By: Secretary Condoleezza Rice
WASHINGTON, DC – At this significant moment in Cuba’s history, we reaffirm our belief that the Cuban people have an inalienable right to participate in an open and comprehensive dialogue about their country’s future, free of fear and repression, and to choose their leaders in democratic elections.
We support their aspirations for a better life, and their desire to enjoy the fundamental rights and liberties expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
We support their efforts to obtain a voice in their national destiny, and their desire to gain access to the resources and opportunities necessary to become masters of their own lives, enhance the well-being of their families, and achieve their God-given potential.
We urge the Cuban government to begin a process of peaceful, democratic change by releasing all political prisoners, respecting human rights, and creating a clear pathway towards free and fair elections. We also urge the international community to work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions necessary for democracy, and to support Cuban civil society. The Cuban people, facing the legacy of five decades of tyranny, merit our solidarity and support as they seek to construct a brighter future.