By the President of the United States of America
Since 1959, when the Congress designated the third week of July as "Captive Nations Week," Americans have set aside this week to remember those who suffer under the yoke of oppressive governments. Many brave people who sought freedom and liberty brought down these totalitarian regimes, and this week we recognize their sacrifices. But we must also rededicate ourselves to those who are still struggling in regions of the world where human rights and individual liberties are not upheld.
Over two centuries ago our forefathers fought for the cause of freedom and democracy, and these ideals have continued to be embraced by nations around the world. As America declared its independence, our country provided inspiration for all those who did not enjoy the rights that we held to be self-evident. We cannot abandon those we have encouraged. Our efforts in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe have been rewarded by a wave of freedom throughout the region. Furthermore, these nations have proven their resolve and commitment to the difficult and frustrating transition to democratic, market-oriented systems that respect individual, social, political, and economic rights.
Yet today not everyone is free. There are still oppressive and authoritarian governments entrenched elsewhere in the world. Others are struggling for freedom and democracy, but need our help. Many nations in Latin America and Africa have been slower to introduce change. Tragically, even those in Europe are still threatened by atrocities fueled by ethnic hatred. For this reason, we must always remember the abuses that captive peoples have endured, continue to promote individual liberties, and call upon the nations of the world to protect human rights.
The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved July 17, 1959 (73 Stat. 212), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July of each year as "Captive Nations Week."
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 11 through July 17, 1993, as Captive Nations Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. In doing this, I rededicate America to supporting the cause of human rights, democracy, peace, freedom, justice, and prosperity for all.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON