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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 28, 1997


Report on Support for a Democratic Transition in Cuba

The President transmitted to Congress today a report, mandated by Title II of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (LIBERTAD Act), that describes potential U.S. and other international assistance and other support for a transitional or democratic government in Cuba.

The report communicates to the people of Cuba, including individuals in the Cuba Government who support democracy, that the U.S. stands ready, along with other democratic nations, to help Cuba overcome the challenges that arise during the transition to democracy.

The report is premised on the fact that it is the Cuban people who must choose when and how a transition takes place, and what their new government's policies and priorities should be. It emphasizes that the U.S. -- far from threatening Cuba's sovereignty as the Castro regime alleges -- wants to assist Cubans in building an independent, prosperous and free country.

Transitions that have taken place in other formerly communist countries provide a wealth of experience and lessons from which Cuba can draw. The report identifies the types of assistance and support that transition and democratic governments typically have sought while undertaking the political and economic reforms to which they are committed, including assistance:

The report estimates that the United States and other international donors will make available between $4 billion and $8 billion in various types of assistance when Cuba has a government committed to democracy and protecting human rights.

Other steps the U.S. will consider in working with a democratic transition include restoring diplomatic relations, promoting Cuban participation in free trade agreements and opening discussions on the status of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, as mentioned in the Helms-Burton legislation.

The U.S. Government will communicate the report to the Cuban people through a variety of means, including Radio Marti broadcasts.

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