Tue Sep 25, 2:48 PM ET
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - US President George W. Bush, in a speech to the
UN General Assembly here Tuesday, called for "free and competitive.
"In Cuba, the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end," he told
world leaders gathered here, in a reference to Castro.
"The Cuban people are ready for their freedom," he added, stressing as
the communist-rule island enters a period of transition, "The United
Nations must insist on free speech, free assembly and ultimately free
and competitive elections."
As Bush uttered those words, the Cuban delegation led by Foreign
Minister Felipe Perez Roque walked out in protest.
The United States and Cuba do not have full diplomatic relations.
Washington has a trade embargo on Havana that it clamped 45 years ago
following the Bay of Pigs invasion, an abortive US-backed bid by Cuban
exiles to topple the Castro regime.