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President George W. Bush salutes navy personnel aboard the USS Enterprise in Norfolk, Va., on the 60th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack Dec. 7, 2001. "Today we take special pride that one of our former enemies is now among America's finest friends," said the President. "We're grateful to our ally, Japan, and to its good people. Today our two Navies are working side by side in the fight against terror."
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 Home > News & Policies > April 2003
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 18, 2003

Statement by the Deputy Press Secretary

April 17, 2003


United Nations Sanctions Cuba for Human Rights Violations

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has once again voted to express its concern about the appalling human rights violations by the Cuban Government against its own people. The Commission also defeated a Cuban attempt to criticize the U.S. efforts to support human rights in Cuba. President Bush welcomes the leadership of the Latin America democracies in highlighting these abuses by the only dictatorship of the region. The Commission has sent the right signal to courageous Cubans who struggle daily to gain their basic political and civil freedoms. We remain gravely concerned about the fate of scores of Cuban citizens who have been unfairly arrested, tried and sentenced for the crimes of speaking their minds, holding discussions, and seeking an alternative to 44 years of repression and fear.

We will work with friends and allies to find new ways to effect a peaceful democratic transition in Cuba. We join the United States Congress, the European Union, the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, and others around the world in condemning the Castro regime for its callous disregard for due process and basic human rights. We also call upon the member states of the United Nations to deny Cuba a seat on the Human Rights Commission next year. No country should be allowed to sit on the Human Rights Commission if it purposely and consistently undermines the spirit and purpose of the Commission.

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