Thursday, November 25, 2010

Section 109 of Helms-Burton Act

This section of the Helms-Burton Act authorizes U.S. support for pro-democracy programs in Cuba:
(a) Authorization.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including section 102 of this Act), except for section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2394-1) and comparable notification requirements contained in any Act making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs, the President is authorized to furnish assistance and provide other support for individuals and independent nongovernmental organizations to support democracy-building efforts for Cuba, including the following:
(1) Published and informational matter, such as books, videos, and cassettes, on transitions to democracy, human rights, and market economies, to be made available to independent democratic groups in Cuba.
(2) Humanitarian assistance to victims of political repression, and their families.
(3) Support for democratic and human rights groups in Cuba.
(4) Support for visits and permanent deployment of independent international human rights monitors in Cuba.
(b) OAS Emergency Fund.--
(1) For support of human rights and elections.--The President shall take the necessary steps to encourage the Organization of American States to create a special emergency fund for the explicit purpose of deploying human rights observers, election support, and election observation in Cuba.
(2) Action of other member states.--The President should instruct the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States to encourage other member states of the Organization to join in calling for the Cuban Government to allow the immediate deployment of independent human rights monitors of the Organization throughout Cuba and on-site visits to Cuba by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
(3) Voluntary contributions for fund.--Notwithstanding section 307 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2227) or any other provision of law limiting the United States proportionate share of assistance to Cuba by any international organization, the President should provide not less than $5,000,000 of the voluntary contributions of the United States to the Organization of American States
solely for the purposes of the special fund referred to in paragraph (1).
(c) Denial of Funds to the Cuban Government.--In implementing this section, the President shall take all necessary steps to ensure that no funds or other assistance is provided to the Cuban Government.

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