Media Center

Press Release


  June 6, 2005

Fort Lauderdale, Florida- United States President George W. Bush, addressing the Organization of American States’ (OAS) General Assembly today, called on his nation’s Congress to approve CAFTA, the free trade agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic. More than just an agreement, CAFTA is a signal of the US commitment to democracy and prosperity for “our neighbors,” Mr. Bush told the hemisphere’s foreign ministers.

“An Americas where all our people live in prosperity will be more peaceful,” the President declared, reiterating that “an Americas whose countries have reduced the barriers to trade among ourselves will be a more competitive region in a global economy.”

Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, chaired the first plenary session where President Bush touted freedom and prosperity. He told the delegates from around the Americas, “The United States shares a commitment with you to build an Americas that lives in liberty, trades in freedom, and grows in prosperity.”

He also congratulated OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and highlighted the Organization’s efforts to promote and defend democracy. This organization’s founding document calls the Americas to its “historic mission to offer man a land of liberty, and a favorable environment for the realization of his just aspirations,” Bush explained. The Inter-American Democratic Charter is a clear expression of those aspirations, he said.

“Today, what was once a distant dream is now within our reach,” he stated, noting that in this 21st century democracy is now the rule rather than the exception. The President went on to talk about preparations for the next Summit of the Americas that Argentina will host in November, and said his administration “will be looking for new ways to prime the real engines of hope in the Americas: its small businesses and private enterprises and entrepreneurs.”

Reference: E-114/05