Bush says ‘Cuba will be free from tyranny one day’

January 14th, 2009 - 5:22 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) US President George W. Bush Tuesday expressed solidarity with the Cuban people and assured them that one day they would be free from Raul Castro’s “cruel dictatorship”, EFE reported.Bush described the Cuban government as “one of the cruelest dictatorships in the region”.

He said: “The world has witnessed other instances of dictatorship but ultimately those regimes fell and the formerly enslaved countries embraced their birthright of freedom.”

“One day, the people of Cuba would enjoy this same blessing,” Bush said in a message Tuesday on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

Bush, who will leave office Jan 20, expressed US’ support to defend freedom in Cuba. “All Cubans have the right to be treated with dignity so that they can rise as high as their talents and hard work would take them.”

“This is the standard my administration and past administrations - regardless of political affiliation - have expected from the Cuban government as condition for improved relations,” he added.

Raul Castro, for nearly half a century Cuba’s second-in-command, was elected as country’s new president Feb 24, 2008 to fill the post vacated by his older brother and long-time Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Bush’s message came a week before the White House changes hands and Democrat Barack Obama is sworn-in as president.

During the electoral campaign, Obama expressed his willingness to introduce changes in the American policy towards Cuba.

Among other things, he proposes relaxing restrictions on sending remittances from the US and on trips to the island nation by Cuban-Americans.

However, he favors to keep the US economic embargo on Cuba until the island’s regime sends clear signals of political change.

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