H.R.4537 - Cuban Internal Opposition Assistance Act of 2000106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Diaz-Balart, Lincoln [R-FL-21] (Introduced 05/24/2000)|
|Committees:||House - International Relations|
|Latest Action:||05/24/2000 Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.|
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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. <all>