US President George W Bush reminded supporters today that he supported a “free Cuba” without Fidel Castro in power, as he made his first reelection stop in Florida, a key state in the 2004 contest.
“We believe in a free Cuba,” Bush told a cheering audience at retirement home in the heavily Cuban neighbourhood of “Little Havana”.
“Under the current leadership in Cuba, there will never be freedom,” the president said.
“One thing we believe in in America is freedom, for everybody. We love it for the people of Cuba, we love it for the people of Iraq, we love it for the people of Afghanistan.”
Heavily populated Florida, which was ground zero for the conflict over the 2000 presidential contest, will also have considerable political weight when the US leader faces reelection in November 2004.
Bush also paid tribute to his younger brother, Jeb Bush, who governs the state, referring to him in Spanish as “el gobernador” and calling him “mi grande hermanito” (my big little brother) in reference to their relative heights.