Renewed Pressure

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Further Attempts to Undermine the Cuban Government

The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, passed by the U.S. Congress, set certain criteria for normalizing trade with Cuba. It required fundamental change in Cuba and the creation of a transition government as well as the following:

the relapse of all political prisoners and access to Cuban prisons by appropriate international humanitarian organizations
respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory nation;
establishing an independent judiciary
dissolving the present Department of State Security in the Cuban Ministry of the Interior
allowing the establishment of independent trade unions and independent social, economic, and political associations
making public commitments to organizing free and fair elections for a new government to be held in a timely manner and with the participation of multiple independent political parties that have full access to the media on an equal basis

The President's report to Congress suggests the sum of four to eight billion dollars to set up a "modern" judiciary and a "democratic" legislature, to rebuild the infrastructure and to reestablish trade on the conditions that the above criteria are met. Moreover, the Cuban people must get rid of their leaders and make "democratic market reforms."

A foreign policy spokesman for the U. S. government, Michael Ranneberger, assures that there are no plans for the US to engage Cuba militarily. He has said, "I want to stress that the United States does not support violence as a means of achieving political change, and does not support organizations that advocate violence." He reiterated that the goal of the U.S. government is to promote a peaceful transition to democracy and respect for human rights, thus there is no known forced occupation or invasion since the Bay of Pigs.

It is important to note that there is a U.S. Naval base situated on Cuban soil. The U.S. secured the base after signing a peace accord with Spain following the Mexican American War. The U.S. government dictated the specifics of the Cuban Constitution, making Cuba a protectorate of the U.S. and granting the U.S. a naval base in the south-eastern corner of mainland Cuba on Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. maintains control over the 30 square mile base and asserts that existing treaties give it unilateral rights to the land. Castro has steered clear of an all out confrontation on the issue, fearing that the U.S. would use any aggressive act toward the base as a pretext for invading Cuba.
Supporting Links:
Alleged US Supported Human Rights Abuses against the Cuban People
Pastors for Peace comment on democracy in Cuba
Are assassination attempts of government leaders still a part of U.S. policy?

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