THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Little Rock, Arkansas) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release January 17, 2001 STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT I am notifying the Congress that I have decided to suspend for an
additional six months implementation of provisions of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, which allow legal actions to be brought against firms trafficking in confiscated properties in Cuba. I believe this action will enhance efforts by the United States to strengthen international cooperation aimed at promoting peaceful democratic change in Cuba.
For the past five years, the United States has pursued a strategy, coordinated by the Department of State, to increase international pressure on the Cuban Government to respect human rights and to begin political and economic reforms. Our friends and allies have joined us by taking concrete actions to try to hasten the day when Cuba will join the community of democratic nations. Encouraged by the results of our efforts to elicit the aid of our friends, I said in January 1997 that I expected to continue suspending this provision of Title III so long as our partners' stepped up pro-democracy efforts continued.
Over the past six months, the international community has continued to send a clear message to the Cuban Government on the need for greater respect for human rights and democratic reforms. For the second consecutive year, the Cuban government experienced diplomatic isolation at the Ibero-American Summit, as other heads of state criticized Cuba's undemocratic government and abysmal human rights record. In the same vein, the Government of Canada has made clear that Cuba will not be invited to the 2001 Summit of the Americas, as the summit is for democratic nations only. The Cuban Government is hearing a consistent, firm message that it is time for peaceful, democratic change in Cuba.
I encourage our friends and allies to continue taking effective steps to promote democracy and human rights in Cuba.