LINK. By Michael Fletcher and Glenn Kessler. The Washington Post. Published June 7, 2005.
FT. LAUDERDALE -- President Bush on Monday urged nations of the Western Hemisphere to strengthen their democracies by embracing free-market economies and cracking down on corruption, while pointedly predicting that Cuba will ultimately be swept up in the tide of liberty that has engulfed other countries in the hemisphere.
"Democracy is the rule rather than the exception among nations in the Americas," Bush told foreign ministers and diplomats from 34 countries gathered here for the general assembly of the Organization of American States. "Only one country in this hemisphere sits outside this society of democratic nations--and one day, the tide of freedom will reach Cuba's shores as well."
Bush's 13-minute speech also had words for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close Castro ally who has become a hero in parts of Latin America by casting the United States as an imperialist power and who has stoked U.S. ire by nationalizing some businesses and stifling political dissent...