AP quotes IRI Chairman on the Release of Cuba Report

McCain: Cuba Pro-Democracy Movement Strong
The Associated Press
By Dana D’Aniello

Sen. John McCain said Thursday the struggle for freedom in Cuba remains strong despite brutal repression by the Castro regime.

“Dissent in Cuba is alive and well,” said McCain, R-Ariz. “The pro-democracy movement has survived the repression organized by Castro to crush it. It has weathered the storm.”

McCain is chairman of the International Republican Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing democracy in Cuba and other countries worldwide. McCain spoke to mark the release of “Dissenting Voices,” an institute publication detailing the struggles of Cuba’s pro-democracy movement since March 2003, when the Castro regime launched a crackdown. The regime arrested and imprisoned 88 Cuban dissidents on charges of treason during the crackdown, the institute says.

“Cuba’s ruling elite must understand that the world won’t accept its routine violation of human rights,” said McCain.

The senator praised members of Cuba’s pro-democracy movement and urged other countries to support Cuba in its move from dictatorship toward democracy.

“I believe that the Cuban people will be able to experience their God-given rights sooner rather than later, thanks to the great people who continue to struggle for freedom,” he said.

Other speakers joining McCain on Thursday included Roger Noriega, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, and Adolfo Franco, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The institute will distribute “Dissenting Voices” to non-governmental organizations and policy-makers in Washington, Miami and Latin America.

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