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Videotaped Remarks On Cuban Independence Day

May 18, 2012

Mitt Romney today made the following remarks on Cuban Independence Day, which is celebrated this coming Sunday, May 20th:

To View The Video Of The Speech, Click Here:

Today, I join with the Cuban people—on the island, here in America, and elsewhere in the world—in honoring the independence that was so dearly won by brave Cubans over a century ago. The struggle for Cuban independence was based on the principles of liberty, and won through the courage and sacrifice that the yearning for freedom inspires.

Today is a recognition of freedom's triumph, but it's also a sobering reminder that over 50 years of Cuba's history have been lost to the tyranny of the Castro regime.

Since Castro took power, the Cuban people have been denied basic human freedoms. No freedom of religion, no freedom of the press, no political freedom. And the regime uses brutality and violence to suppress these freedoms and impose its will.

In recent years and months, we have seen the deaths of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Juan Wilfredo Soto, Wilman Villar and Laura Pollan at the hands of the dictatorship. We have witnessed the continued incarceration of peaceful pro-democracy activists and the unlawful imprisonment of Alan Gross.

These injustices make painfully clear that the Castros' grip on power remains as tight as ever. The regime touts so-called "reforms," but the facts point to continued oppression. The Cuban people still live in constant fear of a brutal totalitarian regime that has demonstrated time and again its utter disregard for basic human dignity.

The fight for a free Cuba has gone on for far too long.

Too many dreams have been shattered, too many lives have been ruined, and too many families have been separated by the tyranny of the Castro regime.

Too many Independence Day celebrations have passed with that regime still clinging to power.

And too many political leaders—on both sides of the aisle—have lauded the dream of a free Cuba on this day over the years, only to falter in realizing that dream once in office.

In recent years, we have seen the United States back away from pressuring the Castro regime, under the misguided view that placating them with an open hand would yield progress. That naiveté has invited only more cruelty and oppression in return.

Today, we join Cubans around the world in celebrating independence and remembering the brave men and women who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. And to those who continue the fight, I offer not only words of support, but the promise of action.

If I am elected President, the Castro regime will have no reason to doubt our unwavering commitment to your cause. The regime will feel the full weight of American resolve.

The international community will know that the future of Cuba is within the leadership of the Cuban pro-democracy movement, represented in men and women like Jose Daniel Ferrer, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez," Sara Marta Fonseca, and Berta Soler.

And, together, we will hasten the day when the regime will come to an end.

"Like bones to the human body, the axle to the wheel, the wing to the bird, and the air to the wing, so is liberty the essence of life." These were the words of Jose Marti at the time of Cuba's fight for independence.

Those words rang true for Cuba a century ago. Soon, they will ring true once again.

Mitt Romney, Videotaped Remarks On Cuban Independence Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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