Text: H.Con.Res.81 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (04/28/2005)

[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 81 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  1st Session
H. CON. RES. 81



                             April 28, 2005

      Received and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the two-year anniversary of 
                  the human rights crackdown in Cuba.

Whereas in March 2003, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro arrested more than 75 
        journalists, labor union organizers, civic leaders, librarians, and 
        human rights activists as political prisoners;
Whereas the Cuban regime, after summary trials which were denounced by the 
        international community, sentenced these innocent men and women to a 
        total of more than

1,000 years in prison for trying to exercise their civil and political 
rights, many of whom are anticipated to die in prison before their sentence 
is completed;

Whereas the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms a commitment to fundamental 
        human rights and to the dignity and worth of all people;
Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes global 
        human rights standards, asserts that all human beings are born free and 
        equal in dignity and rights, and that no one shall be subjected to 
        arbitrary arrest or detention;
Whereas these arrests and convictions were an atrocious attempt by the Cuban 
        regime to crush the citizens' movements for a free and democratic Cuba;
Whereas Fidel Castro has tentatively released a limited number of prisoners from 
        jail but these political activists are subject to arrest and 
        imprisonment at any time pursuant to ``extra penal licenses'';
Whereas in 2004, the Cuban regime continued its suppression of democracy and 
        repression of human rights activists, imprisoning a significant number 
        of political dissidents during the year on such charges as disrespect 
        for authority, public disorder, disobedience, and resisting arrest;
Whereas in April 2004, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted a 
        resolution deploring the sentencing of ``political dissidents and 
        journalists'' in 2003 and calling for a visit to Cuba by a Personal 
        Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which was later 
        denied by the Cuban regime;
Whereas Fidel Castro continues to hold hundreds of political prisoners in his 
        jail cells;
Whereas Amnesty International has recognized all journalists and activists who 
        were arrested in the crackdown in March 2003 as prisoners of conscience;
Whereas the Cuban regime engages in torture and other cruel, inhumane, and 
        degrading treatment and punishment against political prisoners to force 
        them into submission, including intense beatings, extended periods of 
        solitary confinement, and denial of nutritional and medical attention, 
        according to the Department of State's Country Report on Human Rights 
Whereas religious freedom in Cuba is severely circumscribed, and clergy and lay 
        people suffer sustained persecution by the Cuban State Security 
Whereas the Cuban regime denies the people of Cuba equal protection under the 
        law, disallows them recourse for remedying violations of human rights 
        and civil liberties, and instead enforces a judicial system which 
        infringes upon fundamental rights; and
Whereas the United States Congress has stood, consistently, on the side of the 
        Cuban people and supported their right to be free: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),  
That Congress--
            (1) condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of 
        more than 75 journalists, labor union organizers, civic 
        leaders, librarians, and human rights activists as political 
        prisoners in March 2003 and the Cuban regime's continuing 
        repressive crackdown against the brave internal opposition and 
        the independent press;
            (2) expresses its profound admiration and firm solidarity 
        with the internal opposition and independent press of Cuba;
            (3) demands that the Cuban regime immediately release all 
        political prisoners, legalize all political parties, labor 
        unions, and the press, and hold free and fair elections;
            (4) declares the acts of the Cuban regime, including its 
        widespread and systematic violation of human rights, to be in 
        violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the 
        Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
            (5) declares that the rule of law should replace the rule 
        of force so that the fundamental and inalienable rights of 
        every individual in Cuba are protected;
            (6) calls for the European Union, as well as other 
        countries and international organizations, to continue to 
        pressure the Cuban regime to improve its human rights record; 
            (7) calls for United Nations member countries to vote 
        against the Cuban regime's membership in the United Nations 
        Commission on Human Rights and the passage of a resolution at 
        the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human 
        Rights that holds the Cuban regime accountable for its gross 
        violations of human rights and civil liberties.

            Passed the House of Representatives April 27, 2005.


                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,