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Bush to Urge Continuation of Cuban Embargo


President Bush travels to Miami Monday to promote a tougher U.S. policy against Cuba. Mr. Bush is expected to continue a tough economic embargo against the communist island nation off America's southeastern coast, in addition to other controversial hard-line policies.

President Bush's expected call for a continuation of the economic embargo against Cuba comes a week after former President Jimmy Carter's historic visit.

In what was the first trip by a current or former U.S. head of state to the communist country, Mr. Carter said he was "pleased" following meetings with Cuban President Fidel Castro, prominent dissidents and members of the Cuban media. President Carter opposes the economic embargo.

Economic measures against Cuba stir passions within the United States, especially among members of the Cuban-American community.

Jorge Mas Santos is chairman of the Cuban-American National Foundation. In an interview Sunday on the ABC television program This Week, Mr. Mas Santos argued against lifting the embargo, saying that would benefit Mr. Castro, whom he called a communist dictator.

Mr. Mas Santos said Cuba is now free to trade with any nation in the world except the United States. "Cuban people do not have milk. And the children are not provided for as we're accustomed to in countries where we have free enterprise and people have free enterprise," he remarked. "So, I think to blame the embargo for the ills of the Cuban people - Fidel Castro and his failed revolution are responsible for the misery and enslavement of 11-million Cubans on the island."

But Arizona Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, an opponent of the economic embargo against Cuba, says it's been Fidel Castro's lifeline. "Because he has been able to blame the failures of socialism on us. It's been the best thing he's got, and we shouldn't give him that," Mr. Flake said.

The United States also has a travel embargo to Cuba, preventing Americans from visiting to the island nation.

Congressman Flake said on the television program This week, the travel ban punishes Americans, not Cubans. Supporters of the U.S. embargo say even if it were lifted, Castro wouldn't let Cubans travel anyway.