News Conference on Cuban Refugees
Aug 19, 1994
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President Clinton addressed the assemblage on the newest restrictions for Cuban refugees. He criticized the Castro regime for encouraging Cubans to take to the sea in unsafe vessels, risking the lives of thousands. He .. Read More
President Clinton addressed the assemblage on the newest restrictions for Cuban refugees. He criticized the Castro regime for encouraging Cubans to take to the sea in unsafe vessels, risking the lives of thousands. He called this policy a “cold-blooded attempt to maintain the Castro grip on Cuba, and to divert attention from his failed communist policies.” The President announced that he ordered authorities to detain illegal refugees from Cuba at the naval base at Guantanamo. He complimented the Coast Guard and Immigration and Naturalization Service for their efforts in rescuing those who endangered themselves by making the treacherous journey, and thanked Governor Chiles and the Florida congressional delegation for their help in protecting and saving Cuban lives. The President then moved on to the crime bill. He indicated that he authorized support for strengthening certain aspects of the bill having to do with sex offenders, and supported cutting overall spending in the bill by 10 percent. He stated that he insisted that we keep the most profoundly important elements of the crime bill. After his remarks, he took questions from the press on a variety of issues: whether the nation should take steps to negotiate a possible movement toward democracy with Cuba; whether people fleeing Cuba still get automatic entry to the United States as political refugees; how taking the Cubans to Guantanamo might affect military organizations there; the President’s response to criticism about the Cuban refugee situation from Dole and Gingrich; Castro’s influence on American immigration policy; reaction to Cubans who may feel betrayed; whether this Administration will be more active in trying to oust Castro; possible “fat” still left in the crime bill; reaction to Sam Nunn’s statement about the health care reform bill; whether he would be willing to separate the assault weapon ban from the rest of the crime bill; other questions related to the Cuban government and Fidel Castro; the President’s legal defense fund; whether the White House is changing communication strategy; the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates; Mexican presidential elections; Middle East (specifically Syrian) peace and progress; and how he felt about his birthday. The news conference took place at 1:30 PM EDT.