The Congress makes the following findings:
The economy of Cuba has experienced a decline of at least 60 percent in the last 5 years as a result of—
the end of its subsidization by the former Soviet Union of between 5 billion and 6 billion dollars annually;
36 years of communist tyranny and economic mismanagement by the Castro government;
the extreme decline in trade between Cuba and the countries of the former Soviet bloc; and
the stated policy of the Russian Government and the countries of the former Soviet bloc to conduct economic relations with Cuba on strictly commercial terms.
At the same time, the welfare and health of the Cuban people have substantially deteriorated as a result of this economic decline and the refusal of the Castro regime to permit free and fair democratic elections in Cuba.
The Castro regime has made it abundantly clear that it will not engage in any substantive political reforms that would lead to democracy, a market economy, or an economic recovery.
The repression of the Cuban people, including a ban on free and fair democratic elections, and continuing violations of fundamental human rights, have isolated the Cuban regime as the only completely nondemocratic government in the Western Hemisphere.
As long as free elections are not held in Cuba, the economic condition of the country and the welfare of the Cuban people will not improve in any significant way.
The totalitarian nature of the Castro regime has deprived the Cuban people of any peaceful means to improve their condition and has led thousands of Cuban citizens to risk or lose their lives in dangerous attempts to escape from Cuba to freedom.
Radio Marti and Television Marti have both been effective vehicles for providing the people of Cuba with news and information and have helped to bolster the morale of the people of Cuba living under tyranny.
The consistent policy of the United States towards Cuba since the beginning of the Castro regime, carried out by both Democratic and Republican administrations, has sought to keep faith with the people of Cuba, and has been effective in sanctioning the totalitarian Castro regime.
The United States has shown a deep commitment, and considers it a moral obligation, to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Congress has historically and consistently manifested its solidarity and the solidarity of the American people with the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people.
The Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 [22 U.S.C. 6001
et seq.] calls upon the President to encourage the governments of countries that conduct trade with Cuba to restrict their trade and credit relations with Cuba in a manner consistent with the purposes of that Act.
Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2151
et seq.] made by the FREEDOM Support Act require that the President, in providing economic assistance to Russia and the emerging Eurasian democracies, take into account the extent to which they are acting to “terminate support for the communist regime in Cuba, including removal of troops, closing military facilities, and ceasing trade subsidies and economic, nuclear, and other assistance”.
The Cuban Government engages in the illegal international narcotics trade and harbors fugitives from justice in the United States.
The Castro government threatens international peace and security by engaging in acts of armed subversion and terrorism such as the training and supplying of groups dedicated to international violence.
The Castro government has utilized from its inception and continues to utilize torture in various forms (including by psychiatry), as well as execution, exile, confiscation, political imprisonment, and other forms of terror and repression, as means of retaining power.
Fidel Castro has defined democratic pluralism as “pluralistic garbage” and continues to make clear that he has no intention of tolerating the democratization of Cuban society.
The Castro government holds innocent Cubans hostage in Cuba by no fault of the hostages themselves solely because relatives have escaped the country.
Although a signatory state to the 1928 Inter-American Convention on Asylum and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which protects the right to leave one’s own country), Cuba nevertheless surrounds embassies in its capital by armed forces to thwart the right of its citizens to seek asylum and systematically denies that right to the Cuban people, punishing them by imprisonment for seeking to leave the country and killing them for attempting to do so (as demonstrated in the case of the confirmed murder of over 40 men, women, and children who were seeking to leave Cuba on July 13, 1994).
The Castro government continues to utilize blackmail, such as the immigration crisis with which it threatened the United States in the summer of 1994, and other unacceptable and illegal forms of conduct to influence the actions of sovereign states in the Western Hemisphere in violation of the Charter of the Organization of American States and other international agreements and international law.
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly reported on the unacceptable human rights situation in Cuba and has taken the extraordinary step of appointing a Special Rapporteur.
The Cuban Government has consistently refused access to the Special Rapporteur and formally expressed its decision not to “implement so much as one comma” of the United Nations Resolutions appointing the Rapporteur.
The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 47–139 on December 18, 1992, Resolution 48–142 on December 20, 1993, and Resolution 49–200 on December 23, 1994, referencing the Special Rapporteur’s reports to the United Nations and condemning violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.
Article 39 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter provides that the United Nations Security Council “shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken . . ., to maintain or restore international peace and security.”.
The United Nations has determined that massive and systematic violations of human rights may constitute a “threat to peace” under Article 39 and has imposed sanctions due to such violations of human rights in the cases of Rhodesia, South Africa, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia.
In the case of Haiti, a neighbor of Cuba not as close to the United States as Cuba, the United States led an effort to obtain and did obtain a United Nations Security Council embargo and blockade against that country due to the existence of a military dictatorship in power less than 3 years.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 940 of July 31, 1994, subsequently authorized the use of “all necessary means” to restore the “democratically elected government of Haiti”, and the democratically elected government of Haiti was restored to power on October 15, 1994.
The Cuban people deserve to be assisted in a decisive manner to end the tyranny that has oppressed them for 36 years, and the continued failure to do so constitutes ethically improper conduct by the international community.
For the past 36 years, the Cuban Government has posed and continues to pose a national security threat to the United States.
[Pub. L. 104–114, § 2], Mar. 12, 1996, [110 Stat. 786].)