For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 26, 2004
Expanding the Scope of the National Emergency and Invocation of Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels Into Cuban Territorial Waters
By the President of the United States of America
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in order to expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Proclamation 6867 of March 1, 1996, based on the disturbance or threatened disturbance of the international relations of the United States caused by actions taken by the Cuban government, and in light of steps taken over the past year by the Cuban government to worsen the threat to United States international relations, and,
WHEREAS the United States has determined that Cuba is a state-sponsor of terrorism and it is subject to the restrictions of section 6(j)(1)(A) of the Export Administration Act of 1979, section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act;
WHEREAS the Cuban government has demonstrated a ready and reckless willingness to use excessive force, including deadly force, against U.S. citizens, in the ostensible enforcement of its sovereignty, including the February 1996 shoot-down of two unarmed U.S.-registered civilian aircraft in international airspace, resulting in the deaths of three American citizens and one other individual;
WHEREAS the Cuban government has demonstrated a ready and reckless willingness to use excessive force, including deadly force, against U.S. citizens and its own citizens, including on July 13, 1995, when persons in U.S.-registered vessels that entered into Cuban territorial waters suffered injury as a result of the reckless use of force against them by the Cuban military, and including the July 1994 sinking of an unarmed Cuban-registered vessel, resulting in the deaths of 41 Cuban citizens;
WHEREAS the Cuban government has impounded U.S.-registered vessels in Cuban ports and forced the owners, as a condition of release, to violate U.S. law by requiring payments to be made to the Cuban government;
WHEREAS the entry of any U.S.-registered vessels into Cuban territorial waters could result in injury to, or loss of life of, persons engaged in that conduct, due to the potential use of excessive force, including deadly force, against them by the Cuban military, and could threaten a disturbance of international relations;
WHEREAS the unauthorized entry of vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States into Cuban territorial waters is in violation of U.S. law and contrary to U.S. policy;
WHEREAS the objectives of U.S. policy regarding Cuba are the end of the dictatorship and a rapid, peaceful transition to a representative democracy respectful of human rights and characterized by an open market economic system;
WHEREAS a critical initiative by the United States to advance these U.S. objectives is to deny resources to the repressive Cuban government, resources that may be used by that government to support terrorist activities and carry out excessive use of force against innocent victims, including U.S. citizens;
WHEREAS the unauthorized entry of U.S.-registered vessels into Cuban territorial waters is detrimental to the foreign policy of the United States, which is to deny monetary and material support to the repressive Cuban government, and, therefore, such unauthorized entries threaten to disturb the international relations of the United States by facilitating the Cuban government's support of terrorism, use of excessive force, and continued existence;
WHEREAS the Cuban government has over the course of its 45-year existence repeatedly used violence and the threat of violence to undermine U.S. policy interests. This same regime continues in power today, and has since 1959 maintained a pattern of hostile actions contrary to U.S. policy interests. Among other things, the Cuban government established a military alliance with the Soviet Union, and invited Soviet forces to install nuclear missiles in Cuba capable of attacking the United States, and encouraged Soviet authorities to use those weapons against the United States; it engaged in military adventurism in Africa; and it helped to form and provide material and political support to terrorist organizations that sought the violent overthrow of democratically elected governments in Central America and elsewhere in the hemisphere allied with the United States, thereby causing repeated disturbances of U.S. international relations;
WHEREAS the Cuban government has recently and over the last year taken a series of steps to destabilize relations with the United States, including threatening to abrogate the Migration Accords with the United States and to close the U.S. Interests Section, and Cuba's most senior officials repeatedly asserting that the United States intended to invade Cuba, despite explicit denials from the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense that such action is planned, thereby causing a sudden and worsening disturbance of U.S. international relations;
WHEREAS U.S. concerns about these unforeseen Cuban government actions that threaten to disturb international relations were sufficiently grave that on May 8, 2003, the United States warned the Cuban government that political manipulations that resulted in a mass migration would be viewed as a "hostile act;"
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of title II of Public Law 65-24, ch. 30, June 15, 1917, as amended (50 U.S.C. 191), sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, in order to expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Proclamation 6867 of March 1, 1996, and to secure the observance of the rights and obligations of the United States, hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of Homeland Security (the "Secretary") to make and issue such rules and regulations as the Secretary may find appropriate to regulate the anchorage and movement of vessels, and authorize and approve the Secretary's issuance of such rules and regulations, as authorized by the Act of June 15, 1917.
Section 1. The Secretary may make rules and regulations governing the anchorage and movement of any vessel, foreign or domestic, in the territorial waters of the United States, which may be used, or is susceptible of being used, for voyage into Cuban territorial waters and that may create unsafe conditions, or result in unauthorized transactions, and thereby threaten a disturbance of international relations. Any rule or regulation issued pursuant to this proclamation may be effective immediately upon issuance as such rule or regulation shall involve a foreign affairs function of the United States.
Sec. 2. The Secretary is authorized to inspect any vessel, foreign or domestic, in the territorial waters of the United States, at any time; to place guards on any such vessel; and, with my consent expressly hereby granted, take full possession and control of any such vessel and remove the officers and crew and all other persons not specifically authorized by the Secretary to go or remain on board the vessel when necessary to secure the rights and obligations of the United States.
Sec. 3. The Secretary may request assistance from such departments, agencies, officers, or instrumentalities of the United States as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this proclamation. Such departments, agencies, officers, or instrumentalities shall, consistent with other provisions of law and to the extent practicable, provide requested assistance.
Sec. 4. The Secretary may seek assistance from State and local authorities in carrying out the purposes of this proclamation. Because State and local assistance may be essential for an effective response to this emergency, I urge all State and local officials to cooperate with Federal authorities and to take all actions within their lawful authority necessary to prevent the unauthorized departure of vessels intending to enter Cuban territorial waters.
Sec. 5. All powers and authorities delegated by this proclamation to the Secretary may be delegated by the Secretary to other officers and agents of the United States Government unless otherwise prohibited by law.
Sec. 6. Any provisions of Proclamation 6867 that are inconsistent with the provisions of this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.
Sec. 7. This proclamation shall be immediately transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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