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Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer, June 10, 2003 (Full Transcript)

QUESTION: Ari, yesterday in Chile Secretary Powell made a call to all the leaders of the Western Hemisphere to support the U.S. on the way to the democratization of Cuba. How do United States wants to get the other countries to help in the situation in Cuba when at the OAS, the countries of the Western Hemisphere reject a proposition by the United States to condemn the situation with human rights in Cuba?

MR. FLEISCHER: There's no question the United States has strong views about what's happening in Cuba because this President has strong views about the protection of human rights, and about treating people with dignity. And Fidel Castro is one of the worst human rights violators on the globe. You can take a look at his recent actions and the recent arrests of some of the human rights leaders in Cuba, to see his most recent egregious actions.

QUESTION: Do you think there is some hypocrisy on the side of the countries of Latin America rejecting -- to condemn the situation on human rights, and at the same time, calling for the democratization of Cuba?

MR. FLEISCHER: I think Secretary Powell is in the region for important meetings to talk about this, as well as a number of other topics. And he's working closely in a constructive fashion with those countries.

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