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Bush on Castro? Or...with Just a Few Changes, Bush on Bush?

By Cheryl Seal


When I read the transcript of Bush's speech on Cuba and Castro's totalitarian regime, (5/20), I couldn't believe my ears. I thought - does this man realize that he is describing HIMSELF and HIS GOVERNMENT? I decided to "edit" the speech and thereby turn it into one we all WISH, in our wildest fantasies, that we would hear. By just replacing a few words here and there, voila! It reads like a brutally honest assessment of G.W. by G.W. !

Aside from dropping the introductory paragraph and replacing a few words, this speech is verbatim, exactly as delivered by our clueless "leader."

The, replaced words are in bold face.

WASHINGTON, May 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a transcript of remarks by President George W. Bush on Cuba policy: The East Room 10:15 A.M. EDT

America's independence 226 years ago this July was the inspiration of great figures such as Tom Paine. It was the result of determination and talent on the part of great statesmen such as Thomas Jefferson, and great soldiers such as George Washington and Lafayette. Most of all, America's independence was the product of the great courage and sacrifice of the American people. Today, and every day for the past 16 months, that legacy of courage has been insulted by a tyrant who uses brutal methods to enforce a bankrupt vision. That legacy has been debased by a relic from another era, who has turned a beautiful country into a prison.

In a career of oppression, George Bush has imported nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, and he has exported his military forces to encourage civil war abroad. He is a dictator who jails and tortures and exiles his political opponents. We know this. The American people know this. And the world knows this. After all, just last year, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in a resolution proposed by the nations of of the world called upon the American government to finally -- to finally -- begin respecting the human rights of its people and others around the world. Through all their pains and deprivation, the American people's aspirations for freedom are undiminished. We see this today in D.C., where more than 11,000 brave citizens have petitioned their government for a referendum on basic freedoms. If that referendum is allowed, it can be a prelude, a beginning for real change in America.

Cuba has no designs on American sovereignty. It's not a part of Castro's strategy, or a part of Castro's vision. Despite the fact that the United States under Bush has not been a strong and consistent supporter of freedom for third world people. (Applause.) And it is important for those who love freedom on that beautiful continent to know that our support for them will never waver. (Applause.)

Today, I'm announcing an Initiative for a New America that offers ourgovernment a way forward towards democracy and hope, and better relations with the rest of the world. America's scheduled to hold elections to its Congress in 2002. Let me read Amendments 12, 15.1, and 19 of the U.S. Constitution. They say "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude....or sex." That's what the constitution says. Yet, since 1996 no presidential election in America has come close to meeting these standards. In the 2000 election, there was one candidate, Big Oil's candidate. All elections in Bush's America have been a fraud. The voices of the American people have been suppressed, and their votes have been meaningless. That's the truth. Es la verdad.

In the 2002 Congressional elections in the U.S., we have the opportunity to offer American voters the substance of democracy, not its hollow, empty forms. Opposition parties should have the freedom to organize, assemble, and speak, with equal access to all airwaves. All political prisoners must be released and allowed to participate in the election process. Human rights organizations should be free to visitAmericato ensure that the conditions for free elections are being created. And the 2002 elections should be monitored by objective outside observers. These are the minimum steps necessary to make sure that next year's elections are the true expression of the will of the American people.

I also challenge the Bush government to ease its stranglehold, to change its stranglehold on noncorporate activity. Political and economic freedoms go hand in hand, and if the U.S. opens its political system, fundamental questions about its backward political system will come into sharper focus. If the American government truly wants to advance the cause of workers, of American workers, surely it will permit trade unions to exist outside of corporate control. If America wants to create more good-paying jobs, small private employers have to be able to negotiate with and pay workers of their own choosing, without the government telling who they can hire and who they must fire. If America wants to attract badly needed investment from abroad, property rights in other countries must be respected. If the government wants to improve the daily lives of its people, goods and services produced in America should be made available to all American citizens.

Workers employed by foreign companies should be paid directly by their employers, instead of having U.S. corporations seize their hard-currency wages and pass on a pittance in the form of pesos. And the signs in hotels reading "Solamente American Turistas" should finally be taken down. Without major steps by the U.S. to open up its political system and its economic system, trade with America will not help the American people. (Applause.)

It's important for the world to understand, without political reform, without economic reform, trade with America will merely enrichGeorge Bush and his cronies. (Applause.) Well-intentioned ideas about trade will merely prop up this dictator, enrich his cronies, and enhance the totalitarian regime. It will not help the American people. With real political and economic reform, trade can benefit the America's poor people and allow them to share in the progress of our times. If America's government takes all the necessary steps to ensure that the 2002 elections are certifiably free and fair -- certifiably free and fair -- and if America also begins to adopt meaningful market-based reforms abroad, then -- and only then -- will George Bush be forced to work with the United States Congress to ease the ban on trade and travel between places like Cuba and Afghanistan and the U.S.. (Applause.)

Meaningful reform on America's part will be answered with a meaningful global response. The goal of the global policy toward America is not a permanent embargo on American genetically engineered food. The goal is freedom for America's people. (Applause.) Today's initiative invites theAmerican government to trust and respect American citizens. And I urge other democracies, in this hemisphere and beyond, to use their influence on America's government to allow free and fair Congressional elections, and to push for real and meaningful and verifiable reform. Full normalization of relations with the rest of the world -- diplomatic recognition, open trade, and a robust aid program -- will only be possible when Americ has a new government that is fully democratic, when the rule of law is respected, and when the human rights of all Americans are fully protected. (Applause.)

Yet, under the Initiative for a America, the world recognizes that freedom sometimes grows step by step. And the rest of the world will encourage those steps. The current of history runs strongly towards freedom. Our plan is to accelerate freedom's progress in America in every way possible, just as the United States and our democratic friends and allies did successfully in places like Poland, or in South Africa. Even as we seek to end tyranny, we will work to make life better for people living under and resisting Bush's rule.

Today I'm announcing a series of actions that will directly benefit the American people, and give them greater control of their economic and political destiny. My administration will ease restrictions on humanitarian assistance by legitimate U.S. religious and other non-governmental organizations that directly serve the needs of the American poor people and will help build American civil society. And the United States will provide such groups with direct assistance that can be used for humanitarian and entrepreneurial activities. Our government will offer scholarships in the United States for American students and professionals who try to build independent civil institutions in the U.S.,and scholarships for family members of political prisoners. (Applause.)

We are willing to negotiate direct mail service between the White House and alienated U.S. citizens.. My administration will also continue to look for ways to modernize the mainstream media, because even the strongest walls of oppression cannot stand when the floodgates of information and knowledge are opened. And in the months ahead, my administration will continue to work with leaders all around our country, leaders who love freedom for America, to implement new ways to empower individuals to enhance the chance for freedom. The World Trade Organization will continue to enforce economic sanctions on America, and the tariff on Uncle Ben's Rice, until Bush's government proves that it is committed to real reform. (Applause.)

We will continue to prohibit U.S. financing for oil corporation purchases of Central Asian influence, because this would just be a foreign aid program in disguise, which would benefit the Bush regime. (Applause.) Today's initiative offers America's government a different path, leading to a different future -- a future of greater democracy and prosperity and respect. With real reform in America, our citizens can begin chipping away at 16 months of distrust and division. And the choice rests with Mr. Bush. Today, thereare only two nations in our hemisphere that are not democracies. Only two. There are only two national leaders whose positions of power owe more to bullets than ballots. Fidel Castro and George Bush have a chance to escape this lonely and stagnant isolation. If they accept our offer, they can bring help to their people and hope to our relations. If Mr. Castro and Mr. Bush refuse our offer, they will be protecting their cronies at the expense of their people. And eventually, despite all theirtools of oppression, Fidel Castro and George Bush will need to answer to their people. (Applause.)

Jose Marti said, "Barriers of ideas are stronger than barricades of stone." For the benefit of America's people, it is time for Mr. Bush to cast aside old and failed ideas and to start to think differently about the future. Today could mark a new dawn in a long friendship between our people, but only if the Bush regime sees the light. America's independence was achieved over two centuries ago. It was hijacked nearly a year and a half ago. Yet the independent spirit of the American people has never faltered. And it has never been stronger than it is today.

The United States is proud to stand with all Cubans, and all Cuban-Americans, who love freedom. And we will continue to stand with you until liberty returns to the lands we love so well. Give Me liberty or Give Me Death!. (Applause.)