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Mooney offers 'Freedom for Cuba' resolution in Md. Senate

Senator has roots in Cuba

Senator has roots in Cuba

February 29, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

ANNAPOLIS - With a new transfer of power, it's time to talk about Cuba's prospects for progress, said Sen. Alex X. Mooney, who filed a Senate resolution on the issue.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, drew on his roots to create a Maryland Senate Joint Resolution called "Freedom for Cuba (Viva Cuba Libre)."

The resolution is for "expressing certain support for the Cuban people and democratic and economic transition in Cuba."

"Regardless of whether Cuba's dictator is Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro, or Raul Castro," the resolution says, "the goal of U.S. policy towards Cuba, and the focus of the international community toward Cuba, must remain the unconditional release of all political prisoners, the respect and recognition of fundamental human rights, and a transition to political freedom and democracy for the Cuban people."

Mooney said his mother grew up in Cuba and lived there until she was 21. His wife's parents also were from Cuba.

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He is the secretary/treasurer of the National Conference of Hispanic Legislators, a three-year-old organization based in Atlanta.

"By developing and promoting policies that reflect the principles of limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty, we strive to make the conservative voice of the Hispanic/Latino community heard in our state legislatures," the organization's Web site says.

Mooney said that it was through NCHL that he floated the idea for the resolution, which is being introduced in other states, too.

He filed the Maryland Senate resolution this week, shortly after Fidel Castro handed over permanent control of Cuba to his brother Raul.

"[T]his state stands in solidarity with the Cuban people and believes that now is the time for the Cuban people to be given the opportunity to choose how they will be governed and who will do the governing," the resolution says.

It calls for the release of political prisoners and the freedoms of assembly, association and the press.

Mooney said he and his mother always hoped that the end of Fidel Castro's regime would mean a free election and a movement toward other liberties.

"I'm passionate about it," he said. "Anything I can do to help bring freedom in my lifetime or hers would be nice."

ยท To read the bill, go to http://mlis.state.md.us/2008rs/billfile/sj0004.htm

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