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"In all that lies ahead, the Cuban people will have a constant friend in the United States of America. No tyrant can stand forever against the power of liberty - because the hope of freedom is found in every heart."

President George W. Bush, October 10, 2003

President George W. Bush discusses America's policies regarding Cuba as Secretary of State Colin Powell, left, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez stand by his side in the Rose Garden Friday, Oct. 10, 2003. White House photo by Tina Hager

On October 10, 2003 the President announced three initiatives intended to assist the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom and to prepare the U.S. government for the emergence of a free and democratic Cuba.

The President also underscored his commitment to breaking the information blockade imposed on the Cuban people by the regime. He noted recent developments, such as satellite transmissions, that are helping to bring more broadcasts to more Cuban households.

Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba

Commission is co-chaired by Secretaries Powell and Martinez and comprised of U.S. executive branch agency representatives. Commission will help prepare the U.S. government to provide effective assistance to a free Cuba. The Commission will consider the elements of a comprehensive program to assist the Cuban people to establish democracy and the rule of law, create the core institutions of free enterprise, modernize infrastructure, and provide health, housing, and human services. Greater Enforcement of Travel Restrictions

Greater enforcement of travel restrictions will make more certain that permitted travel for Americans (like family visits, humanitarian aid, research) is not abused and used as cover for illegal business travel, to skirt restrictions on carrying cash into Cuba, or tourism. Violations of restrictions serve only to funnel funds to the dictator and his repressive regime. Enforcement agencies will increase inspections of travelers and shipments to and from Cuba and target those who illegally travel to Cuba via third countries or on private vessels. Immigration

Improving our ability to identify and protect those who face persecution in Cuba and provide them the opportunity to come to the United States safely. Goal is to see that no Cuban finds it necessary to risk his or her life on the high seas to come to the United States. Will increase the number of new migrants admitted from Cuba through a safe, legal, and orderly process. Will undertake a public diplomacy campaign in the U.S. and Cuba to better inform Cubans about safe and legal migration options.

October 10, 2003
President Bush Discusses Cuba Policy in Rose Garden Speech
September 10, 2003
Trafficking Victims Protection Act
July 18, 2003
Captive Nations Week, 2003
July 17, 2003
President's Statement on Celia Cruz
June 26, 2003
United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
May 20, 2003
President's Cuban Independence Day Message
May 20, 2002
President Bush Announces Initiative for a New Cuba
April 17, 2003
United Nations Sanctions Cuba for Human Rights Violations
March 26, 2003
President Bush Condemns Castro Government Crackdown
January 9, 2003
President Appoints Reich as Special Envoy

Briefing Excerpt 10/10/03
Briefing Excerpt 9/10/03
Briefing Excerpt 8/1/03
Briefing Excerpt 7/25/03
Briefing Excerpt 6/10/03
Briefing Excerpt 4/29/03
Briefing Excerpt 4/17/03
Briefing Excerpt 4/10/03
Briefing Excerpt 4/9/03

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