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Voice of America, 1996 Review

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] 96: PEACE CORPS EUROPE / MIDEAST BY DON HENRY (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] 96: U.S. / BOSNIA FORCE BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [03] 96: NATO BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [04] 96: EAST EURO ECONOMIES BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [05] 96: BOSNIA HOPE BY KYLE KING (SARAJEVO)
  • [06] 96: EAST EUROPEAN POLITICS BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [07] 96: BOSNIA / NATO BY KYLE KING (SARAJEVO)
  • [08] 96: NATO EXPANSION BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [09] EDITORIAL: E-U PROMOTES DEMOCRACY IN CUBA

  • [01] 96: PEACE CORPS EUROPE / MIDEAST BY DON HENRY (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/12/96
    TYPE=YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35186
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    // EDITORS: ONE OF A SERIES, MAY BE USED INDEPENDENTLY OR WITH OVERVIEW REPORT 5-35188 //

    INTRO: PEACE CORPS WILL OPEN A NEW PROGRAM IN JORDAN NEXT YEAR AND ALSO STARTED ONE THIS YEAR IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA. BUT VOA'S DON HENRY REPORTS THE VOLUNTEER AGENCY ALSO WILL BE PULLING OUT OF TWO EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IT ENTERED WITH GREAT FANFARE ONLY SIX YEARS AGO.

    TEXT: THE PEACE CORPS BUDGET TOOK ON A NEW LOOK BACK IN 1990 WHEN THE AGENCY BEGAN SENDING VOLUNTEERS INTO EASTERN EUROPE AND THE REPUBLICS OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.

    WITHIN A FEW YEARS, THE PEACE CORPS WAS WORKING IN 18 NATIONS THAT HAD BEEN OFF LIMITS TO IT DURING THE COLD WAR YEARS. AMONG THE FIRST BREAKTHROUGHS WERE IN HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC, BUT PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR MARK GEARAN SAYS THOSE TWO WILL BE PHASED OUT IN THE COMING YEAR.

    // GEARAN ACT //

    I THINK WHEN THE PEACE CORPS FIRST WENT INTO THOSE COUNTRIES IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD, IT WAS CERTAINLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO, GIVEN THE FALL OF THE (BERLIN) WALL, AND THE END OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION AS WE'VE KNOWN IT. BUT IT WOULD NEVER BE PARTICULARLY A LONG-TERM ASSIGNMENT, AS THE PEACE CORPS STATED AT THAT TIME, AND THAT'S BORN OUT TO BE QUITE ACCURATE. SO IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND HUNGARY, OUR EFFORTS ARE PROCEEDING FOR EVENTUAL PHASE DOWN.

    // END ACT //

    MR. GEARAN SAYS AS PART OF A THREE-YEAR WITHDRAWAL FROM 12 COUNTRIES, PEACE CORPS PLANS TO DEPART HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN AUGUST. HOWEVER, HE HOPES THE PEACE CORPS WILL BE LEAVING SOMETHING OF ITSELF BEHIND -- HOST COUNTRY COLLEAGUES WHO WILL SUSTAIN THE PROGRAMS OR MAYBE EVEN PEACE CORPS-TYPE SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS THAT WILL CARRY ON THE WORK.

    // GEARAN ACT //

    IN THE CASE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, WE'RE WORKING THERE TO SET UP A VOLUNTEER SERVICE AGENCY, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF OUR PEACE CORPS STAFF, SO WE CAN LEAVE BEHIND THE KIND OF LEGACY THAT THE PEACE CORPS WOULD LIKE TO. AND THAT IS PROMOTING VOLUNTEERISM, PROMOTING SERVICE, PROMOTING GOOD DEVELOPMENT WORK. AND I THINK IN THE CASE PARTICULARLY OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC THAT THE INITIAL EFFORTS ARE BEARING SOME GOOD FRUIT.

    // END ACT //

    THE EUROPE REGION GOT A NEW PEACE CORPS ENTRY IN 1996 WHEN A HALF DOZEN TEACHERS OF ENGLISH AND ONE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST WERE ASSIGNED TO THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA. NEW IN 1997 WILL BE A PROGRAM IN JORDAN. AFTER 18 MONTHS OF NEGOTIATIONS. MR. GEARAN AND JORDAN'S MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (HAMMAD ABU JAMOUS) SIGNED AN ACCORD IN OCTOBER CALLING FOR ABOUT 25 VOLUNTEERS TO ARRIVE IN 1997.

    THEY ARE EXPECTED TO ASSIST WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS WITH INCOME-GENERATING PROJECTS AND VOLUNTEER IN JORDAN'S NEWLY FORMED NATIONAL PARKS, HELPING MANAGE TOURISM.

    PEACE CORPS LOST ONE COUNTRY IN THE EUROPE / MEDITERRANEAN REGION IN 1996. SINCE 1962, ABOUT TWO THOUSAND VOLUNTEERS HAVE SERVED IN TUNISIA, WORKING IN AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES AND TEACHING ENGLISH AND HIGHER EDUCATION COURSES. BUT THE TUNISIA PROGRAM WAS AMONG SEVERAL SHUT DOWN AROUND THE WORLD AS PART OF MR. GEARAN'S BUDGET-TIGHTENING EFFORT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DOH/CF
    12-Dec-96 2:21 PM EST (1921 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] 96: U.S. / BOSNIA FORCE BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=12/13/96
    TYPE=YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35206
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE YEAR IS ENDING IN BOSNIA WITH NATO'S PEACE IMPLEMENTATION FORCE (I-FOR) PULLING OUT AS SCHEDULED -- BUT WITH A SMALLER NATO-LED STABILIZATION FORCE MOVING IN FOR A STAY OF AT LEAST 18 MORE MONTHS. VOA'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON THE MILITARY ASPECTS OF BOSNIAN PEACEKEEPING WERE AN UNQUALIFIED SUCCESS. BUT EFFORTS AT POLITICAL RECONCILIATION, DISAPPOINTING.

    TEXT: THE PEACEKEEPING FORCE ROLLED INTO BOSNIA A YEAR AGO EXPECTING AND PREPARED FOR RESISTANCE FROM AT LEAST RENEGADE FACTIONS OF THE SERB, MUSLIM AND CROAT ARMIES THAT HAD BEEN FIGHTING OVER THE BALKANS COUNTRY FOR NEARLY FOUR YEARS.

    BUT TO THE IMMENSE SURPRISE OF NATO COMMANDERS, THE PROCESS OF SEPARATING AND DEMOBILIZING THE OPPOSING FORCES WAS CARRIED OUT WITHOUT A SINGLE CASE OF ORGANIZED ATTACK AGAINST THE MORE THAN 50-THOUSAND I-FOR SOLDIERS.

    CASUALTIES AMONG THE PEACEKEEPERS HAVE BEEN FEW AND ATTRIBUTED MAINLY TO ROAD ACCIDENTS AND MINE DETONATIONS. AND WHILE THE FACTIONAL ARMIES AND THEIR HEAVY WEAPONS ARE NOW RESTRICTED TO NATO-SUPERVISED CANTONMENTS, MOST OBSERVERS BELIEVE THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE EASING OF THE ANIMOSITIES THAT FUELED THE MOST SERIOUS CONFLICT IN EUROPE SINCE WORLD WAR TWO.

    NATIONAL ELECTIONS IN SEPTEMBER PRODUCED A COLLECTIVE PRESIDENCY AND PARLIAMENT, BUT THE ENVISAGED NEW GOVERNMENT OF THE THREE MAIN PARTIES HAS BEEN SLOW IN TAKING SHAPE. THE RETURN OF THE COUNTRY'S MORE THAN TWO MILLION REFUGEES TO THEIR HOMES, PROMISED IN THE DAYTON ACCORDS, HAS HARDLY BEGUN AND SPAWNED SERIOUS TENSIONS ALONG THE INTER-ETHNIC BOUNDARIES.

    THE PROBLEMS FORCED THE INDEFINITE POSTPONMENT OF LOCAL ELECTIONS THAT WERE ALSO TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN SEPTEMBER, BUT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED LARGE-SCALE CROSSINGS OF THE DE FACTO BORDERS BY DISPLACED BOSNIANS.

    AT THAT TIME, IT WAS BECOMING CLEAR TO NATO PLANNERS THAT A FOLLOW-ON PEACEKEEPING PRESENCE WOULD BE NECESSARY AFTER I-FOR. BUT THE DECISION BY NATO TO CREATE THE 31-THOUSAND MEMBER STABILIZATION FORCE DID NOT COME UNTIL AFTER THE U-S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER.

    AN APOLOGETIC U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM PERRY SAID NATO HAD BEEN CORRECT IN ASSESSING, A YEAR AGO, WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO END THE FIGHTING -- BUT NOT HOW TO MAKE REAL PEACE:

    // PERRY ACTUALITY //

    WE ESTIMATED THE SIZE OF THE FORCE WE WOULD NEED. WE ESTIMATED THE KIND OF RESISTANCE WE WOULD COME UP WITH. WE ESTIMATED WE WOULD BEEN ABLE TO MANAGE FORCE PROTECTION IN A WAY THAT MINIMIZED THE CASUALTIES. ALL OF THOSE ESTIMATES WERE RIGHT. WE ALSO ESTIMATED THAT WE'D GET THIS MISSION DONE IN 12 MONTHS. AND THAT WAS RIGHT IN THE SENSE THAT ALL OF THE TASKS THAT WERE SPELLED OUT FOR I-FOR, WE DID IN THE 12 MONTHS. IT WAS WRONG IN THE SENSE -- I WAS WRONG, IN PARTICULAR -- IN MY BELIEF THAT HAVING DONE THOSE TASKS, WE WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED THE CONDITIONS WHICH WOULD ALLOW US TO LEAVE BOSNIA. THAT WAS AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT. IT'S MY ERROR IN JUDGMENT.

    // END ACT //

    THE STABILIZATION FORCE, WHICH INCLUDES 85-HUNDRED AMERICANS, IS TO REMAIN IN BOSNIA THROUGH MID-1998. BUT EVEN MR. PERRY ADMITS A DEPARTURE AT THAT TIME WILL BE TOO SOON, IF INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE IS UNABLE TO PRODUCE AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN BOSNIA THAT SPANS THE ETHNIC DIVISIONS AND PROVIDES ADEQUATE EMPLOYMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/CF
    13-Dec-96 2:41 PM EST (1941 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] 96: NATO BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE= 12/17/96
    TYPE= YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35237
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: 1996 WAS A HECTIC YEAR FOR NATO AS IT TACKLED PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS IN BOSNIA AND WENT AHEAD WITH ITS PLANS FOR ENLARGEMENT, DESPITE STRONG OPPOSITION FROM RUSSIA. IN THIS YEAREND REPORT FROM LONDON, V-O-A'S ANDRE DE NESNERA LOOKS AT THE CHALLENGES FACING NATO IN THE YEAR AHEAD.

    TEXT: EVER SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR AND THE DISSOLUTION OF THE WARSAW PACT, THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION -- OR NATO -- HAS BEEN ATTEMPTING TO REDEFINE ITS ROLE IN A WORLD NO LONGER DOMINATED BY SUPER-POWER RIVALRY.

    MANY DEFENSE EXPERTS SAY SHORTLY AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF COMMUNISM, NATO WAS DRIFTING -- NOT SURE OF ITS PLACE IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT WHERE ITS ARCH-ENEMY, THE SOVIET UNION, NO LONGER EXISTED. THESE EXPERTS SAY THE EXPERIENCE IN BOSNIA HAS ACTED AS A CATALYST, SHOWING THAT NATO IS FLEXIBLE AND CAPABLE OF ADAPTING TO PEACE-KEEPING OPERATIONS -- SOMETHING WHICH THE UNITED NATIONS WAS UNABLE TO DO.

    JAMIE SHEA -- NATO'S CHIEF SPOKESMAN -- SAYS THE ORGANIZATION'S ROLE IN BOSNIA WAS MILITARILY A SUCCESS IN TERMS OF STOPPING THE WAR.

    // SHEA ACT //

    WE HAVE MANAGED TO DO THAT: SEPARATING THE FORCES, HANDING OVER THE TERRITORY, DEMOBILIZING THE FORCES, SO THAT TODAY THE PROSPECT OF WAR IS QUITE REMOTE. BUT, OF COURSE, UNFORTUNATELY FOR US AND FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THERE IS MORE IN CREATING PEACE THAN IN STOPPING A CONFLICT. THERE IS A WHOLE ELEMENT OF RECONSTRUCTION AND RECONCILIATION THAT HAS TO TAKE PLACE -- AND UNFORTUNATELY, AS YOU WELL KNOW, WE ARE FINDING OUT THAT GIVEN THE HATREDS AND BITTERNESS THAT REMAIN, THIS IS PROVING A VERY, VERY SLOW AND FRUSTRATING JOB INDEED. THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY INSTEAD OF LEAVING NOW AS WE HAD ORIGINALLY PLANNED TO DO, NATO IS GOING TO STAY ON FOR A FURTHER 18 MONTHS.

    // END ACT //

    THE NEW NATO CONTINGENT -- KNOWN AS THE STABILIZATION FORCE -- WILL HAVE ABOUT 30-THOUSAND TROOPS: HALF THE NUMBER CURRENTLY SERVING IN BOSNIA.

    IN ADDITION TO PLAYING A KEY ROLE IN TRYING TO BRING ABOUT A LASTING PEACE IN BOSNIA, NATO IS ADVANCING INTO UNCHARTERED TERRITORY. IT PLANS TO ENLARGE ITS MEMBERSHIP TO INCLUDE COUNTRIES IN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE -- COUNTRIES FORMERLY PART OF THE SOVIET BLOCK.

    A NATO SUMMIT NEXT JULY WILL INVITE THOSE COUNTRIES WHICH WILL MAKE UP THE FIRST GROUP IN AN ENLARGED, POST COLD WAR NATO. EXPERTS BELIEVE THE GROUP WILL INCLUDE POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC -- AND MAYBE EITHER SLOVAKIA OR SLOVENIA.

    NATO'S EASTWARD EXPANSION IS STRONGLY OPPOSED BY RUSSIA. PAUL BEAVER -- SENIOR ANALYST WITH THE BRITISH PUBLICATION "JANE'S DEFENSE WEEKLY" -- SAYS RUSSIAN POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS HAVE YET TO REALIZE RUSSIA IS NO LONGER THE SOVIET UNION.

    // BEAVER ACT //

    THE RUSSIANS SEE THE PROBLEM OF NATO ENLARGEMENT AS BEING A DIVISION IN EUROPE, A NEW IRON CURTAIN GOING DOWN A BIT CLOSER TO THEM THAN THEY WOULD LIKE. IF YOU TALK TO RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS, THEY WILL SAY TO YOU: WHY IS IT THAT NATO WANTS TO MOVE EASTWARDS? AND MOST WESTERN PERCEPTIONS ARE THAT ACTUALLY WHAT IT IS, IS THAT A LOT OF EASTERN COUNTRIES WANT TO MOVE WESTWARDS. THERE IS A MOMENTUM BUILT UP NOW BEHIND COUNTRIES IN CENTRAL EUROPE AND EVEN SOME IN EASTERN EUROPE THAT ACTUALLY WANT TO MOVE WESTWARDS -- AND THEY SEE NATO AS THE FIRST STEP, WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION -- THE MONETARY AND POLITICAL UNION -- AS BEING THE NEXT.

    // END ACT //

    IN AN EFFORT TO REASSURE THE RUSSIANS, NATO MINISTERS PLEDGED NOT TO STATION ANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON THE TERRITORIES OF NEW MEMBER STATES. THEY ALSO WILL BEGIN DISCUSSIONS WITH MOSCOW ON A DOCUMENT SPELLING OUT A NEW SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NATO AND RUSSIA.

    HOWEVER FRANCOIS HEISBOURG -- NATO EXPERT WITH THE LONDON-BASED INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES -- SAYS IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO PERSUADE THE RUSSIANS TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

    // HEISBOURG ACT //

    WHAT THEY DO NOT LIKE, IS THE NOTION THAT THERE IS A SPHERE OF INFLUENCE BEING EXTENDED FROM THE WEST TOWARDS THE EAST AT THE EXPENSE OF RUSSIA. THE RUSSIANS DO NOT BELIEVE THAT NATO IS A WAR MACHINE BUT THEY DO BELIEVE IN GEO-POLITICS -- AND THE GEO-POLITICAL REALITY THEY SEE IS THAT THE WEST IS USING AN ORGANIZATION WHICH HAD BEEN CREATED TO CONFRONT THE MILITARY DESIGNS OF THE SOVIET UNION, THAT THEY ARE USING THIS ORGANIZATION TO EXPAND THEIR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE. THIS IS MUCH MORE ABOUT POLITICS AND STRATEGY THAN IT IS ABOUT MILITARY CONFRONTATION.

    // END ACT //

    EXPERTS AGREE NATO IS FACING A DIFFICULT TASK AS IT APPROACHES NEXT YEAR'S JULY SUMMIT WHICH WILL MAKE ENLARGEMENT IRREVERSIBLE. THEY SAY NATO MUST ON THE ONE HAND CONVINCE NEW MEMBER STATES THAT IT IS SERIOUS ABOUT DEFENDING THEM IF THE NEED ARISES WHILE ON THE OTHER HAND REASSURE RUSSIA THAT ENLARGEMENT POSES NO THREAT TO MOSCOW'S INTERESTS. ONE EXPERT DESCRIBED THE TASK FACING NATO AS "A DELICATE BALANCING ACT." (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/CF
    17-Dec-96 10:14 AM EST (1514 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] 96: EAST EURO ECONOMIES BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=12/19/96
    TYPE=YEARENDER REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35268
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT: 7:32AM 12/19

    INTRO: INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL AGENCIES CALL THE POST-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES OF EASTERN EUROPE ECONOMIES IN TRANSITION. IN THIS LOOK BACK ON THE YEAR 1996 V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THAT THE ECONOMIC TRANSITION IN MANY PLACES IS GOING VERY MUCH BETTER THAN HAD BEEN PREDICTED.

    TEXT: IT'S BEEN SEVEN YEARS SINCE THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN AND THE FIRST COUNTRIES OF EASTERN EUROPE MOVED TENTATIVELY FROM COMMUNISM TO CAPITALISM. THE TRANSITION GAINED MOMENTUM AT THE END OF 1991 WHEN COMMUNISM COLLAPSED EVEN IN ITS CITADEL, RUSSIA, WHERE IT HAD BEEN FIRST IMPLEMENTED WAY BACK IN 1917.

    IN THE LATEST OF ITS ANNUAL DEVELOPMENT REPORTS, THE WORLD BANK SAYS BUILDING MARKET ECONOMIES IS AS DIFFICULT AS BUILDING COMMUNISM. THE BANK SAYS IT WILL BE YEARS BEFORE EVEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION ECONOMIES HAVE WELL FUNCTIONING MARKET SYSTEMS.

    THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND SAYS GROWTH HAS NOW RESUMED IN MOST OF THE 28 COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION FROM CENTRAL PLANNING TO MARKET ORIENTATION. ONLY SIX OF THOSE ECONOMIES -- AZERBAIJAN, BELARUS, RUSSIA, TAJIKISTAN, UKRAINE AND UZBEISTAN --SUFFERED FURTHER OUTPUT DECLINES IN 1996.

    BY CONTRAST EIGHT OF THE FASTEST REFORMING TRANSITION ECONOMIES WILL HAVE REGISTERED GROWTH OF FIVE PERCENT OR MORE THIS YEAR. THOSE BEST PERFORMING TRANSITION ECONOMIES ARE GEORGIA (8%), ALBANIA (7%), ARMENIA (6.5%), SLOVAKIA (6.5%), TURKMENISTAN (6.2%), POLAND (5.5%), THE CZECH REPUBLIC (5.2%), AND CROATIA (5%).

    JACQUES DE LAROSIERE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT, THE LONDON BASED INSTITUTION SET UP TO HELP THE ECONOMIES IN TRANSITION. MR. DE LAROSIERE SAYS THE SUCCESSES OF THE TRANSITION ECONOMIES FAR EXCEED THE SHORTCOMINGS.

    /// LAROSIERE ACT ///

    I AM ACTUALLY VERY MUCH AMAZED BY THE SPEED OF THE PROGRESS. WHEN I LOOK AT THE COUNTRIES OF WESTERN EUROPE -- AND MY OWN COUNTRY (FRANCE), I MUST SAY, THAT KEPT PRICE CONTROLS UNTIL THE EARLY 1980S, END OF THE 70S. AND WHEN I SEE THAT IN FIVE OR SIX YEARS THESE COUNTRIES HAVE PRACTICALLY REMOVED PRICE CONTROLS. THEY HAVE CONSIDERABLY OPENED UP THEIR TRADE AND THEIR EXTERNAL RELATIONS. WHEN I LOOK AT THE PROGRESS OF PRIVATIZATION AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE OWNERSHIP OF THE ECONOMY, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU SAY ALL OF THIS HAS HAPPENED IN SIX YEARS, I THINK THIS IS A FANTASTIC TRIBUTE TO THE POLITICAL COURAGE, DETERMINATION OF THE LEADERS OF THOSE COUNTRIES.

    /// END ACT ///

    IT MAY BE THAT THE PROGRESS MR. DE LAROSIERE SPEAKS OF DOESN'T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION. BUT POLITICIANS IN EASTERN EUROPE ARE VERY MUCH AWARE THAT ELECTIONS CAN'T BE WON UNLESS PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING TANGIBLE PROGRESS IN THEIR ECONOMIC WELL BEING. AND ON THAT COUNT, THE REPORT CARD IS LESS ENCOURAGING. ONLY IN POLAND AND ONE OR TWO SMALLER ECONOMIES HAVE THE ILL EFFECTS OF THE TRANSITION RECESSION BEEN OVERCOME. IN MOST TRANSITION ECONOMIES OUTPUT IS STILL BELOW THE LEVELS OF 1989.

    THE I-M-F SAYS THE INITIAL PHASE OF THE TRANSITION HAS BEEN EXTREMELY COSTLY IN TERMS OF LIVING STANDARDS FOR CERTAIN SEGMENTS OF THE POPULATION, PARTICULARLY THE ELDERLY. BUT, THE I-M-F CONCLUDES, THE OUTLOOK FOR THE TRANSITION ECONOMIES IS POSITIVE. IT SAYS THERE IS ACCUMULATING EVIDENCE THAT THE TRANSITION IS WORKING. UNEMPLOYMENT IS COMING DOWN ALONG WITH INFLATION, FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IS MOVING INTO THE REGION, TRADE IS GROWING, AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE, CERTAINLY IN POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA IS RISING.

    SEVEN YEARS INTO THE TRANSITION, THE I-M-F AND WORLD BANK SAY SOME IMPORTANT LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNED. THEY SAY THE COUNTRIES THAT MOVED EARLIEST AND MOST AGGRESSIVELY TOWARD CHANGING THEIR ECONOMIES ARE DOING BEST. COUNTRIES THAT WAITED AND IMPLEMENTED LESS FAR REACHING REFORMS LAG BEHIND. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/LWM
    20-Dec-96 1:28 AM EST (0628 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] 96: BOSNIA HOPE BY KYLE KING (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=12/20/96
    TYPE=YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35292
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: REBUILDING A WAR TORN COUNTRY SEEMS AN OVERWHELMING TASK BUT PEOPLE IN BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW YEAR WITH A MIXTURE OF HOPE AND DETERMINATION. FROM SARAJEVO, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: AS THEY SIT AROUND THE TABLE OF THEIR BATTLE SCARED APARTMENT IN DOWNTOWN SARAJEVO, VERONIKA AND DRAGON ARE BUSY PLANNING THEIR CHRISTMAS WEDDING.

    // ACT OF FAMILY GATHERING //

    TELL HIM HOW WE MET DURING THE WAR AND HOW WE USED TO BE TOGETHER DURING THE SHELLING AND SHOOTING 30-YEAR-OLD VERONIKA TELLS HER HUSBAND TO BE.

    AFTER A FULL YEAR OF PEACE IN BOSNIA, HER FATHER KRUNO GLICHA (GLEEHA) CAN HARDLY CONTAIN HIS ENTHUSIASM.

    // KRUNO GLICHA LANGUAGE ACT -- FADE //

    I THINK, AN EMOTIONAL MR. GLICHA SAYS, ITS JUST GOING TO BE A GREAT EXPERIENCE, SOMETHING I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER IN MY LIFE. I CAN ONLY SAY GOD BLESS THEM. I HOPE THEY HAVE LOTS OF KIDS, A GOOD MARRIAGE AND THAT THEY REMAIN GOOD FRIENDS.

    THE HOLIDAY SEASON AND THE FIRST FULL YEAR OF PEACE IN BOSNIA HAVE BROUGHT NEW SIGNS OF HOPE TO THE WAR TORN COUNTRY.

    MEHMED HALILOVIC, THE EDITOR IN CHIEF OF SARAJEVO'S LEADING NEWSPAPER, SAYS PEOPLE ARE GRATEFUL THE WAR IS OVER.

    ALTHOUGH HE SAYS THE COUNTRY IS STILL DIVIDED AND THE LEADERS THAT STARTED THE WAR ARE STILL IN POWER, HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THERE WILL BE MORE FIGHTING.

    // HALILOVIC ACT //

    NO I DON'T BELIEVE THAT. AS LONG AS WE HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL FORCE HERE, THERE IS NO WAY TO HAVE A NEW OUTBREAK OF WAR IN THE COUNTRY.

    // END ACT //

    IGOR STOJANOVIC, NOW IN HIS EARLY 20'S, SAYS HE IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE, BUT HE SAYS PROGRESS IN REBUILDING SHATTERED LIVES HAS BEEN SLOW.

    // STAJANOVIC ACT //

    ITS GONNA BE BETTER FOR SURE. BUT YOU KNOW, FOR YOUNG PEOPLE A BETTER FUTURE IS COMING VERY SLOWLY. I ALREADY LOST FOUR YEARS IN THE WAR AND NOW I HAVE TO LOSE A COUPLE MORE WAITING FOR A BETTER FUTURE, AND I THINK ITS TOO SLOW FOR US.

    // END ACT //

    GIVEN THE ENORMOUS TASK OF REBUILDING A COUNTRY THAT WAS TORN APART BY WAR AND ETHNIC HATRED, MOST OFFICIALS SAY PROGRESS WILL COME IN SMALL STEPS.

    DURING A RECENT VISIT TO SARAJEVO, U-S GENERAL JOHN SHALIKASHVILI, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE U-S JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, SAID THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS A TIME TO LOOK FORWARD TO A PEACEFUL FUTURE.

    // SHALIKASHVILI ACT //

    NOW IS THE TIME TO LET PEACE REIGN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND HOPEFULLY FROM NOW ON IN THIS COUNTRY AND THIS IS MY WISH FOR THE PEOPLE OF BOSNIA.

    // END ACT //

    A HOLIDAY WISH THAT ONE NEW FAMILY WILL SURELY TAKE TO HEART AS THEY START THEIR NEW LIFE TOGETHER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/CF
    20-Dec-96 12:38 PM EST (1738 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] 96: EAST EUROPEAN POLITICS BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=12/20/96
    TYPE=YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35288
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: 12/19/96 11:11 A.M.

    INTRO: IN EASTERN EUROPE THERE WERE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS THIS PAST YEAR IN A NUMBER OF COUNTRIES INCLUDING THE CZECH REPUBLIC, ROMANIA, LITHUANIA, AND SLOVENIA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS ON TWO ELECTIONS THAT MAY HAVE PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE.

    TEXT: BACK IN 1992 THE SMALL BALTIC REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA SET A TREND WHEN THE RENAMED COMMUNISTS WON A LANDSLIDE VICTORY IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. THAT TURN TO THE LEFT WAS SOON REPEATED IN NEARBY POLAND AND HUNGARY, WHERE FORMER COMMUNISTS RETURNED TO POWER, EVEN THOUGH THEIR POLICIES WERE NOT RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENTS THEY REPLACED.

    THE FORMER COMMUNISTS IN ALL THREE COUNTRIES FAVORED MEMBERSHIP IN NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION. ALL WERE COMMITTED TO BUILDING MARKET BASED ECONOMIES WITH DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL SYSTEMS.

    IN OCTOBER THE CONSERVATIVES IN LITHUANIA MADE A STUNNING COMEBACK, WINNING DECISIVELY IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. ANALYSTS SAY THE RENAMED COMMUNISTS -- THE DEMOCRATIC LABOR PARTY PAID A HEAVY PRICE FOR A BANKING CRISIS EARLIER IN THE YEAR THAT COST THE TREASURY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHILE PROVIDING A DISCERNIBLE JOLT TO WHAT HAD BEEN A FAST GROWING ECONOMY.

    THE OTHER LANDMARK ELECTION IN EASTERN EUROPE WAS IN ROMANIA A MONTH LATER. THERE A COALITION OF CONSERVATIVE AND CENTER PARTIES WON NOT ONLY A MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT, BUT ALSO THE PRESIDENCY. EMIL CONSTANTINESCU, A FORMER UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, REGISTERED A SURPRISE VICTORY OVER ION ILIESCU, THE FORMER COMMUNIST WHO HAD BEEN ROMANIA'S PRESIDENT SINCE THE 1989 REVOLUTION.

    MR. CONSTANTINESCU, IN HIS SECOND BID FOR THE PRESIDENCY, HAD CAMPAIGNED ON THE NEED TO END RAMPANT CORRUPTION AND SPEED UP MARKET BASED REFORM. HE SAID MR. ILIESCU HADN'T DONE ENOUGH TO BOOST ROMANIA'S SECURITY AND ECONOMIC LINKS WITH WESTERN EUROPE.

    IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POST-COMMUNIST EUROPE'S ONLY AVOWEDLY RIGHT-WING PRIME MINISTER, VACLAV KLAUS, NARROWLY RETAINED HIS POST AFTER INCONCLUSIVE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN JUNE. PRIME MINISTER SINCE 1992, MR. KLAUS HAD HOPED FOR A DECISIVE VICTORY. INSTEAD IT WAS THE LEFT OF CENTER SOCIAL DEMOCRATS WHO SCORED MAJOR GAINS, ALTHOUGH NOT ENOUGH TO UNSEAT MR. KLAUS. OVERALL, THE POLITICAL SCENE IN EASTERN EUROPE HAS BECOME DISCERNIBLY MORE STABLE IN THE PAST TWO YEARS. IN MOST COUNTRIES DEMOCRATIC PROCEDURES ARE SEEMINGLY WELL ENTRENCED. THE REGION CONTINUES TO GET HIGH MARKS FOR BUILDING DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND WESTERN STYLE MARKET ECONOMIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/CF
    20-Dec-96 11:53 AM EST (1653 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] 96: BOSNIA / NATO BY KYLE KING (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=12/20/96
    TYPE=YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35293
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO TROOPS BROUGHT PEACE TO WAR TORN BOSNIAN HERZEGOVINA IN 1996, BUT THE LARGEST MISSION EVER UNDER TAKEN BY THE ALLIANCE HAS BEEN A DISAPPOINTMENT IN SOME REGARDS. FROM SARAJEVO, VOA'S KYLE KING EXAMINES THE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES OF THE PEACEKEEPING EFFORT.

    TEXT: WHEN THE FIRST WAVE OF NATO TROOPS BEGAN STREAMING INTO BOSNIA ONE YEAR AGO, THE WARRING FACTIONS WERE LOCKED IN A BLOODY STALEMATE THAT HAD ALREADY KILLED 300 THOUSAND PEOPLE AND DRIVEN MORE THAN TWO MILLION FROM THEIR HOMES.

    WITHIN WEEKS, THE HEAVILY ARMED NATO TROOPS BEGAN SEPARATING THE WARRING FACTIONS AND FORCING THEM BACK TO BASES WHERE THEY COULD BE MONITORED AND INSPECTED.

    THE KILLING STOPPED. ROADS, BRIDGES, HOSPITALS, RAILWAY LINES, ELECTRIC POWER STATIONS AND AIRPORTS WERE REOPENED.

    U-S GENERAL JOHN SHALIKASHVILI, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE U-S JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, SAYS MILITARY LEADERS WERE SURPRISED BY THE INITIAL SUCCESS NATO'S PEACE IMPLEMENTATION FORCE (I-FOR).

    // SHALIKASHVILI ACT //

    I-FOR, WHEN YOU RECALL WHAT THE CONDITIONS WERE HERE WHEN I-FOR ARRIVED, THE FIRST MISSION WAS TO BEGIN THE VERY DIFFICULT TASK OF SEPARATING THE WARRING FACTIONS. IT WENT SO WELL THAT WE KIND OF FORGET NOW HOW QUICKLY THIS COULD HAVE WRONG AND HOW QUICKLY IT COULD HAVE RESULTED IN MANY FIREFIGHTS.

    // END ACT //

    BUT WHILE THE MILITARY ASPECTS OF THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENT WERE BEING SMOOTHLY IMPLEMENTED, OTHER PARTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING EFFORT WERE LAGGING BEHIND.

    ALEXANDER IVANKO, A SPOKESMAN FOR THE INTERNATIONAL POLICE TASK FORCE IN BOSNIA, SAYS THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE PROGRESS IN GETTING PEOPLE TO WORK TOGETHER.

    // IVANKO ACT //

    THE PROBLEMATIC AREA IS REINTEGRATION OF THE COUNTRY AND RETURNING REFUGEES, AND HERE VERY LITTLE PROGRESS WAS MADE. THE ONLY PROGRESS THAT WAS MADE WAS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT INSTITUTIONS, AND THE PRESIDENCY AND THE SEPTEMBER 14TH ELECTIONS. BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE PEOPLE WHO CAME TO POWER DURING THESE ELECTIONS ARE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT STARTED THE WAR, ESPECIALLY IN THE REPUBLIC SERBSKA.

    // END ACT //

    ANOTHER AREA WHERE THE PEACEKEEPING EFFORT HAS FAILED TO MAKE MUCH PROGRESS, IS THE DETENTION OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN INDICTED FOR WAR CRIMES.

    ALTHOUGH THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENT GIVES NATO TROOPS THE AUTHORITY TO ARREST WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS, THERE HAS BEEN NO CONCERTED EFFORT TO DO SO.

    NATO OFFICIALS POINT OUT THE PEACE AGREEMENT CALLS ON THE PARTIES TO ARREST WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS IN THEIR OWN AREAS, AN IDEA MOST OBSERVERS AGREE WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    MEHMED HALILOVIC, THE EDITOR IN CHIEF OF SARAJEVO'S LEADING NEWSPAPER, SAYS WESTERN POWERS ARE AFRAID OF THE CASUALTIES THAT COULD RESULT IN AN EFFORT TO ARREST THE SUSPECTS. HE SAYS THAT COULD IN TURN ERODE WESTERN SUPPORT FOR THE PEACEKEEPING MISSION, BUT HE SAYS THE RISK IS WORTH TAKING.

    // HALILOVIC ACT //

    IF YOU STOP THOSE BRUTAL KILLERS, THE WAR CRIMINALS WHO COMMITTED GENOCIDE IN THIS COUNTRY, YOU WILL ALSO SEND A MESSAGE, A LESSON ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    // END ACT //

    UNTIL SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINALS ARE ARRESTED, AND THE TWO MILLION PEOPLE DISPLACED BY THE WAR CAN FIND NEW HOMES, OBSERVERS LIKE MR. HALILOVIC SAYS REAL PEACE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO TAKE HOLD.

    NATO OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE DISAPPOINTED THAT CIVILIAN ASPECTS OF THE PEACE PLAN ARE TAKING LONGER THAN EXPECTED, BUT THEY SAY THEY ARE PLEASED WITH THE PROGRESS MADE OVER THE FIRST YEAR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/CF
    20-Dec-96 12:44 PM EST (1744 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] 96: NATO EXPANSION BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=12/19/96
    TYPE=YEAREND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35276
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE 16-MEMBER NATIONS OF NATO WILL MEET IN JULY TO DETERMINE WHICH FORMER MEMBERS OF THE WARSAW PACT WILL BE INVITED TO JOIN THE WESTERN ALLIANCE. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THAT, THROUGHOUT 1996, THERE WAS A HEATED DEBATE IN EUROPE OVER WHETHER NATO'S EXPANSION TO THE EAST IS A GOOD OR BAD IDEA.

    TEXT: NATO EXPANSION IS ONE OF THOSE PROFOUNDLY IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR WHICH THERE ARE PERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST. INSIDE THE WESTERN ALLIANCE, THE DECISION ALREADY HAS BEEN MADE. NATO WILL EXPAND TO THE EAST, AND ITS FIRST NEW MEMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO JOIN BEFORE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY.

    AS THE YEAR ENDED, THE RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (DECEMBER 18TH) RESTATED MOSCOW'S OPPOSITION TO NATO EXPANSION. AT A NATO MEETING IN BRUSSELS, DEFENSE MINISTER IGOR RODIONOV SAID NATO EXPANSION COULD BRING A RETURN TO THE COLD WAR. HE SAID THE STRATEGIC BALANCE IN EUROPE WILL BE UPSET. NATO OFFICIALS SAY EXPANSION MUST NOT BE SEEN AS A THREAT TO RUSSIA. IN PARALLEL WITH ITS PLANNED EXPANSION, NATO HOPES TO CONCLUDE A NEW SECURITY PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIA.

    THE DRIVE TO JOIN NATO IS FELT MOST STRONGLY IN THE NEW DEMOCRACIES OF CENTRAL EUROPE -- POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, AND HUNGARY -- WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO BE THE ALLIANCE'S FIRST FORMER COMMUNIST MEMBERS. JANUSZ ONYSZKIEWICZ, A SECURITY EXPERT WITH THE OPPOSITION DEMOCRATIC UNION PARTY IN POLAND, SAYS NATO MEMBERSHIP IS VITAL FOR POLAND'S SECURITY.

    // ONYSZKIEWICZ ACT //

    I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE VERY SAME REASONS AS FOR HUNGARY, THE CZECH REPUBLIC OR SLOVAKIA OR OTHERS. FIRST, WE WANT TO TREAT OUR NATO MEMBERSHIP AS PART OF THE PROCESS OF JOINING THE PROCESS OF EUROPEAN AND TRANS-ATLANTIC INTEGRATION. CLEARLY, POLAND WANTS TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION, BUT THAT WILL TAKE TIME. BUT FIRST OF ALL, JUST TO STABILIZE THE PROCESS OF REFORM, ANCHOR POLAND MORE CLOSELY WITH THE WEST, TO SHOW THAT THE PLACE OF POLAND IS ALREADY DETERMINED. THAT POLAND IS NOT A COUNTRY THAT IS UP FOR GRABS. THE NATO MEMBERSHIP IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.

    // END ACT //

    WHILE THE VIEWS OF MR. ONYSZKIEWICZ ARE ECHOED IN PRAGUE AND BUDAPEST, THEY DO NOT FIND FAVOR IN ALL THE CAPITALS OF WESTERN EUROPE. PIERRE LELLOUCHE IS AN ADVISER TO FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC. HE HAS DOUBTS WHETHER THE SECURITY OF EUROPE IS ENHANCED BY BRINGING NATO'S FRONT LINE RIGHT UP TO THE RUSSIAN BORDER.

    // LELLOUCHE ACT //

    I UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO STABILIZE THE CENTER OF EUROPE. BUT DOING IT THROUGH RAPID (NATO) EXPANSION, TO THE BORDERS OF RUSSIA, WITHOUT CLEARING THE SITUATION OF MOST OF CENTRAL EUROPE AND, THEREFORE, CREATING FOR OURSELVES A GREY AREA TO THE EAST OF POLAND, I DON'T LIKE IT ONE BIT. I THINK THIS THING SHOULD BE RE-THOUGHT. AND EVEN THOUGH I'M IN FAVOR OF IT IN PRINCIPLE, IF IT IS DONE IN OPPOSITION TO RUSSIA, IT IS A BAD IDEA.

    // END ACT //

    MR. LELLOUCHE INSISTS THAT NATO EXPANSION, IF IT IS TO OCCUR, MUST BE DONE IN A WAY THAT DOES NOT PROVOKE RUSSIA.

    INFORMALLY, NATO HAS INDICATED THAT THE THREE BALTIC REPUBLICS WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE FIRST WAVE OF NEW EASTERN MEMBERS. THE BALTIC STATES -- ESTONIA, LATVIA, AND LITHUANIA -- ONCE PART OF THE SOVIET UNION, FEEL PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO RUSSIAN MILITARY THREAT. THE BALTIC STATES ARE VERY EAGER TO JOIN NATO AND WORRY THAT THEY ARE BEING CONSIGNED TO A GREY ZONE OF INSTABILITY BETWEEN NATO AND RUSSIA.

    EXPERTS SAY THAT EVEN THOUGH THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE TO EXPAND, THE SHAPE AND TIMETABLE FOR EXPANSION WON'T BE DETERMINED UNTIL JULY AT THE EARLIEST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/RRM
    19-Dec-96 4:05 PM EST (2105 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] EDITORIAL: E-U PROMOTES DEMOCRACY IN CUBA

    DATE=DECEMBER 15, 1996
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-07074
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    DECEMBER 15, 1996.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    THIS MONTH, THE EUROPEAN UNION ADOPTED AN INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY IN CUBA. THE RESOLUTION MAKES ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH THE COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP OF FIDEL CASTRO CONTINGENT ON CUBA'S MAKING PROGRESS TOWARD DEMOCRACY AND THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. THE DOCUMENT CALLS FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS AND AN END TO THE HARASSMENT OF DISSIDENTS. IT COMMITS THE FIFTEEN MEMBER STATES OF THE E-U TO ENCOURAGING "A PROCESS OF TRANSITION TO PLURALIST DEMOCRACY AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS" IN CUBA.

    THE UNITED STATES WELCOMES THIS ACTION BY THE EUROPEAN UNION. THE U.S. HOPES THAT THE NEW E-U APPROACH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMON GOAL OF PROMOTING DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM, AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA.

    CUBA IS RULED BY A REGIME THAT CLINGS TO THE DISCREDITED, DICTATORIAL HABITS OF THE PAST. ITS LEADERSHIP IGNORES THE HOPES OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE, THE COURSE OF HISTORY AND INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED STANDARDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS. THE CASTRO REGIME DENIES FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS TO THE PEOPLE OF CUBA -- AND HAS BEEN CONDEMNED TIME AND AGAIN FOR THESE VIOLATIONS. THE EUROPEAN UNION'S ACTION SHOWS THAT THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN CUBA IS A PRIORITY NOT JUST OF THE UNITED STATES BUT OF DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES EVERYWHERE.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, DC, 20547, USA. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    13-Dec-96 12:57 PM EST (1757 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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