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3. 6. 2008 14:23

June 3, 2008:Premier Mirek Topolánek Met US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierréz for Talks on Political Situation in Cuba and Anti-Missile Defence

On Tuesday, June 3, 2008, Czech Premier Mirek Topolánek met US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierréz, one of the leading representatives of the Cuban exile in the US Administration.

The political situation in Cuba figured among the key issues of the bilateral talks held by Mirek Topolánek and Carlos Gutierréz. Both politicians praised the start of reform steps taken by Fidel Castro´s successor, Raúl Castro. At the same time, they noted that, in actual fact, the reform steps represent an attempt at perpetrating and saving the regime whose substance has remained unchanged. Cuba still ranks among the countries violating human rights. In this context, Mirek Topolánek emphasized the Czech Republic’s lasting support for representatives of the Cuban opposition.

Commenting on this, Carlos Gutierréz said the Czech Republic could become a valuable source of information on transformation of a totalitarian regime since his home country just as the Czech Republic have passed through similar experiences. The US Secretary of Commerce then appreciated the Czech Republic’s policy towards Cuba. “I would like to thank for your endeavours in supporting the development of democracy in Cuba. You have done for that country more than you had to,“ added Carlos Gutierréz. He has described the media as a major instrument in supporting democratization in Cuba. “We will keep on informing citizens intensely on the suppression of human rights in Cuba,“ said Carlos Gutierréz. According to the two politicians, response of the broad public may constitute a major force that will make the regime to speed up its reform steps and launch a genuine transition to democracy.

Involvement of the Czech Industry in Building the Missile Defence System

During his talks with Carlos Gutierréz, Premier Mirek Topolánek reiterated the interest of the Czech Republic in the broadest possible involvement of the Czech business sector, scientific research institutes and universities in the US missile defence project. “The Czech government as well as private subjects see in this particular area a great potential for mutual cooperation in production, technology transfer or research between the Czech Republic and the United States,“ Mirek Topolánek was quoted as saying. He also admitted that the differences between the US federal legislation and Czech laws could pose an obstacle on the road to achieving involvement of the Czech companies in the MDA (Missile Defence Agency) projects. Therefore, the Czech Premier has asked the American side to exert maximum efforts to bring the system of deliveries for the US missile defences closer to the interested Czech subjects.

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