Cuban opposition group inaugurated in Miami
MIAMI - President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia sent a message to a crowd of almost 1,000 gathered for the inauguration of Cuban opposition group, Inspire America Foundation, and in honour of opposition leader, Dr Oscar Elias Biscet, in Coral Gables, Florida. It was the first time Uribe has publicly sent his support for the Cuban opposition leader.
Also congratulating Biscet were Senator Marco Rubio, and Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Carlos Curbelo, Lincoln-Diaz Balart, Ambassador Jim Cason, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez.
Biscet is a Nobel Peace Prize candidate and fellow winner of the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honour he shares with Uribe as well as with Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. He has also received the Czech Republic's Plaque of Honor. In 2011, he was honoured by Bono at a U2 concert in Miami.
Marcell Felipe, president of Inspire America said, "We couldn't have asked for a better night for the birth of Inspire America with an icon of democracy in Latin America, as is President Alvaro Uribe, and a Nobel Peace Prize candidate, such as Dr Oscar Elias Biscet as the guest of honour, we have certainly sent a message that those who fight for democracy in the Americas, stand together."
Felipe added, "We are specifically grateful to Senator Rubio, and Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Carlos Curbelo, Lincoln-Diaz Balart, and to Ambassador Jim Cason, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez."
According to its website, the stated mission of Inspire America Foundation is simple: to inspire democracy in Cuba.
The new group was founded to: (1) promote and support for pro-democracy leaders in Cuba; (2) promote and support for pro-democracy policies towards Cuba; and (3) promote and support world leaders who advocate for pro-democracy policies towards Cuba.
Inspire America is organized as what is sometimes called a "Super PAC", an organization that can raise an unlimited amount of money from individual donors and businesses and spend these funds on political advertisements.
The Inspire America team has developed a number of US policy proposals, centered on modifying the Cuban Adjustment Act. The proposal would (1) deny automatic refugee status and CAA residency for anyone entering on a tourist visa; and (2) rescind any residency or refugee status given under CAA to anyone who returns to Cuba, for any reason, other than a family emergency.