January 16-17, 2002: Title III of Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act

President George W. Bush sent the following letter on Title III of Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, House Committee on International Relations, and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on January 16, 2002.

January 16, 2002

Dear Mr. Chairman: (Dear Representative:) (Dear Senator:)

Pursuant to section 306(c)(2) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-114), (the “Act”), I hereby determine and report to the Congress that suspension for 6 months beyond February 1, 2002, of the right to bring an action under title III of the Act is necessary to the national interests of the United States and will expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH

The White House published the following fact sheet on Title III of Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act on January 17, 2002.

Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (libertad) Allows U.S. Nationals That Own Claims to Confiscated Property in Cuba to file suit in U.S. courts against those who traffic in such property.

  • The title includes waiver authority, if the President determines that a suspension of this provision is necessary to the national interests of the United States and will expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba. The waiver must be renewed every six months for the suspension to remain effective.
  • Using this authority, the President has suspended application of Title III for an additional six months, effective February 1, 2002. He has reported his determination to the appropriate congressional committees.

Basic Policy Commitments

  • The President remains firmly and fully committed to encouraging a rapid, peaceful transition to a democratic government characterized by strong support for human rights and an open market economy.
  • The President likewise remains committed to the use of the embargo and travel restrictions to encourage a rapid transition. As he indicated last July, the administration will oppose any effort to loosen sanctions against the Cuban regime until it frees political prisoners, holds democratic, free elections and allows for free speech.
  • The Cuban regime is a repressive, totalitarian anachronism in a region where democracy and open markets prevail. Its leaders continue to carry out misguided and failed policies which have deeply damaged the Cuban people and left its economy in ruins.
  • The Cuban government also properly remains on the Terrorist List, due to its continued support for terrorism, including the fact that it continues to harbor fugitives from justice in the United States wanted for terrorism-related offenses.

Increasing Outreach to the Cuban People

  • The President is determined to encourage and deepen our outreach to the Cuban people, especially those brave and independent activists for democracy and human rights.
  • In order to move toward this goal, the U.S. Government has increased the resources available to support civil society development and information exchange in Cuba. Despite obstacles created by the Cuban regime, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana has expanded its outreach to the Cuban people in innovative ways.
  • A big part of this effort is a major increase in public diplomacy on-island, so that more Cubans have more accurate and broader information about the world around them. Independent journalists, libraries, and Non-governmental organizations are the beneficiaries of these efforts.
  • The President has also committed to increasing the listenership of Radio Marti and the viewership of TV Marti in Cuba. Radio Marti in particular has an increasingly popular product and appears to be making real gains in terms of its audience.
  • We will be exploring new ways, including the use of cutting-edge technology, to increase the Cuban people’s access to Radio and TV Marti.

Policy Review

  • The recent appointment of Otto Reich as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs completes the President’s foreign policy team. With it, a full review of the tools we are using to achieve our policy goal in Cuba is now appropriate.


Categories: History, Speeches and Documents

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