The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 26, 2004

Message to the Congress of the United States

Pursuant to section 1 of title I of Public Law 65-24, ch. 30, 50 U.S.C. 191, and sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq., I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority to continue the national emergency declared in Proclamation 6867 of March 1, 1996, in response to the Cuban government's destruction of two unarmed U.S.-registered civilian aircraft in international airspace north of Cuba. Additionally, I have exercised my authority to expand the scope of the national emergency as, over the last year, the Cuban government, which is a designated state-sponsor of terrorism, has 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. This conduct has caused a sudden and worsening disturbance of U.S. international relations.

In my proclamation (copy attached), I have authorized and directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to make and issue such rules and regulations that the Secretary may find appropriate to prevent unauthorized U.S. vessels from entering Cuban territorial waters.

I have authorized these rules and regulations as a result of the Cuban government's demonstrated willingness to use reckless force, including deadly force, in the ostensible enforcement of its sovereignty. I have also authorized these rules and regulations in an effort to deny resources to the repressive Cuban government 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 and other persons residing in the United States, and threaten a disturbance of international relations. Accordingly, I have continued and expanded the national emergency in response to these threats.

February 26, 2004.

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