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Posted October 13, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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(AP) Cuba blasted President Bush’s newly toughened policies toward the communist-run island on Monday, saying they were developed to placate anti-Castro Cuban exiles crucial for his re-election.

“Cuban again denounces these new provocations and aggressions by the neofascist American government,” the island’s leadership said in an editorial published in the Communist Party daily Granma.

Mr. Bush said Friday that his government would tighten a ban on American tourism and other restrictions against the island, and would allow more Cubans to emigrate to the United States. He also called for a commission to plan for the day Fidel Castro’s rule ends.

Cuba said the measures have an “electoral stink” that show “the unlimited commitment of the American government to the extreme right and its obsession with destroying the Cuban revolution’s example.”

The editorial noted that the measures will especially hurt American citizens as rules are further tightened to bar most U.S. travel to the island.

It took special exception to Bush’s announcement that he had asked Secretary of State Colin Powell and Housing Secretary Mel Martinez to chair a commission to develop a plan to help the island move to democracy whenever the 77-year-old Castro, who has ruled Cuba since 1959, leaves power.

“The transition dreamed of by Bush and his acolytes in the Miami mafia will never occur in Cuba,” the statement said.

“Yes, our country is undergoing a transition - but a transition toward more revolution, toward a more just society, toward a society in which men and women can reach full development, which only socialism can offer.”

Faced with tougher policies, it added, “our only alternative is and will be: more confidence en our principals, in the strength of the revolution, in socialism, in Fidel.”

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