6:56 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. RANGEL:

At the end of the bill, insert after the last section (page 112, after line 13) the following new section:

SEC. 644. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used by the Department of the Treasury to enforce the economic embargo of Cuba, as defined in section 4(7) of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-114), except those provisions that relate to the denial of foreign tax credits, or to the implementation of the harmonized tariff schedule of the United States.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of today, the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL) and a Member opposed each will control 10 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL).

6:56 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

It has been the policy of our country not to use food and medicine as a tool for foreign policy, and yet, as relates to the government of Cuba, we have been doing just that. We have allowed the people of the United States to believe that we have enacted the so-called Helms-Burton law in an effort to promote democracy in Cuba, but we have seen that sanctions really have not pushed democracy in Cuba.

The fact is that we have been using a different technique as it applies to communism in North Korea, in North Vietnam and in, more recently, China. It would seem to me that, if we really want to be consistent with our foreign policy, what is good in terms of trying to turn around these other Communist countries should be good for a Communist country that is only 90 miles from us.

In addition to this, so many American businesses are suffering unnecessarily because of this embargo. Our farmers are looking for new markets; the tourism industry; our bankers. There are just great opportunities. Not only that, but the same arguments relate to China; that other countries are ignoring this so-called embargo. They are doing business in Cuba at our expense. As a matter of fact, ironically, Cuban-Americans, who best know Cuba, are being denied the opportunity to do business in their

homeland.

So what I am asking is that we just strike all of the funds that would be used to enforce this economic embargo against Cuba and allows us to have a consistent foreign policy and not to use food and medicine as a tool against them; not to deny people an opportunity to send money back home; not to deny people the opportunity, especially Americans, to go where they want to go, when they want to go, without fear of spending money or suffering sanctions from the United States Government.

[Time: 19:00]

So I am asking for an aye vote on this so that America foreign policy and trade policy with Cuba would be in alignment with our overall universal policy.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

6:56 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

It has been the policy of our country not to use food and medicine as a tool for foreign policy, and yet, as relates to the government of Cuba, we have been doing just that. We have allowed the people of the United States to believe that we have enacted the so-called Helms-Burton law in an effort to promote democracy in Cuba, but we have seen that sanctions really have not pushed democracy in Cuba.

The fact is that we have been using a different technique as it applies to communism in North Korea, in North Vietnam and in, more recently, China. It would seem to me that, if we really want to be consistent with our foreign policy, what is good in terms of trying to turn around these other Communist countries should be good for a Communist country that is only 90 miles from us.

In addition to this, so many American businesses are suffering unnecessarily because of this embargo. Our farmers are looking for new markets; the tourism industry; our bankers. There are just great opportunities. Not only that, but the same arguments relate to China; that other countries are ignoring this so-called embargo. They are doing business in Cuba at our expense. As a matter of fact, ironically, Cuban-Americans, who best know Cuba, are being denied the opportunity to do business in their

homeland.

So what I am asking is that we just strike all of the funds that would be used to enforce this economic embargo against Cuba and allows us to have a consistent foreign policy and not to use food and medicine as a tool against them; not to deny people an opportunity to send money back home; not to deny people the opportunity, especially Americans, to go where they want to go, when they want to go, without fear of spending money or suffering sanctions from the United States Government.

[Time: 19:00]

So I am asking for an aye vote on this so that America foreign policy and trade policy with Cuba would be in alignment with our overall universal policy.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

6:59 PM EDT

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-FL 21st

Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, just a few years ago, the Cuban dictator shot down two unarmed civilian aircraft over international waters killing three United States citizens including a Vietnam war hero and a legal resident of the United States.

Castro publicly admitted that he ordered the murders. Time Magazine, March 11, 1996: ``I personally ordered the shootdowns,'' he said.

In lieu of military action against Castro's Cuba, President Clinton agreed to sign the codification of our embargo against Castro's regime. Castro's act of terrorism against Americans was an unprecedented act of direct state terrorism. Not even Iraq or North Korea or Iran have done this, or Syria.

He did not pay or train terrorists to kill Americans. He did so with his own air force under his own orders. This was not 40 years ago. This was not during the Cold War. This was 4 years ago after as many of our colleagues say he no longer poses a threat to anyone.

Now, what has Castro done to merit the consideration and the courtesies that our colleagues seek to bestow upon him today? For us to send a signal saying, in effect, he can kill American citizens; do not worry about military action. And in 4 years we might want to make a buck from them?

What has he done except for his dinners and his banquets when he tries to charm visitors with his so-called wit during his 10-hour dinners? Increased repression. Thousands of political prisoners languish at this moment in his dungeons. And he continues to harbor U.S. fugitives from justice, including murderers of policemen.

I include for the RECORD, Mr. Chairman, the following letter received yesterday from the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police:

GRAND LODGE,

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE,

Washington, DC., July 19, 2000.

Hon. THAD COCHRAN,

Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am writing on behalf of the more than 290,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police to express our strong concern about amendments to various appropriations measures which would ``normalize'' trade and relations with the Communist dictator in Cuba.

It is well known that the Cuban government is harboring scores of criminals wanted in the United States. Perhaps the most notorious case involves Joanne Chesimard, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and severely wounded his partner, Trooper James Harper. She escaped a maximum security prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba, where she now lives under the protection of the Cuban government as an example of ``political repression'' in the United States.

Fidel Castro also plays host to at least two members of a group called the ``Republic of New Africa,'' who murdered New Mexican State Trooper Robert Rosenbloom. And while some Members of Congress may see no problem normalizing relations with Cuba, the Fraternal Order of Police believes [Page: H6686]

strongly that before any normal relations--trade or otherwise--are considered, Fidel Castro must return those wanted fugitives. We ought not to reward the Cuban policy

of providing a safe haven for the murderers of Americans.

I realize that relationships with other governments are sensitive and complex, which require compromise and nuanced accommodation. However, the American people and the Fraternal Order of Police do not feel that we must compromise our system of justice and the fabric of our society to foreign dictators like Fidel Castro.

I ask that the Senate reject any and all amendments which would normalize relations between the United States and Cuba unless the issue of these murderous fugitives are resolved to our satisfaction. Trade bought with the blood of American law enforcement officers doing their job on American soil is too high a price to pay.

Please contact me if I can be of any further assistance on this or any other issue.

Sincerely,

GILBERT G. GALLEGOS,

National President.

After going through a number of State troopers, for example, State Trooper Werner Foerstar, murdered by someone who Castro has given ``asylum'' to and today is receiving his protection in Cuba; and State Trooper James Harper, who was maimed; State Trooper Robert Rosenbloom.

The Fraternal Order of Police writes yesterday: ``The Fraternal Order of Police believes strongly that before any normal relations, trade or otherwise, are considered, Fidel Castro must return those wanted fugitives. We ought not to reward the Cuban policy of providing a safe haven for the murderers of Americans. Trade bought with the blood of American law enforcement officers doing their job on American soil is too high a price to pay.''

This is the Fraternal Order of Police yesterday.

I reject the argument that we hear over and over again that the embargo has not worked. Number one, as leverage for a democratic transition after Castro is no longer on the scene, it is not supposed to work yet. Just like the European Union's demand of democracy for Franco's Spain or for Oliveira's Portugal did not work until they were gone from the scene, but it sure as heck worked when they were gone from the scene. And those countries are now part of the fully democratic European Union.

But with regard to other key aspects, the embargo has already worked. The embargo constitutes a red line to the kind of massive investments in credit and hard currency including, yes, through mass U.S. tourism that would give Castro an extraordinary economic boost if it were lifted.

Imagine the Cuban dictator with unlimited investments and credits with the kind of cash that he had when the Soviets were a superpower, with the kind of cash that he would have if the Rangel amendment were adopted, with the kind of cash that would be available if U.S. tourism were available.

It was just a few years ago, Mr. Chairman, just a few years ago that Castro had armies in Africa, surrogate armies throughout this hemisphere. Imagine Castro's support for international terrorists if he once again had the cash. Imagine the export arms industry that he would have developed, the chemical or biological weapons he would have manufactured if only he had the cash.

It certainly would not be like it is today. Because of our policy and because of Castro's brutality and his ineptness, his regime is a bankrupt tyranny condemned yearly by the United Nations Human Rights Commission with a radically diminished offensive capability, a radically diminished offensive capability that did not happen because of osmosis but that happened because of a wise bipartisan policy that this Congress and every administration has maintained because of the national security threat

that his regime has signified.

U.S. sanctions, Mr. Chairman, have hurt the Cuban tyranny and denied the regime precious resources that Castro will use to work to overthrow elected governments, spread violence and terrorism, and work to defeat democracy throughout the hemisphere and indeed other hemispheres.

So I ask not that we stay on these pretexts; but rather, that we recognize, Mr. Chairman, there are three steps that U.S. law and policy call for for an end to all sanctions, for all American tourists to be able to go there, for all the billions that many seek to see and go to Cuba, go ahead and go there, only three steps that we call for in U.S. law: freedom for all the political prisoners, those languishing in prison today; legalization of political parties, labor unions and the press; and

the scheduling of free elections.

We are the first to want to see an end to those sanctions, Mr. Chairman. Simply join us, we ask our colleagues, in demanding those three steps. And if not, just stop the pretext and admit that what is being sought is to bolster a regime that has oppressed our closest neighbors brutally for 41 years, that has killed Americans, and that continues to harbor fugitives from American justice, including murderers of U.S. policemen.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

6:59 PM EDT

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-FL 21st

Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, just a few years ago, the Cuban dictator shot down two unarmed civilian aircraft over international waters killing three United States citizens including a Vietnam war hero and a legal resident of the United States.

Castro publicly admitted that he ordered the murders. Time Magazine, March 11, 1996: ``I personally ordered the shootdowns,'' he said.

In lieu of military action against Castro's Cuba, President Clinton agreed to sign the codification of our embargo against Castro's regime. Castro's act of terrorism against Americans was an unprecedented act of direct state terrorism. Not even Iraq or North Korea or Iran have done this, or Syria.

He did not pay or train terrorists to kill Americans. He did so with his own air force under his own orders. This was not 40 years ago. This was not during the Cold War. This was 4 years ago after as many of our colleagues say he no longer poses a threat to anyone.

Now, what has Castro done to merit the consideration and the courtesies that our colleagues seek to bestow upon him today? For us to send a signal saying, in effect, he can kill American citizens; do not worry about military action. And in 4 years we might want to make a buck from them?

What has he done except for his dinners and his banquets when he tries to charm visitors with his so-called wit during his 10-hour dinners? Increased repression. Thousands of political prisoners languish at this moment in his dungeons. And he continues to harbor U.S. fugitives from justice, including murderers of policemen.

I include for the RECORD, Mr. Chairman, the following letter received yesterday from the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police:

GRAND LODGE,

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE,

Washington, DC., July 19, 2000.

Hon. THAD COCHRAN,

Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am writing on behalf of the more than 290,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police to express our strong concern about amendments to various appropriations measures which would ``normalize'' trade and relations with the Communist dictator in Cuba.

It is well known that the Cuban government is harboring scores of criminals wanted in the United States. Perhaps the most notorious case involves Joanne Chesimard, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and severely wounded his partner, Trooper James Harper. She escaped a maximum security prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba, where she now lives under the protection of the Cuban government as an example of ``political repression'' in the United States.

Fidel Castro also plays host to at least two members of a group called the ``Republic of New Africa,'' who murdered New Mexican State Trooper Robert Rosenbloom. And while some Members of Congress may see no problem normalizing relations with Cuba, the Fraternal Order of Police believes [Page: H6686]

strongly that before any normal relations--trade or otherwise--are considered, Fidel Castro must return those wanted fugitives. We ought not to reward the Cuban policy

of providing a safe haven for the murderers of Americans.

I realize that relationships with other governments are sensitive and complex, which require compromise and nuanced accommodation. However, the American people and the Fraternal Order of Police do not feel that we must compromise our system of justice and the fabric of our society to foreign dictators like Fidel Castro.

I ask that the Senate reject any and all amendments which would normalize relations between the United States and Cuba unless the issue of these murderous fugitives are resolved to our satisfaction. Trade bought with the blood of American law enforcement officers doing their job on American soil is too high a price to pay.

Please contact me if I can be of any further assistance on this or any other issue.

Sincerely,

GILBERT G. GALLEGOS,

National President.

After going through a number of State troopers, for example, State Trooper Werner Foerstar, murdered by someone who Castro has given ``asylum'' to and today is receiving his protection in Cuba; and State Trooper James Harper, who was maimed; State Trooper Robert Rosenbloom.

The Fraternal Order of Police writes yesterday: ``The Fraternal Order of Police believes strongly that before any normal relations, trade or otherwise, are considered, Fidel Castro must return those wanted fugitives. We ought not to reward the Cuban policy of providing a safe haven for the murderers of Americans. Trade bought with the blood of American law enforcement officers doing their job on American soil is too high a price to pay.''

This is the Fraternal Order of Police yesterday.

I reject the argument that we hear over and over again that the embargo has not worked. Number one, as leverage for a democratic transition after Castro is no longer on the scene, it is not supposed to work yet. Just like the European Union's demand of democracy for Franco's Spain or for Oliveira's Portugal did not work until they were gone from the scene, but it sure as heck worked when they were gone from the scene. And those countries are now part of the fully democratic European Union.

But with regard to other key aspects, the embargo has already worked. The embargo constitutes a red line to the kind of massive investments in credit and hard currency including, yes, through mass U.S. tourism that would give Castro an extraordinary economic boost if it were lifted.

Imagine the Cuban dictator with unlimited investments and credits with the kind of cash that he had when the Soviets were a superpower, with the kind of cash that he would have if the Rangel amendment were adopted, with the kind of cash that would be available if U.S. tourism were available.

It was just a few years ago, Mr. Chairman, just a few years ago that Castro had armies in Africa, surrogate armies throughout this hemisphere. Imagine Castro's support for international terrorists if he once again had the cash. Imagine the export arms industry that he would have developed, the chemical or biological weapons he would have manufactured if only he had the cash.

It certainly would not be like it is today. Because of our policy and because of Castro's brutality and his ineptness, his regime is a bankrupt tyranny condemned yearly by the United Nations Human Rights Commission with a radically diminished offensive capability, a radically diminished offensive capability that did not happen because of osmosis but that happened because of a wise bipartisan policy that this Congress and every administration has maintained because of the national security threat

that his regime has signified.

U.S. sanctions, Mr. Chairman, have hurt the Cuban tyranny and denied the regime precious resources that Castro will use to work to overthrow elected governments, spread violence and terrorism, and work to defeat democracy throughout the hemisphere and indeed other hemispheres.

So I ask not that we stay on these pretexts; but rather, that we recognize, Mr. Chairman, there are three steps that U.S. law and policy call for for an end to all sanctions, for all American tourists to be able to go there, for all the billions that many seek to see and go to Cuba, go ahead and go there, only three steps that we call for in U.S. law: freedom for all the political prisoners, those languishing in prison today; legalization of political parties, labor unions and the press; and

the scheduling of free elections.

We are the first to want to see an end to those sanctions, Mr. Chairman. Simply join us, we ask our colleagues, in demanding those three steps. And if not, just stop the pretext and admit that what is being sought is to bolster a regime that has oppressed our closest neighbors brutally for 41 years, that has killed Americans, and that continues to harbor fugitives from American justice, including murderers of U.S. policemen.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

7:06 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I am not prepared to argue against the arguments made by my distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. DIAZ-BALART).

I just refuse to believe that those people who voted for permanent trade relations with China were supporting the government of China or North Korea or North Vietnam. It was just a considered thought of this body that the best way to try to disrupt these types of communist governments is sunshine and let the light shine on the economic progress that countries can make through trade.

And so it just seems to me that we should not have a double standard. And no one is trying to help President Castro. From what I see, it does not appear to me that he is in need of food or medicine. But what we are saying is that the Cuban people should not suffer while we have seen that this man, Castro, has outlived nine or 10 United States Presidents while we have been looking for change. And we should not use the denial of food and medicine and the denial of the rights of Americans to go

where they want to go when they want to go just because we are concerned, and rightly so, about the conduct of this man in Cuba.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. SERRANO).

(Mr. SERRANO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

7:06 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I am not prepared to argue against the arguments made by my distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. DIAZ-BALART).

I just refuse to believe that those people who voted for permanent trade relations with China were supporting the government of China or North Korea or North Vietnam. It was just a considered thought of this body that the best way to try to disrupt these types of communist governments is sunshine and let the light shine on the economic progress that countries can make through trade.

And so it just seems to me that we should not have a double standard. And no one is trying to help President Castro. From what I see, it does not appear to me that he is in need of food or medicine. But what we are saying is that the Cuban people should not suffer while we have seen that this man, Castro, has outlived nine or 10 United States Presidents while we have been looking for change. And we should not use the denial of food and medicine and the denial of the rights of Americans to go

where they want to go when they want to go just because we are concerned, and rightly so, about the conduct of this man in Cuba.

Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. SERRANO).

(Mr. SERRANO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

7:07 PM EDT

Jose E. Serrano, D-NY 16th

Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would like to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL), my brother, for being courageous enough to always bring up this issue.

The fact that we continue to bring this issue is to the celebration of the day and of the time because this issue is not going to go away. As I said before on this floor, time is running out.

Today we will see something that has not happened before today. We will see Republican amendments on this floor dealing with the Cuba issue and deal with the Cuba issue as we see it, as I see it, allowing travel, allowing exchanges, allowing commerce between the two countries.

Now, we can continue here to espouse all the points we want about what is wrong with Cuba, but the fact of life is that the relationship we want is with the Cuban people. No one here is supportive of the Cuban Government or Chinese Government or Vietnamese Government. We are supportive of people.

At this point in our relationship with the rest of the world, it makes no sense whatsoever to continue to say that we will not deal with Cuba because somehow they present a threat to us and to our security and to the rest of the world.

We present a threat to the people in Cuba. We present a threat to the children in Cuba. Every time we deny contact through travel, every time we deny food and medicine, every time we deny our culture, our behavior, our ideals, our way of being and of conducting business to be seen and heard up close in Cuba, we are hurting the Cuban people.

But we continue to believe that somehow, if we squeeze Cuba a little bit more, its government will fall apart and we keep hearing that.

Well, 6 months from now the Cuban Government will be on its 11th president, American President. The only reason they are not on their 13th president is because Reagan and Clinton were reelected.

So we better get used to the fact that the change has to come over here in [Page: H6687]

terms of how we are going to behave with them. As long as we stand on this floor and we see support for China, Vietnam and Korea, there has got to be support for Cuba.

7:08 PM EDT

Jose E. Serrano, D-NY 16th

Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would like to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL), my brother, for being courageous enough to always bring up this issue.

The fact that we continue to bring this issue is to the celebration of the day and of the time because this issue is not going to go away. As I said before on this floor, time is running out.

Today we will see something that has not happened before today. We will see Republican amendments on this floor dealing with the Cuba issue and deal with the Cuba issue as we see it, as I see it, allowing travel, allowing exchanges, allowing commerce between the two countries.

Now, we can continue here to espouse all the points we want about what is wrong with Cuba, but the fact of life is that the relationship we want is with the Cuban people. No one here is supportive of the Cuban Government or Chinese Government or Vietnamese Government. We are supportive of people.

At this point in our relationship with the rest of the world, it makes no sense whatsoever to continue to say that we will not deal with Cuba because somehow they present a threat to us and to our security and to the rest of the world.

We present a threat to the people in Cuba. We present a threat to the children in Cuba. Every time we deny contact through travel, every time we deny food and medicine, every time we deny our culture, our behavior, our ideals, our way of being and of conducting business to be seen and heard up close in Cuba, we are hurting the Cuban people.

But we continue to believe that somehow, if we squeeze Cuba a little bit more, its government will fall apart and we keep hearing that.

Well, 6 months from now the Cuban Government will be on its 11th president, American President. The only reason they are not on their 13th president is because Reagan and Clinton were reelected.

So we better get used to the fact that the change has to come over here in [Page: H6687]

terms of how we are going to behave with them. As long as we stand on this floor and we see support for China, Vietnam and Korea, there has got to be support for Cuba.

7:10 PM EDT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL 18th

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Chairman, this amendment seeks to provide funds to the oppressive Castro regime without current U.S. policy requirements and those requirements deal with human rights, civil liberties, and political freedoms.

Do the supporters of this amendment believe that it is a bad thing to require democracy and liberty for the Cuban people first and require that U.S. policy not prolong their suffering?

By propping up the regime that oppresses them, by providing hard currency to the Castro regime, this amendment postpones the inevitable. And that is what we want for Cuba is we want democracy and we want liberty.

But this amendment condones the murder of these children and all of the other victims killed by Fidel Castro.

In this instance, Fidel Castro's coast guard rammed their small tugboats and turned their power hoses on these children, drowning them in their cries of anguish. Six years later, the regime refuses to turn over their bodies to the relatives.

This amendment would allow the Cuban dictatorship to purchase even more weapons such as those shown in this poster for Castro's brand of calisthenics for children when they lift rifles above their heads.

This amendment would propagate the system of apartheid, which is established by the regime denying access to food, medicine, and hotels to the Cuban people in favor of the tourists.

This amendment would allow Castro officials to keep political prisoners and human rights dissidents, such as Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, in isolation in a squalid jail cell denied of food and medical attention, denied even the Bible.

That is what the Rangel amendment will do.

7:10 PM EDT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL 18th

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Chairman, this amendment seeks to provide funds to the oppressive Castro regime without current U.S. policy requirements and those requirements deal with human rights, civil liberties, and political freedoms.

Do the supporters of this amendment believe that it is a bad thing to require democracy and liberty for the Cuban people first and require that U.S. policy not prolong their suffering?

By propping up the regime that oppresses them, by providing hard currency to the Castro regime, this amendment postpones the inevitable. And that is what we want for Cuba is we want democracy and we want liberty.

But this amendment condones the murder of these children and all of the other victims killed by Fidel Castro.

In this instance, Fidel Castro's coast guard rammed their small tugboats and turned their power hoses on these children, drowning them in their cries of anguish. Six years later, the regime refuses to turn over their bodies to the relatives.

This amendment would allow the Cuban dictatorship to purchase even more weapons such as those shown in this poster for Castro's brand of calisthenics for children when they lift rifles above their heads.

This amendment would propagate the system of apartheid, which is established by the regime denying access to food, medicine, and hotels to the Cuban people in favor of the tourists.

This amendment would allow Castro officials to keep political prisoners and human rights dissidents, such as Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, in isolation in a squalid jail cell denied of food and medical attention, denied even the Bible.

That is what the Rangel amendment will do.

7:12 PM EDT

Barbara Lee, D-CA 9th

Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL) for offering this amendment and for really allowing us to come to the floor to debate this issue which is so, so important.

Opening the door for the sale of food and medicine to Cuba is really a step in the right direction for America and for Cuba.

More than a decade has passed since the end of the Cold War. Yet one of the most Draconian policies from that era still exists, the United States trade embargo against Cuba. This is outrageous.

Now, I have visited Cuba on several occasions, and I have seen firsthand the immoral and inhumane impact of food and medical sanctions. I have witnessed the suffering and fear of people on kidney dialysis machines which need American parts in order to function properly so that their lives can be saved.

The Cold War has been banished to the ash bins of history. But unfortunately, the trade embargo with Cuba lives on. It is time to lift this embargo, especially on food and medicine, against an island of about 10 or 11 million people, 90 miles away from the coast of Florida. Even our own Department of Defense said that it poses no national security threat to the United States of America.

I support real action on this issue like the Rangel amendment, not watered down compromises. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and further implore the President of the United States to lift the economic sanctions against Cuba.

7:12 PM EDT

Barbara Lee, D-CA 9th

Ms. LEE. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL) for offering this amendment and for really allowing us to come to the floor to debate this issue which is so, so important.

Opening the door for the sale of food and medicine to Cuba is really a step in the right direction for America and for Cuba.

More than a decade has passed since the end of the Cold War. Yet one of the most Draconian policies from that era still exists, the United States trade embargo against Cuba. This is outrageous.

Now, I have visited Cuba on several occasions, and I have seen firsthand the immoral and inhumane impact of food and medical sanctions. I have witnessed the suffering and fear of people on kidney dialysis machines which need American parts in order to function properly so that their lives can be saved.

The Cold War has been banished to the ash bins of history. But unfortunately, the trade embargo with Cuba lives on. It is time to lift this embargo, especially on food and medicine, against an island of about 10 or 11 million people, 90 miles away from the coast of Florida. Even our own Department of Defense said that it poses no national security threat to the United States of America.

I support real action on this issue like the Rangel amendment, not watered down compromises. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and further implore the President of the United States to lift the economic sanctions against Cuba.

7:14 PM EDT

Bob Menendez, D-NJ 13th

Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Chairman, I rise to oppose the gentleman from New York's amendment. And I regret that I do not hear the voices of my colleagues, for example, who spoke very passionately on China about human rights, about labor rights, about democracy issues and who voted as I did in that context to deny MFN status to China because we believed that those issues were so tantamount, so important, that that trade should not be granted to that country.

The fact of the matter is that what the gentleman from New York (Mr. RANGEL) seeks to do in his amendment would not actually change existing law. In other words, the embargo would remain, but the ability supposedly to administer and enforce it would be gone, and, of course, this would not only create confusion but it would create lawlessness. Because what it would say to U.S. citizens is, ``Go ahead, break the law because the government can't catch you.''

What is even more important for those who do not believe in our policy is that the Treasury Department would be prevented from continuing to issue legal licenses for certain travel and food and medicine sales as is now allowed under existing law and the Department would be prohibited from providing that humanitarian assistance to the people of Cuba. By the way, Mr. Chairman, it is the United States of America through nongovernmental organizations that is the greatest remitter of humanitarian

assistance to the people of Cuba over the last 5 years. It has sent over $2 billion over the last 5 years to help the people of Cuba.

So what hurts my family that still lives in Cuba is not the embargo of the United States. What hurts my family that lives in Cuba is the dictatorship of Fidel Castro, his failed economic policies, his rationing of people. There is plenty of food for tourists, plenty of food for tourism. There are plenty of medicines for what they call health tourism. There are medicines to export to other parts of the world but they are not there for the people of Cuba.

Therefore, we should vote against the Rangel amendment and preserve our policy in order to ensure freedom and democracy.

7:16 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.

I think all of us have compassion in trying to find some way to bring democracy in all parts of the world and certainly Cuba being so close to us, we would like to see that happen there.

When we talk about people voting against China and not giving them normal trade relationship, a lot of people did that. But an embargo is close to an act of war.

I have heard some of my colleagues say, ``Well, didn't you support an embargo against South Africa? Why do you think it is so different from China?''

An embargo is not effective when it is a unilateral embargo. No one respects our embargo. They know it is a political thing. It has nothing to do with our foreign policy or with our trade policy. What we are doing is because there is a constituency, a constituency that wants to make certain that this deviates from our policy, and a good policy, and, that is, not to use food, not to use medicine in order to change the political composition of any government. We should not use it as a political

tool. That is what we are doing here.

Anyone can tell you, anyone that served in any administration as Secretary of State or any Assistant Secretaries of State in charge of Latin affairs would tell you that the embargo is bad foreign policy for the United States of America. We should not get involved in this type of thing, and it is not working. But, my God, if you can see American businessmen over there, to see tourists over there, to see students over there, to see our doctors and our scientists exchanging information over there.

The Cuban people are not stupid. When they see what Americans can do, how they think and the competitive nature of their business and see how democracy really works, that is how you get rid of Communist government. You do not deny people the opportunity to listen, to travel, to send money, to do

trade, to have commerce. That is when you are ashamed of your government and you do not want them [Page: H6688]

to see things. We want to have this thing wide open, so Americans can see what is going on in Cuba and Cuba can see what is going on in the United States.

Why should we be fearful in terms of our national defense of this small handful of people that are in Cuba? Why can we not make them our friends and a part of the Caribbean Basin Initiative? Why can we not bring all countries to trade with us? What country are we denying the opportunity that is this close to us that is in our hemisphere not to be a part of our trading partners? I ask you all to think about our farmers, think about our businesspeople, and support this amendment.

7:16 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.

I think all of us have compassion in trying to find some way to bring democracy in all parts of the world and certainly Cuba being so close to us, we would like to see that happen there.

When we talk about people voting against China and not giving them normal trade relationship, a lot of people did that. But an embargo is close to an act of war.

I have heard some of my colleagues say, ``Well, didn't you support an embargo against South Africa? Why do you think it is so different from China?''

An embargo is not effective when it is a unilateral embargo. No one respects our embargo. They know it is a political thing. It has nothing to do with our foreign policy or with our trade policy. What we are doing is because there is a constituency, a constituency that wants to make certain that this deviates from our policy, and a good policy, and, that is, not to use food, not to use medicine in order to change the political composition of any government. We should not use it as a political

tool. That is what we are doing here.

Anyone can tell you, anyone that served in any administration as Secretary of State or any Assistant Secretaries of State in charge of Latin affairs would tell you that the embargo is bad foreign policy for the United States of America. We should not get involved in this type of thing, and it is not working. But, my God, if you can see American businessmen over there, to see tourists over there, to see students over there, to see our doctors and our scientists exchanging information over there.

The Cuban people are not stupid. When they see what Americans can do, how they think and the competitive nature of their business and see how democracy really works, that is how you get rid of Communist government. You do not deny people the opportunity to listen, to travel, to send money, to do

trade, to have commerce. That is when you are ashamed of your government and you do not want them [Page: H6688]

to see things. We want to have this thing wide open, so Americans can see what is going on in Cuba and Cuba can see what is going on in the United States.

Why should we be fearful in terms of our national defense of this small handful of people that are in Cuba? Why can we not make them our friends and a part of the Caribbean Basin Initiative? Why can we not bring all countries to trade with us? What country are we denying the opportunity that is this close to us that is in our hemisphere not to be a part of our trading partners? I ask you all to think about our farmers, think about our businesspeople, and support this amendment.