Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bush Addresses OAS

Bush Predicts Democracy In Cuba: "'Democracy is the rule rather than the exception among nations in the Americas,' Bush told foreign ministers and diplomats from 34 countries gathered here for the general assembly of the Organization of American States, but 'only one country in this hemisphere sits outside this society of democratic nations -- and one day, the tide of freedom will reach Cuba's shores as well.'
Bush, who since becoming president has increased pressure on the government of Cuban President Fidel Castro, quoted the 19th-century Cuban writer and revolutionary Jose Marti in calling liberty a birthright. 'La libertad no es negociable,' Bush said.

Bush's 13-minute speech also had some thinly veiled words for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close ally of Castro who has become a hero in parts of Latin America by casting the United States as an imperialist power and who has stoked U.S. ire by nationalizing some businesses and stifling political dissent.

Bush said countries of the OAS have a stark choice between two competing visions: one that includes representative government, integration into world markets and a faith in freedom, and another that seeks to roll back democratic progress by "playing to fear, pitting neighbor against neighbor and blaming others for their own failures to provide for their people."

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