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Bush On Democracy In The Americas

Leaders from thirty-four democratic countries, including the United States, attended the fourth Summit of the Americas, in Mar del Plata, Argentina. The participants focused on efforts to create more jobs, to sustain economic growth through greater trade and development, to fight poverty, and to strengthen democratic institutions.

President George W. Bush announced a plan to create a Central America and Caribbean fund to be run by qualified private sector fund managers. The fund will invest in companies in Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

President Bush says, "Ensuring social justice for the Americas requires choosing between two competing visions":

"One offers a vision of hope. It is founded on representative government, integration into the world community, and a faith in the transformative power of freedom in individual lives. The other seems to roll back the democratic progress of the past two decades by playing to fear, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and blaming others for their own failures to provide for their people."

"Successful democracies," says Mr. Bush, are "based on shared principles, and shared responsibilities, and respect for all":

Each democracy has its own character and culture that reflect its unique traditions and history. Yet all free and successful countries share common characteristics: freedom to worship, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, economic liberty, equal justice under the rule of law, equal citizenship for all – and the limitation of state power through checks and balances."

"By making the blessings of freedom real in our hemisphere," says President Bush, "we will advance the cause of social justice and set a shining example for the rest of the world."

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