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COMMISSION FOR ASSISTANCE TO A FREE CUBA
REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT - JUNE 2006

CONDOLEEZZA RICE
SECRETARY OF STATE, CHAIR

CARLOS GUTIERREZ
SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, CO-CHAIR


TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1: HASTENING THE END OF THE CASTRO DICTATORSHIP:
TRANSITION NOT SUCCESSION

  I. Introduction
II. Determinations
III. Empowering the Cuban People
IV. Breaking the Regime’s Information Blockade
  V. Undermining the Regime’s Succession Strategy
VI. Denying Revenue to the Castro Regime

CHAPTER 2: HELPING CUBANS RESPOND TO CRITICAL HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL NEEDS

  I. Introduction
II. Water and Sanitation
III. Health-Care and Nutrition
IV. Food Security
  V. Shelter
VI. Protection of the Most Vulnerable Populations
VII. Educational Systems

CHAPTER 3: HELPING CUBANS GET TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS

  I. Introduction
II. Release of Political Prisoners
III. Eliminating Legal Obstacles to Freedom of Speech,
    Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Political Association
IV. Preparing For Competitive Multi-Party Elections And Democratic Process
  V. Support a Free and Independent Media
VI. Support For Free And Fair Election Administration
VII. Support For Professional, Institutional Military

CHAPTER 4: HELPING CUBANS CREATE MARKET-BASED ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

  I. Introduction
  II. Macroeconomic Stability
III. Integration with the International Trade and Financial System
  IV. Encourage Small Business Development
  V. Ensuring Labor Rights are Respected
  VI. Property Rights and Confiscated Property
VII. Agriculture
VIII. Infrastructure
IX. Issues for a Free Cuba

CHAPTER 5: THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

  I. Engaging the International Community in Helping Cubans Respond to
    Critical Humanitarian and Social Needs

II. Engaging the International Community in Helping Cubans Get to
    Free and Fair Elections

III. Engaging the International Community in Helping Cubans Create
    Market-Based Economic Opportunities

CHAPTER 6: THE VITAL ROLE OF CUBANS ABROAD

  I. Helping Cubans Respond to Humanitarian and Social Needs
II. Helping Cubans Get to Free and Fair Elections
III. Helping Cubans Create Market-Based Economic Opportunities

CHAPTER 7: PREPARING NOW TO SUPPORT THE TRANSITION

  I. Essential Steps to Take Now

II. Steps to Take Now to Prepare to Help Cubans Respond to Critical
    Humanitarian and Social Needs

III. Steps to Take Now to Prepare to Help Cubans Get to Free and Fair
    Elections

IV. Steps to Take Now to Prepare to Help Cubans Create Market-Based
    Economic Opportunities

V. Additional Recommended Action

                      ***

HASTENING CHANGE IN CUBA: TRANSITION, NOT SUCCESSION

Since the publication of the 2004 Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba
(CAFC) report, there have been important changes both on and off the island
that the Commission has weighed in making this new set of recommendations.
Today, we see in Cuba a more active civil society, one energized by a
growing sense of what is possible. At the same time, there are clear signs
the regime is using money provided by the Chavez government in Venezuela to
reactivate its networks in the hemisphere to subvert democratic governments.
The Castro regime’s international meddling is done at the expense of the
needs of the Cuban people. There is a growing sense of frustration among
ordinary Cubans with a dictatorship that asks them to sacrifice, but expends
considerable resources in the far flung reaches of the hemisphere and
beyond.

Cubans continue to be imprisoned for activities that Americans take for
granted each and every day: reading and viewing what they wish; accessing
information from the outside world, including the Internet; meeting in their
homes to discuss the future of their country; running a lending library; or
conducting petition drives. Despite the savage campaign against them by the
regime, the Cuban people are losing their fear and continue to risk life,
limb, livelihood, and imprisonment in search of a better future for their
families and their nation.

The Commission’s recommendations to hasten democratic change in Cuba reflect
recognition of the leadership and bravery of the Cuban people. They also
reflect the Commission’s view that the United States and other friends of
democracy should acknowledge and honor the courage of Cuban democracy
activists by supporting their efforts to recapture their sovereignty for
their fellow Cubans.

Yet at the same time that we see hope and growth in Cuban civil society,
Fidel Castro and his inner circle have begun a gradual but intrinsically
unstable process of succession. The regime is unquestionably attempting to
insulate itself from the consequences of Fidel Castro’s incapacitation,
death, or ouster. The regime continues to harden its edges and is feverishly
working to forestall any opportunity for a genuine democratic transition on
the island.

The current regime in Havana is working with like-minded governments,
particularly Venezuela, to build a network of political and financial
support designed to forestall any external pressure to change. This state of
affairs highlights the urgency of working today to ensure that the Cuban
transition is genuine and that the Castro regime’s succession strategy does
not succeed.

It is against this back-drop that the Commission for Assistance to a Free
Cuba again assembles and looks at the question of how to help the Cuban
people hasten and ensure a genuine democratic transition on the island. This
is a time for bold, decisive action and clarity of message.

Recommendations to hasten the end of the Castro dictatorship include:
measures to empower the Cuban people to prepare for change by strengthening
support to civil society; breaking the regime’s information blockade; a
diplomatic strategy to undermine the regime’s succession strategy by
supporting the Cuban people’s right to determine their future; and measures
to deny revenue to the Castro regime that is used to strengthen its
repressive security apparatus and to bolster the regime against pressure for
change.

HELPING CUBANS RESPOND TO CRITICAL HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL NEEDS

The Castro regime is failing to address even the most basic humanitarian
needs of the Cuban people. Chronic malnutrition, polluted drinking water,
and untreated chronic diseases continue to affect a significant percentage
of the Cuban people. Conditions will not improve as long as Fidel Castro
remains in power.

With the end of the Castro regime, however, the Cuban Transition Government
will face daunting challenges as it begins to address the basic human needs
of the Cuban people. The Cuban people will expect rapid and effective action
by this new government.

The U.S. Government stands ready to help the Cuban Transition Government
begin to address the immediate water, sanitation, health, food, shelter and
education needs of the Cuban people. Helping the Cuban Transition Government
meet these basic needs is essential to a rapid and successful transition
period, the establishment of the new government’s credibility, and timely
democratic elections.

By providing assistance in these areas, the U.S. Government can help the
Cuban Transition Government guarantee political freedom, economic
opportunity, and hold free and fair multiparty elections.

HELPING CUBANS GET TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS

Cubans have the right to see their sovereign will expressed through free and
fair, multiparty elections. The transition to an open environment, free of
intimidation and other impediments, and sufficiently in advance of elections
to meet international standards, implies that a Cuban Transition Government
will need certain types of assistance from the international community. The
United States should be prepared to respond. U.S. preparations should be
structured to provide assistance bilaterally but should also focus on
building an international consensus for assistance focused around supporting
the process of rebuilding democracy in Cuba.

A Cuban Transition Government cannot be expected to rectify, in a few
months, the consequences of decades of dictatorship. Accordingly, the U.S.
should encourage the Cuban Transition Government to focus on those steps
that will allow the election of a truly democratic, representative
government that can take on that historic challenge.

The principal purpose of any U.S. assistance should be to help Cubans create
a stable, open environment where free and fair elections can take place.
U.S. assistance should be offered to help Cubans overcome obstacles to
democratic elections and move rapidly to create an environment conducive to
free and fair multiparty elections.

If requested by a new Cuban government, U.S. assistance could be made
available to help in the release of political prisoners; eliminating
obstacles to free speech, a free press, and freedom of association;
preparing for competitive multi-party elections; in establishing a free and
fair election administration; and in preparing the Cuban military forces to
adjust to an appropriate role in a democracy.

HELPING CUBANS CREATE MARKET-BASED ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

The economic potential of the Cuban people has for too long been suppressed,
held hostage to a failed economic model that sustains the regime but does
nothing to bring prosperity to the people of Cuba. A Cuban Transition
Government will face significant pressure to take quick action to increase
economic opportunities and give the Cuban people hope for an economic stake
in the new system. Quick and visible economic progress will give important
legitimacy to the Cuban Transition Government.

A Cuban Transition Government will face critical issues ranging from
stabilizing the Cuban macroeconomic condition to creating a microeconomic
framework that will allow private enterprise to grow. It will confront a
long history of poor labor relations and demands to respect the rights of
workers to form unions and bargain collectively. It will need to ensure that
its critical infrastructure is not only adequately functioning, but on the
road to recovery and keeping pace with the demands of a growing, free
economy.

In addition, other actors, including Cubans abroad, the international
community, and the U.S. Government, will have an important role to play in
responding to requests from the Cuban Transition Government for support and
advice. We need to prepare now to maximize the benefit each of these actors
can bring to the table at a key moment in Cuban history.

Should a Cuban Transition Government request United States assistance in its
economic transition, the U.S. Government can provide help in establishing
macroeconomic stability; reintegrating Cuba to the international trade and
financial systems; encouraging small business development; ensuring labor
rights are respected; stabilizing existing Cuban agricultural capability and
local markets; and improving broad-based access to and accountability for
sustainable essential infrastructure.

THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

The international community will be instrumental in assisting a Cuban
Transition Government that guarantees political freedom, economic
opportunity and holds free and fair elections. Support from the
international community will also help accelerate Cuba’s reintegration into
the world economy, bring useful experiences to bear from other countries
that have succeeded in transitions, and ease the humanitarian and financial
burden on the Cuban Transition Government. The United States and its
neighbors have committed to representative democracy as the standard for the
Inter-American system and have an obligation under the Inter-American
Democratic Charter to support and defend democracy and all that it
represents. These commitments will guide our approach to a transitional
Cuba.

If the Cuban Transition Government requests help, the U.S. Government will
work with international organizations, bilateral donors and international
and assistance organizations to ensure coordinated and complimentary
assistance in helping Cubans create market-based economic opportunities;
respond to critical humanitarian and social needs; conduct free and fair
elections; and, in helping prepare Cuba’s military forces to adjust to an
appropriate role in a democracy.

THE VITAL ROLE OF CUBANS ABROAD

As part of a broader effort by the international community, Cubans around
the world can play a crucial role in providing assistance in all of the
areas covered by this report to secure the success of the transition to a
Free Cuba. Cubans living abroad can provide much needed resources in the
form of information, research and know-how, as well as material support,
remittances, loans and investment capital. Reconciling and reuniting the
Cuban family in freedom will also be essential to the successful, rapid
return of sovereignty to the Cuban people.

The Commission strongly believes that the Cuban community abroad should
re-double their efforts to foster reconciliation on and off the island and
to undertake steps now to organize and prepare to assist a Transition
Government in Cuba. In addition, the U.S. Government should work with the
Cuban community to ensure that their support to the transition, and the
planning for it, is coordinated in a way that is consistent with overall
reconstruction efforts.

PREPARING NOW TO SUPPORT THE TRANSITION

With this report, the Commission continues an ongoing planning and
coordination process to hasten democracy in Cuba and institutionalizes
ongoing planning to support, if requested, a Cuban Transition Government
that guarantees political freedom, economic opportunity, and holds free and
fair multiparty elections.

This is an ongoing process to accompany Cubans in their transition to
freedom. We will need to update and adapt our preparations to keep pace with
Cubans themselves. This will ensure that, when asked, we will be able to
offer appropriate support that meets needs identified by Cubans.

The U.S. Government will need to be prepared well in advance to help in the
event assistance is requested by the Cuban Transition Government. U.S.
preparations should be structured so that assistance can be offered
immediately to the Cuban Transition Government bilaterally as necessary and
then folded into a broader international effort as that develops.

In establishing a strong foundation on which to build, the first six months
of any requested U.S. assistance program is of paramount importance. This
critical 180-day period could mean the difference between a successful
transition and the stumbles and missteps that slowed other states as they
moved toward democracy.

In addition to the steps recommended by the Commission to help hasten the
transition, several steps can be taken to ensure broad-based involvement of
the U.S. Government, international partners and organizations, as well as
our own civil society and private sector. The Commission makes a number of
practical recommendations that the United States can implement today in
preparation for the inevitable transition. These include the areas of
government organization; electoral preparation; and anticipating critical
humanitarian and social needs.

INTRODUCTION

This second report to the President from the Commission for Assistance to a
Free Cuba continues and builds upon the recommendations implemented through
the Commission’s first report submitted in May 2004. This report contains
seven chapters and a series of recommendations, consistent with U.S. law,
designed to help Cubans secure real and lasting change in their country. It
recommends that the United States be prepared to offer prioritized
assistance to a Cuban transition government that moves rapidly to free and
fair, multiparty elections.

This report broadly summarizes resources and expertise the U.S. Government
could make available, in accordance with U.S. law, should a Cuban Transition
Government committed to free and fair elections ask for our help. This
report seeks to unify U.S. Government efforts under a strategic goal to help
manage and coordinate ongoing efforts to plan for Cuba’s transition. It also
recognizes that the international community and Cubans abroad will have an
important role to play in Cuba’s transition. This document represents the
work of over 100 participants from seventeen federal departments and
agencies over the course of several months.

As long as the regime abuses the people of Cuba our policy will remain firm.
Implementing the Commission’s recommendations for hastening a transition has
helped break the regime’s information blockade on Cubans and is denying
resources that the regime would otherwise use to repress its citizens. This
report’s recommendations for helping hasten the transition are centered on a
substantial increase in our efforts, in concert with other nations, to
empower Cubans to define a democratic future for their country.

In keeping with the first Commission report, this document sets forth
specific assistance and programs the United States can offer to help Cubans
quickly recover their sovereignty through free and fair multiparty
elections. This report was developed on the basis of U.S. law and we
recommend that implementation be done with due regard for international law
and treaty obligations, internationally recognized human rights, and
democratic principles. It reflects the commitment we and the other nations
of the Western Hemisphere made in the Inter-American Democratic Charter to
the promotion and defense of democracy.

The prospective recommendations and proposals in this report are not
prescriptions or dictates. They only become possible when the President
determines that there is a transition government in place and they only
remain possible if that government continues to work toward free and fair
multiparty elections. In implementing this assistance, we will need to
ensure that we are reinforcing a process of democratic change and not
reinforcing anti-democratic regime elements.

The existence of the Commission and the recommendations in this report
provide a formal process within the United States government to support the
freedom movement in Cuba today and to take actions now to develop
appropriate plans to support a democratic transition tomorrow. The U.S.
Government, at the highest levels, is engaged in this effort.

This is an ongoing process to accompany Cubans in their transition to
freedom. We will need to update and adapt our preparations to keep pace with
Cubans themselves. This will ensure that, when asked, we will be able to
offer appropriate support that meets needs identified by Cubans.

The American people understand and support the aspirations of people all
over the world, including Cubans, to live in freedom. Americans have not
only opened their hearts but also our shores to the Cuban people. We are
confident that a free and prosperous Cuba will once again be a friend to the
United States.

The Cuban dictatorship remains a danger, especially to its own people, even
in its twilight. It still seeks to frustrate democratic governance in the
region and to actively undermine United States interests. Cubans endure the
grim reality of life in their country. Living under a dictatorship means a
daily struggle to satisfy needs and wants, with immorality, and, above all,
with hopelessness.

Cubans need to know there is hope in freedom. Accordingly, we cannot falter
or fail to support the Cuban people as they approach the opportunity for
real change. When the time comes, the generosity Americans have always
extended to Cubans will surely be redoubled.

With the horizon marking the end of the long struggle against tyranny in
Cuba approaching, the Commission’s fundamental premise is that Cubans
themselves will define their own destiny. Only Cubans can chart a path to
liberty, prosperity, and reconciliation. It is they who will ensure that the
dictatorship which advocated nuclear war against our nation will rapidly
come to an end.

Cubans in Cuba, at great personal risk, are already talking about a
democratic transition for their country. It is what Cubans say about the
future of Cuba that truly matters. The civic opposition movement is creating
momentum for democratic change in Cuba. With our offer of support, advice,
and help to all who seek democratic change in Cuba, we hope to add to this
momentum and to keep pace with the Cuban people as they press for democratic
change.

Continued dictatorship will result in neither stability nor opportunity in
Cuba. The world’s democracies can work together now to support the right of
Cubans to define a democratic future for their country. Just as Cubans will
face an inevitable opportunity for change, the international community will
face a choice. Half measures and partial reforms by an unelected successor
regime short of free and fair elections should not be rewarded with
recognition or support from the free nations of the world.

As a community of free nations, we can intensify our efforts now to help
Cubans who support liberty, prosperity, and reconciliation. We hope this
report will find resonance with the people of Cuba, the world’s democracies,
and the people of the United States. Together, we can reassure the Cuban
people that they can count on democratic allies as they move to see their
sovereign will expressed through free and fair, multiparty elections.

CHAPTER 1: HASTENING THE END OF THE CASTRO DICTATORSHIP: TRANSITION NOT
SUCCESSION

This is an unclassified report. For reasons of national security and
effective implementation, some recommendations are contained in a separate
classified annex.

INTRODUCTION

Three years ago, the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba began the most
significant review of U.S. policy toward Cuba in decades, developing a
specific set of recommendations focused on hastening a democratic transition
in Cuba. The 2004 CAFC report identified the “survival strategies” of the
Castro regime and its cynical manipulation of United States humanitarian
policies and examined its relentless pursuit of hard currency to maintain
its repression of the Cuban people and their aspirations for freedom.
Recommendations designed to limit the regime’s access to hard currency were
implemented and have subsequently helped to restrict the funds available to
the regime to sustain itself in power.

The 2004 report made the case for offering more direct U.S. support to
Cubans on the island who advocate real change and for breaking down the
information blockade erected by the regime across the island. The Commission
has re-affirmed the direction taken in the 2004 report as a solid foundation
upon which to make additional recommendations designed to hasten and
consolidate a democratic transition in Cuba.

Since the publication of the 2004 report, there have been important changes
both on and off the island that the Commission has weighed in making this
new set of recommendations. Today, we see in Cuba a more active civil
society, one energized by a growing sense of what is possible.

At the same time, there are clear signs the regime is using money provided
by the Chavez government in Venezuela to reactivate its networks in the
hemisphere to subvert democratic governments. The Castro regime’s
international meddling is done at the expense of the needs of the Cuban
people. There is a growing sense of frustration among ordinary Cubans with a
dictatorship that asks them to sacrifice, but expends considerable resources
in the far flung reaches of the hemisphere and beyond.

Cubans continue to be imprisoned for activities that Americans take for
granted each and every day: reading and viewing what they wish; accessing
information from the outside world, including the Internet; meeting in their
homes to discuss the future of their country; running a lending library; or
conducting petition drives. Despite the savage campaign against them by the
regime, the Cuban people are losing their fear and continue to risk life,
limb, livelihood, and physical freedom in search of a better future for
their nation.

The Commission’s recommendations reflect recognition of the leadership and
bravery of the Cuban people. They also reflect the Commission’s view that
the United States and other friends of democracy should acknowledge and
honor the courage of Cuban democracy activists by supporting them as they
work to secure the rapid return of sovereignty to the people of their
nation.

Yet, at the same time that we see hope and growth in Cuban civil society, we
also know that Fidel Castro and his inner circle are engaged in an effort to
ensure a succession within the revolution. The regime is attempting to
insulate itself from the consequences of Fidel Castro’s incapacitation,
death, or ouster. The regime continues to harden its edges and is feverishly
working to forestall any opportunity for a genuine democratic transition on
the island by putting hardliners into key positions and rolling back even
minimal economic openings. And, as noted above, the repressive instruments
of the regime are working assiduously to stamp out civil society
initiatives, but without success.

The current regime in Havana is working with like-minded governments,
particularly Venezuela, to build a network of political and financial
support designed to forestall any external pressure to change. This state of
affairs highlights the urgency of working today to ensure that the Cuban
transition is genuine and that the Castro regime’s succession strategy does
not succeed.

It is against this back-drop that the Commission for Assistance to a Free
Cuba again assembles and looks at the question of how to help the Cuban
people hasten and ensure a genuine transition on the island. This is a time
for bold, decisive action and clarity of message.

DETERMINATIONS

In order to lead genuine change, the Cuban people must have hope for a
better future in a Free Cuba.

Our goal is to support the growing consensus for democracy in Cuba itself.
A perpetuation of the status quo in Cuba through a succession among the
current ruling elites would be a tragedy for the Cuban people. They have
endured decades of dictatorship and deserve to regain their sovereignty
and chart a new course for their country.

It is the Cuban people on the island who will chart the course of their
future. They are increasingly active and brave in the face of the regime’s
brutality; they deserve U.S. and international support, both through
creative, well-funded programs designed to empower them, and through
diplomatic efforts to help build an international consensus around action
to promote a genuine democratic transition in Cuba.

The greatest guarantor of genuine stability in Cuba is the rapid
restoration of sovereignty to the Cuban people through free and fair,
multiparty elections. The notion that the consolidation of continued
dictatorship under Raul Castro or other undemocratic successors will lead
to stability is an illusion.

There should be no misunderstanding: the Cuban dictatorship today is a
destabilizing force in the region; a demonstrated threat to our citizens
and their own; and has proven willing to manipulate for its own
self-serving purposes humanitarian U.S. immigration policies and the
desire of the Cuban people for freedom.

U.S. policymakers need to understand and address the fact that there are
“spoilers” in the international community who seek to accommodate or
otherwise support the Cuban dictatorship’s succession strategy at the
expense of a democratic Cuban transition and U.S. national interests.

If the Cuban people are to succeed when the inevitable opportunity for
change occurs, the United States must support their democratic aspirations
by informing the international community of the historic nature of the
choice they must make about whether or not to support a genuine transition
in Cuba. Our top diplomatic objective must be to build an international
consensus around an understanding that the Cuban people have a right to
determine their future and that their sovereignty should be returned to
them.

The democracies of the Western Hemisphere should take a leading role in
guiding Cuba on a path that leads to representative democracy. The
mileposts along that path are the benchmarks set forth in the
Inter-American Democratic Charter.

We must help the Cuban people define an alternative future for themselves
- one where Cubans can live in peace, justice prevails, and alternative
views are respected.

We need to help reassure Cubans on the island who seek to preserve the
status quo out of fear of what lies beyond the end of the dictatorship. We
must also advance an alternative view of the future for Cubans currently
in the regime who support democratic change. They need to know that they
and their families will also have a future in a Free Cuba. It is only
Castro’s “esbirros” (henchmen) who need to fear justice.

For all Cubans, we must underscore that the future is theirs to define and
that the U.S. and our citizens pose no threat to their security or their
homes. We must also be clear that there is but one Cuban people and that
reconciliation will be essential to securing a Free Cuba.

EMPOWERING THE CUBAN PEOPLE

Since 1952, Cubans have lived under a succession of dictators, first under
Fulgencio Batista, and then Batista’s totalitarian successor, Fidel Castro.
Until recently, the Castro dictatorship had been able to maintain its grip
on the Cuban people by repressing the development of independent civil
society and keeping the Cuban people on a desperate hunt for dollars and
basic necessities, thereby preventing the emergence of a viable alternative
to its failed policies. By promoting fear about the future and distrust
amongst each other, the regime has sought to keep civil society stunted and
the Cuban people under its control.

That control is increasingly being degraded by a Cuban society fed up with
broken promises and the failure of the regime to meet its basic needs.
Growing popular discontent, the failure of regime-sponsored Actos de Repudio
to intimidate the opposition, and increasing negative international opinion
have weakened the regime and placed it on the defensive. There now is a
growing consensus among the Cuban people of the need for democracy.

Offering to help Cubans meet their basic and unmet social desires and
humanitarian needs will be a powerful force for change and the best
guarantor that the transition to freedom will succeed in rapidly restoring
sovereignty to the Cuban people through free, multi-party elections. Cubans
can better face the uncertainty of change if they are reassured that their
basic humanitarian needs will be met.

The Rising Cuban Democratic Opposition

The last several years have witnessed a sustained increase in the ability of
the Cuban opposition to engage in acts of resistance, mobilize greater
segments of the Cuban population, and communicate a positive vision for the
future to the Cuban people and the international community.

At the grassroots level, youth, women, and Afro-Cubans are key
constituencies for the continued growth of Cuba’s civil society movement.
More than half of Cuba’s population is under age 35 and has the weakest
attachment to the Castro revolution and the strongest desire for real
change. Afro-Cubans and mixed-ethnicity Cubans comprise 62 percent of the
population and are increasingly aware of their gross under-representation in
leadership positions. They continue to be socially marginalized by the
regime elite, and Afro-Cuban youths are a consistent target of police
harassment, intimidation, arrest, and expulsion out of Havana and other
parts of Cuba. Castro’s Cuba has become a major sex tourism destination and
is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of
sexual exploitation.

Despite Castro’s efforts to repress and intimidate, the opposition has made
great strides in mobilizing these groups. Women and Afro-Cubans are at the
forefront of the opposition which includes Martha Beatriz Roque of the
Assembly to Promote Civil Society; imprisoned activists such as Dr. Oscar
Elias Biscet; the dozens of the organizers of Oswaldo Paya’s Varela Project;
and independent journalists such as Guillermo Fariñas, who is engaged in a
sustained hunger strike for uncensored access to the Internet for ordinary
Cubans. The Damas de Blanco, the mothers and wives of the 75 activists
imprisoned during the regime’s March 2003 crackdown on the peaceful
opposition, remain a powerful and visible domestic and international symbol
of the current struggle for freedom and democracy in Cuba and a focal point
for non-violent resistance efforts.

Significant challenges remain, however, before the democratic opposition and
civic movement can move beyond protest and non-cooperation with the regime
and become the catalysts for and implementers of a sea change within Cuba.
Above all, the civic movement needs additional support to present to their
fellow Cubans a viable alternative to the failed policies of the Castro
regime. The experience of East European civic movements in organizing
resistance that ended repressive dictatorships, and then in assuming
leadership that led to freedom, prosperity, and reconciliation in their
respective countries, could be particularly helpful for Cuba’s developing
opposition movement. In addition, if requested, civil society groups could
benefit from greater training to prepare to help lead a democratic
transition and future government in Cuba.

It is critical that independent Cuban civil society groups continue to gain
greater access to basic modern equipment to help expand distribution of
independent information and facilitate pro-democracy activities. Continued
access to these types of equipment help Cuba’s civil society disseminate
information to the Cuban people and counter regime efforts to maintain its
grip on the Cuban people through exclusive control over all forms of
communication.

In particular, the Cuban people, and especially the civic opposition
movement, need access to the Internet. Currently, the Castro regime strictly
controls all access to the Internet, limiting access to a few websites to
hand-picked regime supporters and foreigners at specially identified
internet cafes, which are out of the reach of the average Cuban.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Recommendations include the following:

Cuba Fund for a Democratic Future

To empower the Cuban people and the Cuban democratic opposition to take
advantage of these new opportunities, the Commission recommends the Cuba
Fund for a Democratic Future: $80 million over two years to increase support
for Cuban civil society, expand international awareness, break the regime’s
information blockade, and continue developing assistance initiatives to help
Cuban civil society realize a democratic transition. The Commission also
recommends consistent yearly funding of Cuba democracy programs at no less
than $20 million on an annual basis thereafter until the dictatorship ceases
to exist.

This fund should include:

Support to independent civil society on the island ($31 million);

Funding for education and exchanges, including on-island university
training from third countries and scholarships for economically
disadvantaged students from Cuba identified by independent
non-governmental entities and civic organizations at U.S. and third
country universities (including historically black and faith-based
institutions) ($10 million);

Efforts to break the Castro regime’s information blockade and expand the
Cuban people’s access to independent information, including through the
Internet ($24 million); and

Support for international efforts at strengthening civil society and in
transition planning ($15 million).

IV. BREAK THE REGIME’S INFORMATION BLOCKADE

The Castro regime continues to control all means of mass media and
communication on the island. The regime exerts absolute control over
newspapers, radio, and television through a pervasive system of repression,
intimidation, seizures of equipment, and arrest. The regime fears the day
that the Cuban people have full access to independent information. The lack
of access to independent information enables the government to maintain a
climate of fear of repression and fear of change across the island necessary
to its continued survival.

The recommendations of CAFC I to break the information blockade have been
successful in getting a greater flow of information to the Cuban people than
ever before. Broadcasts of Radio and TV Marti from an airborne platform have
reached Cubans across the island in unprecedented numbers and have overcome
the ability of the Cuban regime to jam and disrupt broadcast signals. The
expanded distribution of media, including newsletters and videos, and
equipment have empowered even greater numbers of the Cuban people to obtain
reliable information on events in Cuba and on alternatives to the failed
policies of the Castro regime.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Selected recommendations include the following:

In conjunction with the recommended measures to strengthen civil society and
international solidarity with the Cuban democratic opposition, the
Commission recommends measures to intensify efforts to break the regime’s
information blockade and aid the Cuban people in the ongoing transition:

Broadcasting

Advances in the development of new and improved technologies make it
increasingly possible to expand broadcasts of reliable information to the
Cuban people and to equip them to receive and disseminate such information
across the island. The Commission recommends the following measures be taken
to expand on the work already underway by U.S. broadcasting entities in
support of Cuban civil society:

Fund the transmission of TV Marti via Satellite TV into Cuba by the most
effective means possible;

Within 90 days conduct a comprehensive and independent review on ways to
improve Cuba broadcasts;

Fund civil society groups to provide equipment to receive international
broadcasts and independent media on the island to the Cuban people;

Expand use of third-country broadcasting into Cuba;

Replicate the successes of other U.S. broadcast programming in developing a
larger audience, by developing non-traditional programs addressed to Cuban
youth;

Support the training and equipping of independent print, radio, and TV
journalists in Cuba and improve their capacity and capability to inform the
world and the Cuban people of events in Cuba; and

In connection with and/or as part of the strategic communication plan,
establish quarterly meetings between appropriate U.S. Government agencies to
coordinate strategy on broadcasting and communications to the Cuban people.

IV. UNDERMINING THE REGIME’S SUCCESSION STRATEGY

Diplomacy and information must be employed to create momentum for genuine
change in order to undermine the regime’s succession strategy.

There should be no misunderstanding: the Castro brothers’ dictatorship has
every intention of continuing its stranglehold on power in Cuba, regardless
of the cost to or the will of the Cuban people. Just as Fidel Castro
replaced Batista in 1959, Cuba’s current dictator wants to impose his
brother on the Cuban people. The regime’s goal is to pass power from Fidel
Castro to his selected successor, Raul Castro, and the ruling elite around
him. Regime loyalists are relentlessly pursuing a strategy whereby the
international community will recognize and work with a successor regime,
regardless of whether or not the dictatorship has been dismantled. In
furtherance of this goal, the regime is actively strengthening its
repressive apparatus, re-consolidating its absolute control over all
political, social and economic aspects of Cuban society, and using
Venezuelan money to acquire international support and legitimacy.

The Castro regime is actively seeking to control the policy environment on
transition in concert with opponents of peaceful, democratic change, led by
the Chavez government in Venezuela. The regime is implementing information
and influence campaigns to develop support networks outside of Cuba to
provide it additional revenue streams today, to act as advocates on its
behalf against U.S. policy toward Cuba and the region, and to support and
secure international legitimacy for a succession within the revolution.
These networks undermine the opportunity for a democratic future for Cuba;
U.S. national security interests in Cuba and in third countries; and our
interest in a democratic and stable Venezuela.

The regime will seek to create domestic and international pressure on the
U.S. Government to unilaterally change our Cuba policy and establish a new
relationship with the regime regardless of whether or not the dictatorship
has been dismantled or the economy freed.

Fidel Castro senses his own mortality and the mortality of the economically
bankrupt regime he leads. He works relentlessly to hold it together through
a mix of political alliances, bartering and debt extensions, and savage
denial of political and economic freedoms to the Cuban people. Today, he and
his inner circle are implementing a succession strategy designed to ensure
the survival of the regime beyond his own incapacitation, death, or ouster.

Cuba’s ever-deepening relationship with Venezuela parallels the earlier
failed relationship with the Soviet Union, only this time not as the junior
partner: Fidel Castro is calling the shots.

This Castro-led axis must be understood as part of the regime’s succession
strategy and an effort to insulate Cuba from pressure for democratic change.
This axis is designed to secure energy and financial resources and create an
external support network to help ensure the regime is insulated.

This axis also undermines our interest in a more democratic Venezuela and
undermines democratic governance and institutions elsewhere in the region.
Together, these countries are advancing an alternative retrograde and
anti-American agenda for the hemisphere’s future and they are finding some
resonance with populist governments and disenfranchised populations in the
region. Castro hopes a political shift in the region will be his legacy and
offer a measure of protection for his “esbirros” and opportunists in the
Cuban Communist Party upon his departure from power.

The weak flank of the Cuba-Venezuela axis is Cuba itself. Unlike
“Bolivarian” President Hugo Chavez, the Castro regime lacks even the patina
of electoral legitimacy. History will remember that Castro always avoided
the verdict of the Cuban people. Castro today must worry about the growing
frustration of the Cuban population about the failings of the revolution and
with expenditures in far-flung reaches of the world when their needs are
unmet at home. There are signs the axis with Venezuela is beginning to grate
on Cuban nationalist sensibilities. The more than 11 million people in Cuba
are, in fact, our natural allies in breaking both the dictatorship and the
Cuba-Venezuela axis that protects and sustains it.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Selected recommendations include the following:

The Commission recommends that Cuba, specifically Cuba’s impending
transition, continue to have a high profile in public messages and
statements by U.S. officials to build a sense of momentum for change. The
Commission is also recommending a diplomatic strategy to consistently
advance our view that there is an opportunity for transition if we act
today; that the Cuban people are more active than ever despite intense
pressure from the regime; and that we need to commit to defending the right
of the Cuban people to define their own future;

In making a recommendation that a suspension of Title III of the 1996 Cuban
Liberty and Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act for an individual country is necessary
to the national interest and will expedite a transition to democracy in
Cuba, consider in particular whether it is engaged in a process of support
for regime succession;

Vigorously enforce Title IV of the Libertad Act; particularly focusing
enforcement action on traffickers involved in strategic industries such as
oil, tourism, nickel, tobacco, and rum which finance Cuba’s repressive
apparatus; and

Encourage Cuban workers in tourism, mining, and other sectors who work for
foreign companies to keep complete wage records.

A Diplomatic Campaign: Underscore Regime Illegitimacy and Build Support for
Transition

While differences of opinion about U.S. embargo policy persist, an
increasing number of countries share the view that there must be change in
Cuba and that the Cuban people should have the right to decide their future.
Since the March 2003 crackdown on pro-democracy forces, the ongoing rollback
of freedoms, and growing use of Actos de Repudio to intimidate Cuban
society, many now publicly condemn the regime’s abuses. Political and civic
leaders and organizations across Europe and Latin America that once
struggled for freedom in their own countries are expanding outreach to the
Cuban people and directly assisting pro-democratic forces in their quest for
freedom and respect for basic human rights.

If the Cuban people are to succeed in their struggle to regain their freedom
and sovereignty, the international community must increase their engagement
with and support to Cuban civil society. There should be full agreement that
the only acceptable result of Fidel Castro’s incapacitation, death, or
ouster is for a genuine democratic transition to take place in Cuba. This is
an historic and stark choice between the continuation of dictatorship or the
restoration of freedom and sovereignty to eleven million men, women, and
children.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Selected recommendations include the following:

Recognizing the need to solidify international consensus around the right of
the Cuban people to determine their democratic future, and promote greater
direct involvement by third-countries in Cuba, we recommend the
implementation of a diplomatic campaign to include:

Encourage convergence of goals and efforts by other democratic nations to
support a democratic transition in Cuba with our own efforts, including
transition planning exercises, and encouraging bilateral engagement between
European nations and Western Hemisphere democracies on a Cuban transition;

Build a coalition of countries to support a democratic transition in Cuba
now and at a moment of change on the island;

Work diplomatically with the OAS and its member states to ensure that
adherence to the Inter-American Democratic Charter is the standard for
Cuba’s reintegration in the inter-American system, in keeping with the
Declaration of Florida adopted at the XXXV OAS General Assembly;

Expand support for third-country efforts to promote the development of Cuban
civil society and pro-democracy groups on the island;

Encourage democratic governments, especially Community of Democracies
participants from the Western Hemisphere and Europe, to invite leaders of
the democratic opposition to their countries for meetings with government
officials and civic society leaders;

Draw a distinction between countries that support succession (such as
Venezuela and Iran) and countries that support the right of the Cuban people
to debate and define a democratic future for Cuba;

Invigorate examination of Cuban abuses at international organizations:

o Encourage presentation of cases to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights on behalf of victims of government sponsored mob attacks known as
Actos de Repudio; and

o Encourage other nations to address Cuban labor violations at the ILO.

IDENTIFY AND TARGET HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS

As part of U.S. policy aimed at undermining the regime’s succession
strategy, we must accelerate the process of stripping away layers of support
within the regime by creating additional uncertainty regarding the political
and legal future of those in leadership positions.

We explicitly reject the notion of “witch hunts” in a democratic Cuba
against those in government positions. However, Cubans at all levels of the
government must understand that those currently in leadership positions who
have engaged in or misused subordinates to perpetuate human rights abuses
today will be duly noted and appropriately sanctioned by the U.S. Government
as authorized by U.S. law and where applicable.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Selected recommendations include the following:

Lista de Esbirros: Place the names of those credibly believed to be involved
in orchestrating human rights abuses in Cuba into the Abuse Case Evaluation
System (ACES) database that is currently maintained and managed by the
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department;

Place the names of individuals involved in the 2003 and subsequent trials of
opposition activists, as well as those involved in orchestrating Actos de
Repudio, on the visa lookout database;

Amend Presidential Proclamation 5377 to permit the denial of immigrant, as
well as non-immigrant visas, to officers and employees of the Government of
Cuba or the Communist Party of Cuba;

Authorize denial of the right to adjust status to legal permanent alien to
any regime official when such an act would be detrimental to the interests
of the United States;

Remove from the visa lookout database those officials that have quit the
regime, publicly advocated their commitment to and take concrete steps to
demonstrate their support for democratic change on the island, and who are
otherwise not believed to be ineligible for entry into the U.S.; and,

Submit the names of officials indicted for the murder of the
“Brothers-to-the-Rescue” pilots to Interpol.

MAKING MIGRATION SAFE, ORDERLY, AND A FORCE FOR CHANGE IN CUBA

The Cuban government has failed to honor its commitments under the September
9, 1994, Joint Communiqué and the May 2, 1995, Joint Statement, otherwise
known as the “Migration Accords.” While the 1994 Joint Communiqué obligates
Cuba to take measures to ensure that migration is safe, legal, and orderly,
the Cuban government continues to deny U.S. officials permission to monitor
returned migrants outside of Havana; facilitate the departure of thousands
of Cubans annually over the land borders into the U.S. via Mexico; deny exit
permits to otherwise qualified Cuban citizens, making some people wait for
years to emigrate; and flatly prohibit others from emigrating, including
doctors and family members of government officials.

The regime has also enacted a series of other bureaucratic measures that
impede the U.S. Interests Section’s efforts to meet the U.S. commitments
under the Agreement. As detailed in CAFC I, with these and other mechanisms,
the Castro regime continues to manipulate migration flows to the United
States. The regime does so to further its policies of generating additional
hard currency and as a means to control its population—releasing pressure
when necessary by permitting more exits. The regime further seeks to dampen
the efforts of Cuban activists working for change by withholding exit
permission to attend international conferences or receive awards.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Selected recommendations include:

In response to Cuba’s repeated and consistent efforts to impede safe, legal,
and orderly migration, we recommend a series of diplomatic efforts to notify
the Castro regime of its failure to meet its obligations under the Migration
Accords and protesting its efforts to interfere with and disrupt U.S.
migration policy.

VI. DENYING REVENUE TO THE CASTRO REGIME

The policies of the Castro regime continue to debilitate the Cuban economy,
impoverish the Cuban people, and isolate Cuba from economic advances enjoyed
by the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The regime ignores its obligations to
its people and diverts its resources to maintain its grip on power, manage a
succession of the regime, and destabilize democracies elsewhere in the
Hemisphere. The more financially stressed the system is, the more difficult
it will be for any leader who follows Fidel Castro to preside over a
succession within the dictatorship

The first report of the Commission recommended, and the President directed
be implemented, a comprehensive set of measures to deny the Castro regime
the revenues it needs to maintain its repressive security apparatus. By the
regime’s own admission, these measures—and continued enforcement actions
—have sharply cut licensed and unlicensed travel to the island each year
since the implementation of the measures of the first report.

Limitations on travel, parcel deliveries and remittances have sharply
curtailed the regime’s manipulation of and profiteering from U.S.
humanitarian policies. These measures have been successful and should
continue to be implemented.

In order to undermine the regime’s succession strategy, it is critical that
the U.S. Government maintain economic pressure on the regime to limit its
ability to sustain itself and repress the Cuban people. Moreover, as we
rapidly approach the transitional moment, the more economic pressure there
is on the regime, the greater the likelihood there will be dramatic and
successful change for the Cuban people.

Improved Enforcement

The Castro regime continues to seek new and additional ways to raise
desperately needed hard currency by encouraging and facilitating unlicensed
cash flows and travel from the United States to Cuba. The profits from these
transactions continue to be critical for the maintenance of the regime’s
repressive security apparatus. The regime has facilitated the establishment
of third-country travel and remittance companies whose primary purpose is to
facilitate unlicensed transactions from the United States and to help
individuals evade U.S. restrictions on such transactions. Similarly, in the
last several years we have witnessed a surge in attempts to abuse existing
license categories to engage in non-permissible activities, such as tourism
or other non-licensable visits.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Selected recommendations include:

Establish an inter-agency Law Enforcement Task Force for better enforcement
of U.S. economic sanctions on the Castro regime; and

Issue a directive to law enforcement agencies to pursue criminal
investigations, including prosecution, where possible and appropriate, of
Cuban Assets Control Regulation and other violations, especially for those
found to have been involved in organizing or facilitating unlicensed travel
transactions with Cuba.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Regulations:

Prohibit individuals who wish to send remittances from going directly to
third-country institutions to send such remittances to Cuba and require
instead that all remittances be sent through licensed U.S. remittance
forwarders. Eliminate the use of cash-card services for licensed travel to
Cuba;

Expand the list of regime officials and agencies which are not permitted to
receive licensed remittances, and ensure that those included in the “Lista
de Esbirros” do not benefit from U.S. humanitarian policies by including
them on the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and by barring
SDNs from receiving remittances;

Implement new licensing criteria and reporting requirements for travel
service providers (TSPs) and Carrier Service Providers (CSPs), including a
requirement that TSPs and CSPs have an independent financial audit conducted
annually; and

Expand the use of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) to designate
companies, including front companies, engaged in efforts to promote the sale
of Cuban goods or unlicensed travel, remittances, and other transactions
from the United States to Cuba.

U.S. Department of Commerce Regulations:

Revise temporary sojourn license (TSL) regulations and implementing
guidelines to ensure that licenses are not issued to maritime vessels,
unless the vessel is solely registered to transport goods and is engaged in
the regular transport of bulk commodities, or unless otherwise consistent
with the foreign policy interests of the United States;

Revise regulations and implementing guidelines to deny export licenses,
consistent with U.S. law, for discretionary, cosmetic, or other medical
equipment sales that would be destined to be used in large-scale medical
programs that cater to tourists and foreign patients and not exclusively for
the benefit and care of the Cuban people;

Develop effective monitoring and certification requirements for medical
equipment exports that ensure that these exports are used only for the use
and benefit of the Cuban people and not diverted to tourist or foreign care
institutions;

Ensure monitoring for medical equipment is undertaken for the life of the
product to ensure items exported are at intended end-use institutions. In
the event that the Cuban government does not permit on-site monitoring at
certain institutions, future exports will not be authorized to such
locations;

Reaffirm the U.S. Government’s export license policy of a strict general
policy of denial of Commerce export licenses, unless otherwise required by
existing law; and

Tighten regulations for the export of humanitarian items, other than
agricultural or medical commodities, to ensure that exports are consigned to
entities that support independent civil society and are not regime
administered or controlled organizations, such as the Cuban Council of
Churches.

Target Regime Foreign Income and Assets Abroad

Following the reductions in regime revenue as a result of the first
Commission report, nearly half of the regimes’ current foreign income is now
derived from nickel exports. The revenue from these sales does not go to
benefit the Cuban people, but is diverted to maintain the regime’s
repressive security apparatus and fund Castro’s interventionist and
destabilizing policies in other countries in the Hemisphere. Moreover, some
of this revenue is derived from assets illegally expropriated from U.S.
citizens after Castro came to power. In addition, there is growing evidence
of senior elements of the regime, engaging in efforts to hide personal
financial assets abroad to guard against a severe disruption in their
stations in the event of a democratic transition in Cuba. These assets,
including property and bank accounts, rightfully belong to the Cuban people
and should be tracked down and returned to Cuba for the benefit of a Free
Cuba Government.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

To hasten the end of the Castro regime by disrupting the regime’s sources of
foreign income and identifying regime assets abroad, we recommend the U.S.
Government:

Establish an inter-agency Cuban Nickel Targeting Task Force to reinvigorate
the existing nickel import certification and control regime and analogous
cobalt import control regime, consistent with our domestic and international
obligations.

Invigorate identification and targeting of regime offshore finances and
assets and initiate a diplomatic effort to engage international partners and
organizations to assist in developing information on and targeting regime
assets abroad.

Reconvene Cuban Assets Targeting Group with the task of identifying
additional ways to target and disrupt regime foreign income, including
identification of the assets of regime officials abroad, development of
information on official corruption and associated assets abroad.

CHAPTER 2: HELPING CUBANS RESPOND TO CRITICAL HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL NEEDS

Introduction

The Castro regime trumpets “the achievements of the Revolution” in meeting
the basic needs of the Cuban people. In truth, the entire system has been
constructed for the sustenance of the regime, not to serve the Cuban people
or to allow for development and economic growth. With the sudden withdrawal
of massive Soviet subsidies in the early 1990’s, the regime found it almost
impossible to maintain the mythology of the revolution’s achievements.
Today, Cubans live with the consequences of the regime’s deliberate decision
to sustain itself at the expense of its people: declining food stocks,
increasing water shortages, crumbling medical infrastructure, the
disappearance of basic medicines, and devastated housing stock. Although the
regime continues to manipulate health and other statistics and restricts
access to its medical facilities for people who might tell the real story of
the revolution’s failure to meet the needs of the Cuban people, it is clear
from

independent sources that chronic malnutrition, polluted drinking water, and
untreated chronic diseases affect a significant percentage of the Cuban
population.

A Cuban Transition Government1 will need to do what the current regime has
never done: to put the needs of the people before the need to maintain
absolute control. The Cuban Transition Government will face daunting
challenges as it begins to address the basic human needs of the Cuban
people. The Cuban people will expect rapid and effective action. In order to
ensure the support of the public, the Cuban Transition Government should
quickly identify priority actions and mobilize internal and external
resources to sustain them. The Cuban Transition Government will want to
avoid the onset of a complex human disaster that could be used as an excuse
for those who might wish to restore the repressive regime in Cuba.

1 This Report uses the term “Cuban Transition Government” to refer to a
Cuban Government that is eligible to receive U.S. assistance under
applicable U.S. law, particularly the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Solidarity
(LIBERTAD) Act. All recommendations for potential future assistance in this
paper are premised on the assumption that the proposed action satisfies the
requirements of applicable U.S. law. There are numerous restrictions under
U.S. law that affect assistance for, and transactions with, Cuba. In the
event of a Cuban Transition Government, some such restrictions could be
removed through executive branch action, but others may require legislative
change. Despite these various restrictions, certain assistance for Cuba may
be provided in certain circumstances on the basis of laws that authorize
assistance “notwithstanding any other provision of law” or on the basis of
certain extraordinary general waiver authorities in the Foreign Assistance
Act.

Another matter that the Cuban Transition Government will want to address is
the likelihood, under any scenario, that internal migration could become a
problem. Large numbers of impoverished rural residents could flood the
cities where there is hope of increased income, relief supplies, and
Government services. Such a massive influx could result in large numbers of
“internally-displaced” people, squatting on public land and erecting
temporary shelters without adequate food, sanitation, health care or potable
water.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and faith-based groups already play an
integral role in providing vital humanitarian assistance to rural
populations and churches in Cuba. Their support to the Cuban people at the
time of transition, where they have established relationships and
information about the needs in these localities, will be essential to the
success of the Cuban Transition Government’s efforts to complete a rapid and
successful transition and hold free and fair multiparty elections.

The U.S. Government stands ready to help the Cuban Transition Government to
avert humanitarian emergency in Cuba by assisting the Government in
addressing the immediate water, sanitation, health, food, shelter,
protection, and education needs of the Cuban people and working to bring
other international partners into the process of assistance. Assisting a
Cuban Transition Government to meet these basic needs is paramount for a
stable transition period, new Government credibility, and timely elections.

Humanitarian assistance could include support in the following sectors: (1)
water and sanitation; (2) health systems and nutrition; (3) food security;
(4) shelter and settlements; (5) protection; and (6) education services.
This collective humanitarian support will help facilitate a Cuban-led
democratic transition.

Sovereign governments are responsible for the welfare of their own citizens
and for others in their care (e.g., refugees, asylum seekers, migrants,
etc.). U.S. Government assistance and that of the international community
should be provided to support, not substitute for, the new Cuban Transition
Government’s responsibility for its people. The Transition Government should
actively encourage and contribute available resources (human and financial)
for humanitarian relief activities to reduce human suffering and prevent
collapse.

Critical to a successful humanitarian response is the ability of all parties
to quickly, and preferably locally, access required resources such as fuel,
logistics and communications systems. Equally important in the initial
stages is U.S. Government and international support for local Cuban media
efforts. The public should have access to information regarding the Cuban
Transition Government’s humanitarian response efforts to ensure the public
is aware, understands, and remains supportive of these activities.

Any U.S. Government assistance provided in response to requests by the Cuban
Transition Government would follow four principles: (1) coordin

  1. Follow up post #1 added on July 09, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    1. You will note that I put this under US Embargo category and not Humanitarian.  To me, this is an anti-humanitarian policy that spits in the face of Cuban citizens. SHAME on the Bush Administration for adopting this rhetoric and propaganda as truth and policy.

    2. Who actually wrote this and contributed to it? Where are the authors’ names and factual footnotes?

    3. Why did it take so long? It was supposed to be released on May 20 with a big speech by the President of the United States in Miama yet it is released quietly on a Sunday evening? Shouldn’t all you old Cuban exiles be pissed off that it took so long and that President Bush did not come down and kiss your Florida Republican asses?

    4. If this report only had mentioned Weapons of Mass Destruction, the US would be landing boats in the Bay of Pigs “2” right now.

    Is it just me or are we sick and tired of the stupid Plan A Embargo to get rid of Castro? The Plan A Embargo was started by John F Kennedy for Christ’s sake and Fidel IS STILL PRESIDENT…Hello!!!

    If the US had the same failed sanctions policy against Saddam Hussein he would be President of Iraq for something like 30 more years. Oops, my bad, there is oil and Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq so we invaded Iraq to “protect ourselves”.  As a side note, did anyone notice that the day we invaded Iraq it was called Operation Freedom and not Operation “Save the US” or Operation “Rid the world of WMD” or something else more fitting to the “goal” of the US invasion. Operation Freedom, don’t forget that.

    Now that the Chinese are drilling for oil in Cuban waters just 50 miles off Key West, what will lame duck President Bush do?

    My answer… lip service. So, all you old Cuban exiles, just sit and wait and wait and wait. Even after The Bearded One is gone, you will wait and wait. No post-Fidel government will ever let you back in.

    My advice to CANF and all the other old Cuban exiles and Republican Mafia, let Americans travel to Cuba. Let Americans sell products to Cuba. Let American buy Cuban products and services.

    (PS. I am not a liberal Democrat by any means. I am a registered Republican but have to say that every day I am more ashamed of President Bush. I say this because I am scared that Hilary might become President in 2008 because Bush has been such an Idiot on so many issues.

    Sure she might open up Cuba but I hate to think about how she will continue the Socialist ways of useless Bill Clinton.

    There. Interesting what kind of courage one can gain from a couple glasses of wine.  Till next time.

    Rob



    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on July 10, 2006 by J. Perez

    Where are the recommendations from the “Commission to rectify the horrible mess we have created in Iraq?


  3. Follow up post #3 added on July 11, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    In reading this article, what’s most obvious is the blatant disregard, if not outright disdain, that the Bush administration exhibits towards other soverign nations.  Whether we agree or not with the Cuban government, or with Chavez or with any other government on the planet, isn’t the point.  What gives the U.S. administration the right to dictate to others how they should run their countries?  We already marched into Afghanistan and Iraq and anyone with a minimal amount of intelligence can see the mess we’ve created there.  Now they’re setting the stage to go after Cuba, again with this worn-out pretext of “bringing freedom”.  Give me a break.  Has everyone been so hypnotized by this administration that they don’t see a pattern here?!?  Wake up America, because while they’re wasting our tax dollars going after other nations who’ve never attacked us, they’re also chipping away at our own freedoms.


  4. Follow up post #4 added on July 11, 2006 by J. Perez

    “MiamiCuban” has got it right, unfortunately the problem seems to be that “a minimal amount of intelligence” is not very common.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on July 12, 2006 by CanadianCuban

    I am astonished by this report. History has shown that the US is unable to successfully and peacefully accomplish such measures. One only need to look at the current situation in the Middle East to see the sorry state of affairs that the US has inflicted upon those people. Indeed, having travelling frequently to Cuba I must say that while most Cubans are not 100% satisfied with their government…neither are US citizens 100% satisfied with theirs either.

    Most Cubans are well educated and are aware of the mess that the US has created in other Caribbean countries, so much is its influence that those countries are slowly losing the cultural identity that once made them unique…one only needs to look at Mexico for such an example.

    Cuba today is not the Cuba of yesterday…yes change is slow, but its changing for the better, we are learning from the mistakes of the other countries that allowed the US interests to take the lead. With or without Fidel, we cannot allow the US to decide what is best for us.


  6. Follow up post #6 added on July 13, 2006 by Ralph

    To the “CanadianCuban” I guess you have travelled to another destination,but not the real Cuba,b/c is blatant the simmering public
    discontent in Cuba,simmer b/c repression,of course Cuba Today is
    not the Cuba of yesterday,but the change for the better has not yet
    accomplished,the betterment of the cuban people,no the elites and
    Castro cronies,Is C o m m i n g.


  7. Follow up post #7 added on July 17, 2006 by Michael a Cuban American

    How does a U.S. citizen help the Cuban people “If the Cuban people are to succeed in their struggle to regain their freedom and sovereignty, the international community must increase their engagement with and support to Cuban civil society.” from hands off diplomacy?? Sort of a oxymoron isn’t it?? In essence the report says the Cuban people are starving for Democracy, clean water and freedom to elect their own government and so much more. It seems elementary that maximum contact and exchange would be the appropriate recommendation of the report not isolation as we have in this failed policy for the past 46 years. How exactly is prohibiting freedom to travel to Cuba consistent with your reports wishes?? Why do we treat China and Vietnam different when it comes to U.S. citizens right to travel? Please respond to my questions as I and other concerned Christians, are about to publicly renounce our Republican party!


  8. Follow up post #8 added on July 17, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Michael,

    Thanks for your post.

    Since you are a Cuban American, you have more influence than most Americans to change this policy.

    You need to talk with your Cuban American Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Great aunts and uncles. They are the ones controlling Cuba policy.

    They send lots of money to both political parties so long as the Presidential candidate does not change existing policy.

    Remember, Florida is a swing state in the Presidential election and Cuba policy is one of the “third rails” in Politics.

    The old Mafia tainted Cuban exiles that left when Castro took over need to GET OVER IT and stop restricting all Americans’ basic rights to travel abroad.



    Cuba consulting services

  9. Follow up post #9 added on July 18, 2006 by Andrew Watson

    Forty six years of little to no news of the outside world and the world news shared with people of Cuba is highly orchestrated. The typical Cuban has a utopian view of life in the free world centred around materialistic values. This false sense of reality is one thing that Fidel has miscalculated and the American government can sense this as the system’s achiles heel.

    Bush and Condi represent eveything that is so wrong with America and only America can put an end of the evil manipulation of control. Citizens of the world should come to the rescue of all Cubans before another sensless bloody mess happens. Instead, embrace the positive aspects gained since the revolution with a slow and peaceful transition to democracy. Cubanos are a proud and intelligent society. They know that Fidel is not the real power. The real power that enables Fidel is the C.D.R. (Committee of the Defense of the Revolution). This can be best described as proportional representation with a big brother type of control. An easy transition to democracy would be to replace the C.D.R.s with a choice of candidates other than just communist party members.

    A transition enabled by the European Union, Canada and Australia would work and at the same time let Cubans retain their strong sense of national pride. It would not be an exageration that I and others will come to the defense of my dear friends in Cuba. They already have been through too much hardship and the last thing they need are evil, corrupt and distructive Bush like solutions.


  10. Follow up post #10 added on July 19, 2006 by MiamiCuban

    I agree with Watson’s statement that “they already have been through too much hardship and the last thing they need are evil, corrupt and distructive Bush like solutions.”  The true challenge for the Cuban people in a post-Castro world will be to maintain their independence while also protecting themselves from outside intervention in their affairs.  They have to be very wise in choosing their future leaders.  Flexibility is good, but too much of it could end up jeopardizing everything gained in the revolution.


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