MARTINEZ STATEMENT ON RESIGNATION OF FIDEL CASTRO
February 19, 2008 - WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) today released the following statement regarding the resignation of Fidel Castro.
“Today I am cautiously optimistic for the people of Cuba and another step is closing on a long, dark chapter in Cuban history. I look forward to the day that Cubans will be able to freely elect their own leaders. Unfortunately, today's news does not facilitate that yet. We must remember that Fidel Castro has resigned from a position he was never elected to in the first place.
“The goal of U.S. policy is clear and remains that we must see the unconditional release of all political prisoners; the respect and recognition of fundamental human rights; and a genuine transition towards political freedom, the rule of law and democracy.
“Cubans are calling for change. The responsibility of the international community is to stand in unequivocal solidarity with those courageous civil society leaders that despite tremendous repression work steadfast for the goal of a common dream: a free, sovereign and democratic Cuba.”