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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
January 18, 2001

Czech Activists Detained in Cuba

The United States condemns the arrest and detention January 12 of Czech citizens Ivan Pilip, and Jan Bubenik, by the government of Cuba. They are being charged with "counter-revolutionary" activities. Mr. Pilip and Mr. Bubenik's only "offense" was to meet with Cuban activists who seek peaceful change of Cuba's totalitarian government. Both are extremely well-known figures in Czech politics. Mr. Pilip is a member of the Czech legislature, a former minister and the founder of his political party. Mr. Bubenik is a representative of a well-known non-governmental organization.

We fully agree with the Czech Republic's statement calling their detention "groundless and in defiance of the principles that all democratic nations stand for." We call upon the Cuban government to release the two men immediately.

[end of document]

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