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Senate Proceeding on May 20th, 2009 :: 5:57:40 to 6:02:40
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Mel Martinez

5:57:36 to 5:57:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: quorum call: mr. martinez: mr. president? the presiding offi senator from florida. mr. martinez: mr. president ring i ask that the proceedings under the quorum call terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. martinez: i ask to speak in five minutes in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. martinez: thank you, mr. president. for americans, independence day is the day we celebrate our

Mel Martinez

5:57:40 to 6:02:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mel Martinez

Mel Martinez

5:57:58 to 5:58:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: freedom and the ideals on which our nation was founded. today is a special day for cubans who won their formal independence with help from the united states 107 years ago today. today is independence day in cuba. it serves as a reminder that there are those still struggling to exercise their fundamental rights, having spent the past 50

Mel Martinez

5:58:21 to 5:58:42( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: years under the repressive rule of one family regime. last month, 17 peaceful cuban activists wrote to president obama noting that -- and i quote -- "a great majority of cubans desire profound democratic change in cuba. the shining example of the civil rights movement in the united states is a beacon of hope so that the full dignity of each

Mel Martinez

5:58:43 to 5:59:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: cuban can be restored. we want to determine our future through a democratic process." this administration has taken actions with the well-being of cubans in mind. while i appreciate the president's l. willingness to address some of the challenges facing the cuban people, i also is ask that he consider implementing policies that will empower the cuban peernlg not

Mel Martinez

5:59:06 to 5:59:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: embolden the regime. wholesale change in cuba won't come change for havana can only come from had a van navment the cuban people will not truly be fre until all prisoners of conscience are freed from prison. additionally, the regime must end the practice of harassing and detaining those who exercise

Mel Martinez

5:59:27 to 5:59:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: their fundamental the cuban people are also entitled to freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, freedom to worship, and finally, the cuban people must be given the right to freely choose who governs them and how they will be governed. on the day we recognize cubans' independence from spain 107 years ago, we should ao

Mel Martinez

5:59:50 to 6:00:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: recognize the cuban people's right to independence from the repressive regime that currently denies them these fundamental freedoms. 107 years ago, as the united states and those freedom fighters in cuba who had struggled mightily for more than a quarter of a century by that time to free themselves from the

Mel Martinez

6:00:13 to 6:00:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: yoke of colonialism, the united states and cuba, after freeing cuba from spain, sat form the new cuban republic. and 107 years ago on a day like today, the united states ced to the cuban people its right to be an independent nation.

Mel Martinez

6:00:34 to 6:00:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: it is closely bound together the history of our nation is with the history of the nation that is is of my birth. it is with that in mind that the unique role in the fact that only a called the florida straits

Mel Martinez

6:00:56 to 6:01:16( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: separates us, has created this entangled web of history between these two nations that have so much been a part of my life. s as we look to the future, it is right that weontinue to be the greatest single beaco of hope as these dissidents expressed to president obama for those in

Mel Martinez

6:01:17 to 6:01:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: cuba who look for freedom, who look for the opportunity to have a democratic government that they can elect. today the cuban people continue to be ruled by the tyrannical hand of two brothers who seized power in 1959 on january 1. that is a long time ago, mr. president. and since that day until today,

Mel Martinez

6:01:39 to 6:01:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: there has not but a legitimate election. there has never been an opportunity for the cuban people to freely express themselves without fear of repression. today there are people who are in prison merely for expressing the ideas that this country has s

Mel Martinez

6:02:00 to 6:02:23( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: over the time of its existence. freedom, democracy, rule of law. and it is with that hope that today i wanted to come to the senate floor to commemorate this very important date on the calendar of the history that intertwines cuba and the united states. thank you, mr. president. i yield the

Mel Martinez

6:02:24 to 6:02:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mel Martinez: suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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