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US to Reduce Flow of Dollars to Cuba - 2004-05-06

President Bush is moving to reduce the flow of U.S. dollars to Cuba and taking other steps to hasten the end of Fidel Castro's communist government in Havana. The steps were recommended by a study commission headed by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Mr. Bush says the United States will increase support for organizations supporting Cuban dissidents, and take steps to reduce the flow of dollars to Cuba from tourists and remittances, as part of a tough new strategy to help Cubans become free of what he termed the "tyranny" of the Castro government.

At a White House meeting with members of the commission he ordered to be set up last October, the president said the United States will not passively await a change in government in Cuba.

"It is a strategy that says we are not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom. We are working for the day of freedom in Cuba," the president said.

The plan also includes steps to counter Cuban jamming of U.S. broadcasts to the island. Democrats are criticizing the steps as an election year effort to curry favor with Cuban-American voters.