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PURPOSE OF THE U.S.-CUBA DEMOCRACY PAC

A federal Political Action Committee formed to promote an unconditional transition in Cuba to democracy, the rule of law and the free market.
 
USCD PAC will raise funds from individuals to contribute to candidates running for the United States Congress, who oppose any economic measures that directly or indirectly finance the repressive machinery of the Cuban dictatorship and, who are committed to supporting legislation seeking to strengthen support for Cuba's courageous pro-democracy movement.

USCD PAC will also raise funds to inform U.S. Senators and Representatives of both political parties, and their staffs, about the true nature of the Castro regime and their anti-American policies and activities worldwide, as demonstrated by Cuba’s inclusion in the Department of State's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

USCD PAC's mission will continue until all Cuban political prisoners are freed; the Cuban people’s fundamental human and civil rights are recognized and enforced; and a transition to a multiparty democracy occurs in Cuba. *

*Upon the decision of the Executive Committee that the mission of the USCD PAC has been fulfilled, all remaining funds shall be refunded to contributors on an aggregate pro rata basis.

AGENDA OF THE U.S.-CUBA DEMOCRACY PAC

U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC believes support for our friends in the U.S. Congress is essential for the promotion of a free and democratic Cuba. We also believe that a thoughtful analysis of the Cuban situation and of the true nature of the Castro dictatorship is imperative. Our agenda includes the following:


Oppose Legislation That Will Finance the Cuban Dictatorship’s Repressive Machinery

The Castro regime would be the major beneficiary of the lifting of trade and travel-related sanctions to Cuba. Cuba's tourism and trade sectors are completely state-owned or operated through joint ventures with corporations established by, and under the supervision of, the Cuban Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) and the Ministry of the Interior (MININT). The Castro's military and intelligence apparatus has not only become a self-financing institution, but its absolute control over foreign capital in Cuba has allowed it to strengthen its totalitarian infrastructure.

At issue are not the current sales - on a cash and carry basis - of foodstuffs and medicine to Cuba. The United States currently is -- and should remain -- the world’s largest provider of humanitarian aid to Cuba. What the Castro regime really seeks is U.S. tourism, financing and export insurance. As a result of the Cuban government's dismal credit record, many countries around the world no longer provide credits or export insurance to the Castro regime. American taxpayers should not subsidize repression in Cuba.

In sum, regulating trade and travel-related transactions with the Cuban dictatorship are imperative:

To keep hard currency out of the hands of Cuba's repressive state police and military. The regulations now in place were carefully designed to deny financial support to Cuba's military, security and intelligence services. If the United States were to lift restrictions on travel-related transactions, Cuba's own Ministry of Tourism has estimated that Cuba's dictatorship would net an additional $5 billion annually. That would nearly equal the subsidies that Venezuela's government now provides Cuba.

To protect U.S. security interests. The State Department lists Cuba as one of the world's four remaining "state-sponsors of terrorism," alongside Iran, Syria and Sudan. Cuba's regime maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Syria. It was recently caught red-handed trafficking weapons to North Korea, in violation of international sanctions. Moreover, it continues to harbor violent radical groups, U.S. fugitives and terrorists. In the last decade, there have been more convictions in U.S. federal courts of individuals conducting espionage activities for the Cuban regime -- including on the Central and Southern Command of the U.S. Armed Forces -- than from any other country.

To stand in unconditional solidarity with Cuba's opposition leaders and political prisoners. From Eastern Europe to South Africa, sanctions have historically signaled solidarity for democracy's advocates and provided them with leverage to challenge their governments. Cuba's democratic opposition leaders recognize the importance of this leverage. They include The Ladies in White's Berta Soler and the Cuban Patriotic Union's Guillermo Farinas, both recipients of the European Parliament's Sakharov Award, who have stressed the importance of the U.S. maintaining its sanctions.

Encourage Our Friends in the U.S. Congress to Urge their Colleagues from Legislative Bodies Around the World, and America's Friends and Allies, to Support the Legitimate Aspirations of Freedom of the Cuban People.

Cuba is the country with the highest (per capita) percentage of political prisoners in the world. The Castro regime systemically implements campaigns of oppression and persecution against Cuba's pro-democracy movement. The international community, led by the former Soviet-occupied states of Eastern Europe, has reacted with outright moral and political condemnation. Members of the U.S. Congress, who often have contacts with foreign governments, foreign legislative bodies and the diplomatic corps in Washington D.C., should urge the U.S. government and other democracies to forge a multilateral effort to support the democratic opposition in Cuba, while simultaneously sending a message to the current regime that its dictatorship is unsustainable and unacceptable.



Consolidating Democratic Values in Pursuit of U.S. National Interests in the Western Hemisphere

The 21st century began with multiparty democracies in all but one of the Western Hemisphere's 35 nations. Cuba was the glaring exception. In the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter, the United States unequivocally affirmed its political and economic support for representative democracy in this hemisphere. While U.S. policy toward Cuba predates that covenant, its principles are consistent with it: U.S. political and economic engagement with the Cuban dictatorship will follow Cuba's release of political prisoners; respect for fundamental human rights, as laid out in international accords; and unambiguous steps toward democratic, political reform. Failure of the region, and more importantly of the U.S. as a regional leader, to enforce that principle would threaten to reopen an all-too-familiar door to authoritarianism throughout the Hemisphere. 

Defending the Hemisphere Against the Threats Posed by the Castro Regime

For almost fifty years, the Cuban regime has played an important role in the promotion of violence and anti-American actions throughout the Western Hemisphere. Its latest iteration is currently taking place in Venezuela. The Cuban regime remains on the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism. Throughout the years, senior members of the Cuban government have been indicted by federal grand juries charged with narcotics trafficking. Additionally, Cuba remains the largest source country of individuals convicted in U.S. courts for espionage, including a senior analyst working at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The United States has raised concerns about Cuba's capacity for the research and production of biochemical weapons, and the possible transfer of dual-use biotechnology among rogue states. Recently, Cuba's regime was caught smuggling weapons to North Korea, in violation of international sanctions. The USCD PAC will work in the U.S. Congress to bring these threats to the attention of the American people, and through its oversight of executive agencies, make sure that these matters receive the attention they merit.

Preparing the Next Generation of Cuban Democratic Leaders

The challenges facing the creation of a modern civil society in today's Cuba are enormous. According to Freedom House's "Freedom on the Net" report, Cuba remains the world's second worst violator of Internet freedom. Only Iran ranks lower. Despite this, from the island’s cities to its countryside, countless number of young Cubans have become the faces of its courageous democracy movement. Moreover, technology has become the most powerful and peaceful weapon in breaking the Cuban regime's information blockade. USCD PAC will ask U.S. Congressional committees to hold hearings and consider Congressional action to strengthen US government programs designed to promote democracy and human rights in Cuba.

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