Text: H.R.4537 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/24/2000)


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[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4537 Introduced in House (IH)]







106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4537

  To assist the internal opposition in Cuba, and to further help the 
                 Cuban people to regain their freedom.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 24, 2000

   Mr. Diaz-Balart (for himself, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Menendez, Mr. 
  DeLay, Mr. Gilman, Mr. Watts of Oklahoma, Mr. Hyde, Mr. Dreier, Mr. 
Goss, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Archer, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Mrs. 
Fowler, Mr. Lantos, Ms. Dunn, Mr. Deutsch, Mr. Shaw, Mr. McCollum, Mrs. 
Meek of Florida, Mr. Foley, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Bachus, Mr. Ballenger, Mr. 
Bonilla, Mr. Burr of North Carolina, Mr. Canady of Florida, Mr. Cannon, 
 Mr. Chabot, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Engel, Mr. Franks of New 
 Jersey, Mr. Fossella, Mr. Goodling, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Gutknecht, Mr. 
 Jones of North Carolina, Mr. Hastings of Washington, Mr. Hunter, Mr. 
 Hutchinson, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, Mr. King, Mr. Kingston, Mr. 
Lazio, Mr. Linder, Mr. Manzullo, Mr. McInnis, Mr. McKeon, Mr. Miller of 
Florida, Mrs. Myrick, Mr. Ney, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Peterson 
     of Minnesota, Ms. Pryce of Ohio, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Rogan, Mr. 
 Rohrabacher, Mr. Rothman, Mr. Scarborough, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Sherman, 
  Mr. Souder, Mr. Stearns, Mr. Traficant, Mr. Weldon of Florida, Mr. 
Wexler, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Cox, Mr. Lucas 
      of Oklahoma, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Pombo, Mr. Shadegg, and Mr. 
Frelinghuysen) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                  Committee on International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To assist the internal opposition in Cuba, and to further help the 
                 Cuban people to regain their freedom.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Cuban Internal Opposition Assistance 
Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) United States law permits and facilitates donations of 
        food, medicine, medical supplies and equipment, clothing, 
        building materials, and other humanitarian assistance to Cuba 
        (31 CFR 515).
            (2) Since 1992, approximately $3,000,000,000 in 
        humanitarian assistance from the United States, including food, 
        medicine, and clothing has been authorized for donation to Cuba 
        (Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration 
        statistics, 10-23-92 through 7-31-97).
            (3) The United States is the world's largest source of 
        private humanitarian donations to Cuba (Department of State 
        report ``The U.S. Embargo and Health Care in Cuba'', August 5, 
        1997).
            (4) United States law permits the sale of medicine and 
        medical equipment to Cuba (31 CFR 515).
            (5) There are a large number of Cubans who are the victims 
        of the most extreme political repression, specifically those 
        surviving immediate relatives of Cubans who were assassinated 
        by the Castro regime, political prisoners and their immediate 
        relatives, former political prisoners and their immediate 
        relatives, and activists of the internal opposition and their 
        immediate relatives.
            (6) Thousands of people have been assassinated by the 
        Castro dictatorship during the last 41 years.
            (7) There are hundreds of thousands of former political 
        prisoners in Cuba.
            (8) These victims of the most extreme political repression 
        are the victims of the most brutal actions and are 
        systematically denied access to humanitarian and all other 
        forms of assistance by the Cuban dictatorship.
            (9) Castro has destroyed what was in 1959 Latin America's 
        most developed society and economy (Department of State report 
        ``Zenith and Eclipse: A Comparative Look at Socioeconomic 
        Conditions in Pre-Castro and Present-Day Cuba'', February 9, 
        1998).
            (10) For example, data from that State Department report 
        shows that, during the years of Castro's dictatorship--
                    (A) Cuba, once ranked third in the hemisphere in 
                rice production, is now the only country in the 
                hemisphere whose production of rice and yield per acre 
has fallen since 1958;
                    (B) Cuba's electricity production has fallen and 
                the rate of growth of electrical production ranks 19th 
                of 20 nations in the region (just ahead of Haiti);
                    (C) Cuba ranks last in the hemisphere in export 
                growth, while Mexican exports, equivalent to Cuba's in 
                1958, has increased 130 times since that time;
                    (D) Cuba, ranked third in the hemisphere in 1958 in 
                gold and foreign exchange reserves, is now dead last;
                    (E) Cuba, which in 1957 had more television 
                stations (23) than any other nation in Latin America, 
                ranked 8th in the world in the number of radio stations 
                (160), and first in the world in the number of daily 
                newspapers (58) for a country of its size, now ranks 
                last in the hemisphere in all these categories;
                    (F) Cuba is the only nation in the hemisphere whose 
                number of automobiles per capita has fallen since 1958; 
                and
                    (G) Cuba's infant mortality rate in 1957 was the 
                lowest in Latin America and one of the lowest in the 
                world, lower than 4 of today's ``G-7'' nations.
            (11) The internal opposition movement throughout Cuba, 
        despite its very limited resources, is working intensely to 
        draw international attention to Cuba's deplorable human rights 
        situation and continues to strengthen and grow in its 
        opposition to the Castro dictatorship.
            (12) The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 
        1996 authorized the President to support pro-democracy forces 
        within Cuba and to furnish assistance to victims of political 
        repression.
            (13) The intent of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic 
        Solidarity Act of 1996 to assist the internal opposition inside 
        Cuba has been insufficiently complied with.
            (14) Requests for licenses to provide assistance to the 
        internal opposition in Cuba have not been granted.
            (15) January 1, 2000 marked the 41st anniversary of the 
        absolute power of the totalitarian regime that oppresses the 
        Cuban people.
            (16) The Cuban dictatorship's prisons are kept full of 
        political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, of men and 
        women of all ages and all races, evidencing the rejection by 
        the Cuban people of the brutal regime that oppresses them.
            (17) The internal opposition is in great need of assistance 
        to continue increasing its efforts to offer the Cuban people a 
        democratic alternative to the current dictatorship.
            (18) The internal opposition in Cuba is made up of valiant 
        pro-democracy activists who have taken and continue to take 
        grave risks to their personal safety and to their families in 
        order to advance the cause of freedom in Cuba.
            (19) It is necessary for the United States to take serious 
        steps to assist the Cuban internal opposition.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to take advantage of the historic opportunity created 
        by the increasing efforts and accomplishments of courageous 
        independent nongovernmental opposition organizations in Cuba to 
        achieve freedom for the Cuban people and to assist the Cuban 
        people to secure the blessings of liberty;
            (2) to provide democracy assistance to the victims of the 
        most extreme political repression of the Castro dictatorship, 
        specifically the surviving immediate relatives of those 
        assassinated, political prisoners, former political prisoners, 
        military and former military personnel imprisoned for political 
reasons, internal opposition activists, and their immediate relatives; 
and
            (3) to strengthen independent nongovernmental opposition 
        organizations in Cuba committed to the liberation of the Cuban 
        people.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Independent nongovernmental opposition organization.--
        The term ``independent nongovernmental opposition 
        organization'' means a nongovernmental organization inside Cuba 
        that has demonstrated that it is not an agency or 
        instrumentality of the Cuban Government, as certified annually 
        by the President with the assistance and in coordination with 
        the Committee on International Relations of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 
        Senate, and has publicly or actively made known its opposition 
        to the Cuban Government. Evidence of opposition to be taken 
        into account shall include membership in independent 
        nongovernmental opposition organizations of political prisoners 
        and former political prisoners.
            (2) Independent nongovernmental organization.--The term 
        ``independent nongovernmental organization'' means a 
        nongovernmental organization that is not an agency or 
        instrumentality of the Cuban Government, nor is controlled by 
        or supportive of the Cuban Government, as certified annually by 
        the President with the assistance and in coordination with the 
        Committee on International Relations of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the 
        Senate, to facilitate democracy assistance to the victims of 
        the most extreme political repression in Cuba.
            (3) Democracy assistance.--The term ``democracy 
        assistance'' means communications equipment, printing presses, 
        photocopiers, fax machines, pens, paper and other pro-democracy 
        assistance for independent nongovernmental opposition 
        organizations and the victims of the most extreme political 
        repression, as well as humanitarian assistance currently 
        authorized by section 109 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic 
        Solidarity Act of 1996.
            (4) Victims of the most extreme political repression.--The 
        term ``victims of the most extreme political repression'' means 
        any Cuban national in Cuba who is--
                    (A) a political prisoner or an immediate relative 
                of one;
                    (B) a former political prisoner or an immediate 
                relative of one;
                    (C) a member or former member of the military 
                imprisoned for political reasons or an immediate 
                relative of one; or
                    (D) an individual active within an independent 
                nongovernmental opposition organization or an immediate 
                relative of one, or an immediate relative of a Cuban 
                assassinated by the Castro regime.
            (5) Immediate relative.--The term ``immediate relative'' 
        means the children, spouses, and parents of the most extreme 
        victims of political repression.

SEC. 5. SUPPORT FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MOST EXTREME POLITICAL 
              REPRESSION AND INDEPENDENT NONGOVERNMENTAL OPPOSITION 
              ORGANIZATIONS.

    (a) Availability of Funds and Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--Of the amounts made available under 
        section 109(a) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity 
        Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6030(a)) for any fiscal year, the 
        President shall use funds to carry out activities to assist the 
        victims of the most extreme political repression and to assist 
        independent nongovernmental opposition organizations inside 
        Cuba.
    (b) Verification of Assistance Distribution.--To assure that 
distribution of assistance is in compliance with the intent of this 
Act, the President shall ensure that adequate verification and 
monitoring is in place to assure that such assistance will be delivered 
only to the victims of the most extreme political repression and to 
independent nongovernmental opposition organizations.
    (C) Remittances to Independent Nongovernmental Opposition 
Organizations.--The President shall authorize the issuance of licenses 
to independent nongovernmental organizations to send monetary 
remittances to independent nongovernmental opposition organizations for 
the purposes of carrying out activities specified in section 109 of the 
Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996.
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