George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following a Meeting With Hispanic Leaders and an Exchange With Reporters in Miami, Florida

June 04, 2001

The President. It's been my honor to address community leaders from many nations in our hemisphere. Miami is the international capital of South America and Central America. It's one of the most vibrant cities in our Nation, and another reason why it's so culturally rich.

We had a wide-ranging discussion about different countries in our hemisphere. But I started off with a discussion about this administration's firm commitment to making sure our own neighborhood is free and democratic and trades—actively trades, so that we can promote wealth throughout the hemisphere. The best foreign policy for this country begins with having a neighborhood that's peaceful and free and secure and prosperous.

And I was able to share with the leaders here how pleased I was that the Summit of the Americas went well, particularly the embrace—the fact that 34 democratically elected leaders from our hemisphere, all but one nation, was represented there.

We had a great discussion, and it's so important for the President of the United States to sit at the same table with the leaders of this hemisphere. And they were—in our meetings where we were able just to sit around without a lot of people watching, we were able to have a free discussion. And they—I was able to explain our vision; they were able to share their problems. And many times, this great Nation of ours would be willing to help as much as we possibly can.

I am confident and optimistic that our hemisphere is going to be more free and more prosperous than it's ever been. As we've discussed here, there are some problem areas, but that's what—that's what we need to do. We need to discuss the problem areas and come together to figure out ways to solve them.

Anyway, I'm so thankful and so gracious—I'm gracious that my brother Jeb is concerned about the hemisphere, as well. I'm thankful that Mel Martinez, a product of the State of Florida, has agreed to see the Cabinet. I'm also thankful that these two people from the United States Congress, two great leaders, are—[applause].

Thank you for coming.


Q. [Inaudible]

The President. Yes, we'll talk about Cuba again, of course.

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:05 p.m. at the Omni Colonnade Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following a Meeting With Hispanic Leaders and an Exchange With Reporters in Miami, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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