Friday after six days in the communist nation.

Carter is traveling as a private citizen, but his visit to the communist nation is viewed as the highest-level U.S. visit to Cuba since dictator Fidel Castro took control in 1959.

The buzz over Carter's call for freedom and human rights in Cuba and an end to the U.S. trade embargo was extended in Miami's exile community by the release of a poll that showed that the embargo still has their support, although it is not as sweeping as it once was.

The poll of 800 Cuban-Americans in south Florida generally showed a softening of attitudes in regard to U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Sixty-one percent supported keeping the embargo, but the exiles polled were almost evenly divided on whether it has worked, and 52 percent thought it should not be the primary device to promote freedom in Cuba.

The poll was conducted by Bendixen and Associates in April for the Cuban Study Group, an informal organization of more than a dozen wealthy Cuban exiles.

Forty-six percent favored dropping travel restrictions to Cuba and 47 percent did not, a tie when the 3 percent margin of error is considered. President Bush is planning to visit Miami on Cuban Independence Day Monday, and is expected to announce a tougher stance on Cuban policy, possibly tightening embargo and travel restrictions.

The White House rejected Carter's calls and said it would not loosen its policies.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Among those who met with Carter were Vladimiro Roca, released from prison earlier this month after serving nearly five years for circulating a pro-freedom pamphlet. Carter also met for the second time with supporters of Project Varela, a petition effort to get republican...
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2002-00-16
Thursday, 16 May 2002 12:00 AM
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