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White House team plans for Castro's end.

A U.S. commission is expected next year to suggest ways the United States can hasten Fidel Castro's removal without using force.

The White House said Dec. 9 that the President's Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba will issue recommendations by May 1, 2004, for bringing a "peaceful, near-term end" to the Castro regime.

The team also hopes to "establish democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the rule of law; create the core institutions of a free economy; modernize infrastructure and meet basic needs in the areas of health, education, housing, and human services."

Also in attendance for the commission's inaugural meeting were Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Bush appointed Secretary of State Colin Powell and Housing Secretary Mel Martinez to co-chair the commission back in October, when he created the commission to "plan for the happy day when Castro's regime is no more and democracy comes to the island."

On Dec. 9, however, Martinez announced his resignation from the Bush cabinet in order to run for the Florida Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Graham. It's unclear who, if anyone, will replace Martinez on the commission.

Details: Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, Washington. URL: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031208-8.html.
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Publication:CubaNews
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Dec 1, 2003
Words:220
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