Text: S.3769 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (08/01/2006)


109th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3769


To encourage multilateral cooperation and authorize a program of assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition in Cuba, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 1, 2006

Mr. Ensign (for himself, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Santorum, and Mr. Frist) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To encourage multilateral cooperation and authorize a program of assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition in Cuba, and for other purposes.

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 “Cuba Transition Act of 2006”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The Cuban people are seeking change in their country, including through the 1998 Agreement for Democracy, independent journalist activity, and other civil society initiatives.

(2) Civil society groups and independent, self-employed Cuban citizens will be essential to the consolidation of a genuine and effective transition to democracy from an authoritarian, communist government in Cuba, and therefore merit increased international assistance.

(3) The people of the United States support a policy of proactively helping the Cuban people to establish a democratic system of government, including supporting Cuban citizen efforts to prepare for transition to a better and more prosperous future.

(4) The Inter-American Democratic Charter adopted by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) provides both guidance and mechanisms for response by OAS members to the governmental transition in Cuba and that country’s eventual reintegration into the inter-American system.

(5) United States Government support of pro-democracy elements in Cuba and planning for the transition in Cuba is essential for the identification of resources and mechanisms that can be made available immediately in response to profound political and economic changes on the island.

(6) Consultations with democratic development institutions and international development agencies regarding Cuba are a critical element in the preparation of an effective multilateral response to the transition in Cuba.

SEC. 3. Purposes.

The purposes of this Act are as follows:

(1) To support multilateral efforts by the countries of the Western Hemisphere in planning for a transition of the government in Cuba and the return of that country to the Western Hemisphere community of democracies.

(2) To encourage the development of an international group to coordinate multilateral planning to a transition of the government in Cuba.

(3) To authorize funding for programs to assist the Cuban people and independent nongovernmental organizations in Cuba in preparing the groundwork for a peaceful transition of government in Cuba.

(4) To provide the President with funding to implement assistance programs essential to the development of a democratic government in Cuba.

SEC. 4. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT IN CUBA.—The term “democratically elected government in Cuba” has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6023).

(2) TRANSITION GOVERNMENT IN CUBA.—The term “transition government in Cuba” has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6023).

SEC. 5. Multilateral initiatives related to Cuba.

The Secretary of State is authorized to designate such sums as may be necessary of total amounts made available for contributions to international organizations to be provided to the Organization of American States for—

(1) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights activities relating to the situation of human rights in Cuba; and

(2) the funding of an OAS emergency fund for the deployment of human rights observers, election support, and election observation in Cuba as described in section 109(b) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6039(b)(1)).

SEC. 6. Sense of Congress.

(a) Sense of Congress regarding consultation with Western Hemisphere.—It is the sense of Congress that the President should begin consultation, as appropriate, with governments of other Western Hemisphere countries regarding a transition in Cuba.

(b) Sense of Congress regarding other consultations.—It is the sense of Congress that the President should begin consultations with appropriate international partners and governments regarding a multilateral diplomatic and financial support program for response to a transition in Cuba.

SEC. 7. Assistance provided to the Cuban people in preparation for a transition in Cuba.

(a) Authorization.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law other than section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2394–1) and comparable notification requirements contained in any Act making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs, the President is authorized to furnish such sums as may be necessary in assistance and provide other support for individuals and independent nongovernmental organizations to support democracy-building efforts for Cuba, including assistance for—

(1) political prisoners and members of their families;

(2) persons persecuted or harassed for dissident activities;

(3) independent libraries;

(4) independent workers’ rights activists;

(5) independent agricultural cooperatives;

(6) independent associations of self-employed Cubans;

(7) independent journalists;

(8) independent youth organizations;

(9) independent environmental groups;

(10) independent economists, medical doctors, and other professionals;

(11) establishing and maintaining an information and resources center to be in the United States interests section in Havana, Cuba;

(12) prodemocracy programs of the National Endowment for Democracy related to Cuba;

(13) nongovernmental programs to facilitate access to the Internet, subject to section 102(g) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6032(g));

(14) nongovernmental charitable programs that provide nutrition and basic medical care to persons most at risk, including children and elderly persons; and

(15) nongovernmental charitable programs to reintegrate into civilian life persons who have abandoned, resigned, or been expelled from the Cuban armed forces for ideological reasons.

(b) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) INDEPENDENT NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION.—The term “independent nongovernmental organization” means an organization that the Secretary of State determines, not less than 15 days before any obligation of funds to the organization, is a charitable or nonprofit nongovernmental organization that is not an agency or instrumentality of the Cuban Government.

(2) ELIGIBLE CUBAN RECIPIENTS.—The term “eligible Cuban recipients” is limited to any Cuban national in Cuba, including political prisoners and their families, who are not officials of the Cuban Government or of the ruling political party in Cuba, as defined in section 4(10) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6023(10)).

SEC. 8. Support for a transition government in Cuba.

(a) Authorization of appropriations.—In addition to funds otherwise available for such purposes, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to the President to establish a fund to provide assistance to a transition government in Cuba as defined in section 4(14) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (22 U.S.C. 6023(14)).

(b) Designation of Fund.—The fund authorized in subsection (a) shall be known as the “Fund for a Free Cuba”.

(c) Availability of funds.—Amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) are authorized to remain available until expended.


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