Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/824

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106 STAT. 5382 PROCLAMATION 6458-^ULY 15, 1992 This proclamation is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 14 day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth. GEORGE BUSH Proclamation 6458 of July 15, 1992 Captive Nations Week, 1992 By the President of the United states of America A Proclamation When Americans first observed Captive Nations Week in 1959, repressive communist regimes had overtaken nations from Central and Eastern Europe to mainland China and overshadowed many others with the very real threat of expansionism. Three years earlier, forces of the Soviet Union had brutally suppressed a popular movement for freedom in Hungary; some 16 years before that, the Soviets had invaded Poland and achieved the forcible annexation of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. In 1959, the United Nations had only recently ended its efforts to thwart communist expansionism below the 38th parallel in Korea, and a communist-led insurgency had already begun to threaten South Vietnam. At a time when millions of people were enslaved by Soviet domination or subjugated by proxy, at a time when countless others were terrorized by the threat of communist aggression and subversion, Americans paused during Captive Nations Week to reaffirm our commitment to liberty and self-government and to express our solidarity with all those peoples seeking freedom, independence, and security. Today, 33 years after our first observance of Captive Nations Week, millions of people who suffered under Soviet domination and communist rule are free. The Iron Curtain and its most despised symbol, the Berlin Wall, have fallen—toppled by courageous individuals who would no longer stand the denial of their fundamental human rights. Today we celebrate the existence of a free and unified Germany, as well as the independence of the Baltic States, Central European countries, and 12 new states that replaced the U.S.S.R. In Afghanistan and Angola, where bloody civil war against Soviet-supported, Marxist-Leninist regimes left thousands dead and millions of others homeless, chances of achieving lasting peace have reached their highest level in years. As we celebrate the hope of peace and freedom in these and other once-captive nations, we also remember the many courageous, freedom-loving men and women who resisted tyranny and oppression— often at great personal cost. These include the thousands of dissenters who risked imprisonment, exile, and death in order to demand rights that we Americans enjoy: freedom of religion, speech, and assembly.