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Cuba Dissidents Meeting

Following an unprecedented two-day gathering in Havana, over one-hundred Cuban democracy advocates have adopted a resolution calling for the return of "democratic traditions" to the Communist-ruled island.

The passage of the resolution was met with chants of "Cuba libre" and "For Cuba, the time has come." "This is a triumph" for all who love freedom, said organizer Marta Beatriz Roque.

The resolution calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, economic reforms, and opening up the one-party system. It proclaims the Communist government of Fidel Castro as "a Stalinist model" that constitutes a "totalitarian regime." The resolution also demands the "return to the democratic traditions of our country, of a plurality of parties, programs, political ideologies and candidates", and calls for the recognition of exiles "as members of the Cuban nation."

President George W. Bush sent a taped message to the Cuban democracy advocates:

"As you struggle for the freedom of your country, the American people stand with you. We're helping organizations protect dissidents and promote human rights. We're working to ensure that the Cuban people hear the clear voice of truth through Radio and TV Marti. And we're working to prevent the repressive regime from exploiting the hard currency of tourists and remittances to Cubans. We are not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom, we are working for the day of Cuban freedom."

"The tide of freedom is spreading across the globe," said Mr. Bush, "and one day soon, it will reach Cuban shores":

"No tyrant can stand forever against the power of liberty because the hope of freedom is found in every heart. So today we are confident that Cuba, 'sera libre pronto'[will soon be free]."

"We will keep the pressure on," said President Bush, "until the Cuban people enjoy the same freedom in Havana that they have in America."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.