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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 15, 1994




This year marks the 45th commemoration of "Captive Nations Week," our national expression of support for the people of the world who continue to suffer the yoke of oppressive governments. Freedom has made great strides in recent years, thanks to the quiet heroism of countless men and women. Yet far too many members of the human family still live in the shadows, shackled and intimidated in regimes of fear, and we must keep faith with them.

For over 200 years, this Nation has worked to realize the vision of freedom articulated by our founders, and before them by thinkers throughout the ages. Our commitment to the eternally-unfolding meaning and spirit of liberty expresses not only our most cherished values, but also our best hope for long- term international stability.

Freedom is a work in process. The people of the former Soviet bloc are making the arduous transition to free societies and free markets, and we will endeavor to support them as best we can. Less outwardly dramatic, but no less moving, are the democratic transitions that have taken place in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and there too, we will do what we can.

But great numbers of men and women are still not free. Authoritarianism still wields an iron grip over the lives of millions. And in this new time we are confronted by the alarming specter of racial, ethnic, and religious animosities and violence. It is thus all the more reason for us to recommit ourselves to the work of promoting respect for universal human rights and for political freedom for people of all races, creeds, and nationalities the world over.

The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved July 17, 1959 (73 Stat. 212), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July of each year as "Captive Nations Week."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 17 through July 23, 1994, as Captive Nations Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities, and in so doing to rededicate ourselves to the principles of freedom and justice on which this Nation was founded and by which we will endure.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fifteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.


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