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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2003

Statement by the Press Secretary
Castro Government Cracks Down On
Pro-Democracy and Human Rights Activists

President Bush condemns the Castro government's intensified repression of Cuba's growing pro-democracy and human rights activists. Over the past days, the Cuban government has jailed over 75 of these activists throughout the country. We call upon the Castro government to release immediately Marta Beatriz Roque, Rene Gomez Manzano, Felix Bonne, Oscar Elias Biscet, and all other unjustly imprisoned dissidents. Arrest of these dissidents comes on the heels of recent personal attacks by the Cuban government against our diplomats in Havana. As our senior diplomat in Havana, James Cason, has commented, "Sadly the Cuban government is afraid, afraid of freedom of conscience, afraid of freedom of expression, afraid of human rights...."

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