US Department of State Daily Press Briefing #172, Wednesday, 11/20/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:05 PM, Washington, DC Date: Nov 20, 199111/20/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, Subsaharan Africa, East Asia, North America, Caribbean, E/C Europe Country: Lebanon, Israel, USSR (former), Mexico, Haiti, North Korea, Kenya, Yugoslavia (former) Subject: Human Rights, Narcotics, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Terrorism, Mideast Peace Process, Democratization, Immigration (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MS. TUTWILER: I don't have anything. Q Margaret, do you know what's behind the U.S. statements now of extreme optimism that the hostages will be out soon? MS. TUTWILER: If you're referring to something I've seen on the wires that Marlin (Fitzwater) said this morning, I have that he said -- if it's accurately portrayed here -- that we really only have the statements that we've seen in the press and they are very encouraging. However -- according to this report -- the prospects do look brighter than they have in a long time. Q Well, again, when you say "the prospects look brighter," are you reflecting the obvious -- that people are saying things and you're repeating them? MS. TUTWILER: I'm saying that's what Marlin is reported to have said this morning at the White House briefing. Q I guess what I'm driving at is, does the United States Government independently, in and of itself, have information or even a strong hunch to be so optimistic, or are you just -- as I say, you can see what you can see. People are getting out, so you say they're getting out? MS. TUTWILER: Right. I think that Marlin clearly stated by his first sentence that, based on press reports that we're all seeing -- statements by any number of officials around the world -- that, obviously, people would be encouraged. But at the same time, I have not read his entire transcript. I haven't had an opportunity to. In fact, I think he's still briefing right now. I am sure that we still do not want to play the cruel game of raising people's expectations, just as the President says, to have them cruelly dashed. Q One last thing, if I could. The Israelis -- there's an Israeli angle to all this. They're holding people and, of course, they're looking for their own people missing in Lebanon. What is the U.S. position on the release of Israelis, or the remains of Israelis if they're not alive? When you call for the release of Western hostages, by inference, does that mean Israel as well, or do you mean all hostages? They have a feeling that the U.N. is focused primarily on the West -- the Germans and the Americans remaining? MS. TUTWILER: I can't speak for what the U.N. is focused on. I can speak for what our country rightly should be focused on, as any nation should be. Israel, as you know, has focused, as they should, on their concerns. I would only point you to the President's statements, many times in this Administration, that we believe that hostage-taking by anyone is wrong. Q Do you have anything on a Shamir-Baker meeting? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. They will be meeting this Thursday -- that's November 21 -- at 4:00 p.m. Q How about the bilateral negotiations between the various parties to the Middle East peace process? Anything to announce on those and/or the multilateral conference? MS. TUTWILER: A negative and a negative. I would only tell you that since the Secretary has returned, he has had a number of discussions here in the building with his experts, and they are in the process of deciding and determining how best to proceed and on possible ways that would be helpful to get the negotiations resumed as quickly as possible. Q Now, he left no doubt -- God knows, he said it often enough, and probably the President did, too -- that there could be interruptions and this wasn't expected to go off like clockwork. But there has been a long pause. Is this an excessive interruption, or is this about the way you thought it might work? MS. TUTWILER: Not in our mind. As you know, it originally called for -- when we were in Madrid, he said that a number of parties had asked for two weeks to try to work it out among themselves. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that two-week mark was this Monday. Today is Wednesday. He has been basically on the road for the last six weeks. I believe he's probably been in the office less than two days in the last 35 days, so it is honestly nothing more than other pressing business that he had to do -- giving the groups, the parties in the region an opportunity to try to work it out themselves. So I would steer you towards now that he is back, I know of any number of meetings and conversations that he had yesterday here in the building, some of which I attended, addressing himself and turning his attention back to this. Q Early on in this process the Secretary said, as the various parties move toward bilateral talks, that he would exchange the letters of assurances that he drafted for each party with the other parties and let them see what has been done. Those letters of assurance have never been exchanged. Why not? MS. TUTWILER: You've got one version that is a correct version, which was early on in the game. Towards the end of the game, the Secretary told each party that he had re-thought this and, because of rejectionist-type individuals or groups in each place, he would not be physically handing these letters of assurances to each of the parties, but that he would be doing full and thorough briefs, which have all taken place for all of the parties involved. They have all had their thorough briefs of the other letters of assurances. Q So there will be no exchange of the physical letters of assurance, as he said early in the process? MS. TUTWILER: He didn't say "never," but he said how he was going to proceed at this time. It was his judgment because, if these got into the hands of those who are not supporting the peace process, they could use them to not further the peace process. So he decided to go the in-depth briefing route, and that has taken place with all parties. Q Margaret, did he, in these briefings -- MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. It took place, basically, before the Madrid Conference. Q In these briefings, did he disclose everything that was in the letters of assurances? MS. TUTWILER: He didn't do the briefings. His experts did them. He had done much of it himself through the eight months of negotiation -- different, various points. He had not taken each letter and read it in detail. But during the Madrid Conference and preceding the Madrid Conference most of it was handled by the experts. Q So the whole idea that there will be no secrets -- I guess if the physical letters have not been handed over to the various parties, then there is still some aspect of secrecy? MS. TUTWILER: But then you're assuming that he has not shared, throughout the eight months with the various parties, what is in the other letters. I don't make that assumption. He is satisfied that there are no surprises, and I have not heard yet anyone that has questioned that they need a fuller brief or that they need to know more or that they're doubting that they've been told all. Q Does the Secretary intend to attend the multilateral conference when it takes place -- the regional conference? MS. TUTWILER: It has always been anticipated in his view that the first multilateral talks would be probably held at a Ministerial level, but there's no final decision on it. Q What about the bilats? MS. TUTWILER: The bilats have never been envisioned at a Ministerial level. Q So Secretary Baker does not plan to attend the next phase of the bilateral talks? MS. TUTWILER: Not to my knowledge. I believe the bilaterals will be, and it has always envisioned they would be, at the expert level. Q Wasn't the original idea the bilaterals come first and then the multilaterals? Is there still the sequence? There's not a simultaneous plan, is there? MS. TUTWILER: No. There's still a sequence. Q Margaret, he remained in Madrid the last time just to see if the bilats would come off as they were supposed to. MS. TUTWILER: Help launch them. Q Does he intend to stay around the vicinity of wherever the bilaterals are held? MS. TUTWILER: Whether it's him or one of the experts and people who will be representing the United States, it has always been envisioned that the co-sponsors would be available should both parties ask for the co-sponsors to come into the room, is how the agreement is worked out. So when they're meeting -- whenever bilaterals are going on -- the United States will have representatives in the vicinity. Q But I'm asking just whether the Secretary will be in the vicinity? Not to be of help necessarily, but just to be in the vicinity? MS. TUTWILER: He has said that he would be available and that he would judge when it was needed for him and his Soviet counterpart -- if both parties asked at their level -- to get back involved. But he has never ruled out that he would be willing to do such. But day in and day out, week in and week out, no, it is not going to be the Secretary of State who is going to be the American expert outside the room. Q Maybe a convenient way to do that, and also to ask about Shevardnadze -- is he planning a reunion -- champagne or otherwise -- with his old close friend, Mr. Shevardnadze? MS. TUTWILER: He spoke with Mr. Shevardnadze last night. They have agreed that they would speak again, probably towards the end of this week. The Secretary expressed to Minister Shevardnadze his pleasure and his delight that he would be returning to the Foreign Ministry and told him that he looked forward to working with him again, both professionally and personally. Minister Shevardnadze echoed the same views, basically, and said to Secretary Baker that he appreciated the call and that he, too, looked forward to working with him in the very near future and that they would talk again shortly. Q Did he ask Shevardnadze what Shevardnadze thought he was going to be doing now that he's moving into an empty Ministry with no money and little mandate? MS. TUTWILER: No, he did not. It was, basically, a congratulations phone call. They did do a little bit of work, to be honest with you. It was the middle of the night for Minister Shevardnadze, and it was not what I would call a very long and involved conversation. That's why they agreed they would talk again in two or three days. Q Are there policy reasons to welcome this event, apart from the very good relationship they had? MS. TUTWILER: Are there policy -- Q Yes. Does Mr. Shevardnadze represent greater hope or active reform than Mr. Pankin did? What does the Administration deduce from all this? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not going to do an analytical -- an analysis for you or speculate with you on what this implies. I think that it goes without saying that he is a respected gentleman around the world. He is respected in his own country. As you know, he has a professional and personal relationship with the Secretary, and the Secretary, I would say, would have found it strange had he not called someone that he had developed such a good relationship with over the last three years. As you're aware, every time we have been to the Soviet Union, the Secretary has privately gone to see Mr. Shevardnadze. He's a leader in the democracy movement there in that country, and so it just makes perfect sense to me. Q We just wondered if there's something else about U.S.-Soviet relations -- with the pace of reform that you find some reason to be optimistic about. Will the Secretary not alter his policy of dealing with the 12 Republics' foreign ministers, as if they have something to do with foreign affairs as well as the central government? MS. TUTWILER: That won't change at all. As you know, Mr. Shevardnadze -- excuse me, Alan -- was one of the gentleman that went down and stood with Mr. Yeltsin at the Russian Republic, so I think that he has for many, many months, and has publicly expressed it -- and again, I read on the wires today -- has talked about his country and the importance of the republics, etc. Yes, Alan. Q Margaret, Ambassador Strauss gave a briefing in Moscow, I believe, on Tuesday, in which amongst other things he attacked the Congress for not passing an aid package. The Administration didn't actually lift a finger to try and get an aid package through. Was Ambassador Strauss out on a limb? How do you explain the contradiction? MS. TUTWILER: Well, it's your analysis that the United States has not lifted a finger on an aid package for the Soviet Union; and, obviously, Ambassador Strauss speaks for the United States. As you know, he is there as, not only a professional, but personal friend of the President and the Secretary of State. And, no, he was not out on a limb. I have not read every word that he said. I apologize. I've only been back one day. I've read excerpts from it, and I didn't see that anybody in the Administration had a problem with it. Q The aid package he meant was $1 billion Pentagon. It's a specific. We know you're working on a humanitarian/medicine/maybe debt relief/maybe something for the republics package. But what I think Mr. Strauss was talking about was a billion dollars that the Pentagon doesn't happen to have a heavy need for right now with the Cold War being over, and somehow using this to help the awful situation in the Soviet Union. Is that something the Administration is in favor of, you're saying? MS. TUTWILER: Since I am not totally immersed and familiar with every word that Ambassador Strauss said, I could only give you a general characterization, which is, I believe, you will find no difference in the Administration's view of help to the Soviet Union. I don't know if he was specifically addressing himself to this. I would steer you to the White House briefing today on any types of announcements they may or may not have to make on this subject. Q Margaret, do you have any comment on an incident that took place in Mexico on November 7, where Mexican soldiers murdered Mexican drug agents who were attempting to interdict a Colombian drug shipment? MS. TUTWILER: It's the first I've heard of it. I'll be happy to check into it. I haven't heard a word about that. Q Do you have anything on a Soviet-American meeting which started today -- the Yakovlev-Ross team? MS. TUTWILER: Right. With Dennis (Ross)? Q Yes. MS. TUTWILER: This was something that I believe about a week ago Richard (Boucher) had announced. The meeting is taking place today, in Washington, and tomorrow. It will be the first meeting of the newly formed U.S.-Soviet working group on the future security agenda. Secretary Baker, as I think a number of you know, has discussed this in the past with Ministers Shevardnadze, Bessmertnykh, and Pankin. It will be an informal, future-oriented discussion group, rather than a negotiating body dealing with operational matters. It will discuss how transformations and developments internationally will affect the future security environment. As you pointed out, the United States delegation will include U.S. Government officials in the security area and will be headed by Dennis Ross. The Soviet side will be headed by Mr. Yakovlev. I will be happy to give you all a list of the U.S. members who are participating in this and the Soviets at the end of the briefing. Q Have there been anymore Haitian boat people who have washed up in your custody in the last 24 hours? MS. TUTWILER: What a gracious way of putting it. No, there are not any people, Alan. Let me make sure I'm right on this on the numbers. Let me give you one piece of information that just was handed to me before I left. A group of 125 boat people has left Guantanamo for Honduras. These will be on United States airplanes. Another group of a 100 was scheduled to leave from Guantanamo from Veneuzela, and there will be another flight from Guantanamo to Honduras today. On the latest numbers that you're interested in, the total number of boat people picked up, according to information by the Coast Guard this morning, has now risen to 2,817. Some 650 people were picked up by the Coast Guard yesterday. Of the total of 2,817, 53 were found to have a plausible claim to asylum -- which is what I believe Richard told you yesterday -- and have been flown to the United States. Five hundred and thirty-eight have been repatriated to Haiti; 446* remain at Guantanamo Bay, and the remaining 1,780 are aboard the Coast Guard cutters. Q How does this repatriation take place? MS. TUTWILER: How does it take place, literally? Q Yes. Are the boats just sort of pushed back into the water, or are they -- MS. TUTWILER: No. As you know, we're taking these people off of their boats, and on a humanitarian -- Q Half of them don't even get to land? MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q Yeah, they die. MS. TUTWILER: In fact, I think it would be important to point out that the United States' overriding concern has been to save the lives of Haitians who go to sea in small, dangerous boats in the belief that they will get to the United States. Last Thursday, November 14, the Coast Guard cutter Confidence picked up a 40-foot sailing vessel with 238 Haitians aboard. The boat was not designed for the high seas. It was severely overloaded. It carried no life-jackets, no flares, no radio, no beacon, no charts, no navigational equipment. Yesterday, another Coast Guard cutter picked up 19 Haitians in rough seas. Their boat was taking on water. Cases such as these lead the Coast Guard to estimate that up to 50 percent of these Haitians may not survive their journey. The fact is that if the United States sends a message that Haitians can get to the United States by boarding one of these boats, thousands will do so and many will die. We fear that suspending repatriation could send that message and could lead to loss of life. Q Margaret, the judge has now ordered you to cease repatriating back to Haiti. So what -- as a matter of practicality, what is going to happen to people who are now on those Coast Guard vessels or who are about to be picked up? What will happen with them? *Note: By early afternoon 221 Haitians remained at Guantanamo. MS. TUTWILER: We are complying with the judge's order. We are informed by the Coast Guard that no repatriation is planned for today. Any specific questions concerning this case, I have to refer you to the Department of Justice. But, obviously, the Coast Guard is going to continue doing what they have been doing when they come upon these situations that are desperate with these people and these boats. Q Also, the delegation that was supposed to meet on Friday in Colombia with President Aristide, they say now that they will not do so unless the embargo is lifted. MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard that. Q Do you have any reaction to that? MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that the OAS is trying to coordinate arrangements for a meeting between President Aristide and Haitian legislators at the end of this week in Colombia. I have to refer you to the OAS if there's been some change on that. Q But could you just look into the question, because it was reported out of Port-au-Prince last night. They were laying this down. MS. TUTWILER: Well, maybe you could just call the OAS. I've said they're the ones who are trying to arrange this meeting. We support such a thing. But I don't know and don't have the specifics -- since they're the host of it -- of where they are on it. Q Since the United States has gone out of its way to condemn the government which followed that of Mr. Aristide, does it not follow that people in Haiti might have a more legitimate right to flee and seek asylum from a government which the U.S. itself has described as brutal and illegitimate? Don't the rules of the game change when there is not a legitimate government in power? MS. TUTWILER: The rules of the game don't change on INS. People who are down there interviewing these people -- out of 2,8l7, have found 53 that are legitimate, political asylum cases, is my understanding. Q You've said plausible? MS. TUTWILER: What? Q I'm sorry. I was going to ask -- Q A plausible claim to asylum. Q A plausible claim -- that doesn't necessarily mean -- does it? -- that they have passed muster. Doesn't it mean they're on their way to getting a full-fledged hearing? MS. TUTWILER: The 53? Q I think "plausible" is a preliminary judgment. Q It's a legal process. Q So even those 53 haven't been granted -- MS. TUTWILER: That's right. Q -- asylum. MS. TUTWILER: O.K. Thank you. Q No, though, I was going to ask you that. MS. TUTWILER: No, no, thanks. Q The rules of the game are not changed even though this government is a very difficult and contentious government as far as the United States is concerned? MS. TUTWILER: That we know of -- there's been one -- and I cannot remember the numbers. I apologize. Three hundred and some yesterday, Richard? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. MS. TUTWILER: -- who went back. Our Embassy personnel were there. There had been no incident whatsoever, as you know. Since l98l -- which is l0 years -- the United States has had this policy and has been doing this. That's my understanding. So, I would tell you that the cruel thing, since that is our policy, is to somehow be sending messages saying "Everybody leave. Come to America," when that is not going to be what the case is. These people -- that's why I gave you a specific today of a specific boat, of an example of what these people are leaving with and it is tragic. The Coast Guard believes that 50 percent of these people are dying out on open seas. So I think the humanitarian thing is to be honest, to say, yes, we have a government and we have a governmental problem. But that does not change the basics of people just hopping in boats, setting out to rough seas with women and children, to come to America. Q Well, if I was afraid for my life -- MS. TUTWILER: But no one's proven these people are afraid for their lives, is my understanding. Q Wouldn't you be afraid for your life if you were setting to sea in a small boat? MS. TUTWILER: Look, it could be that these people have decided that -- I'm not going to second-guess them. But if you have evidence -- I don't -- that these are people who are fleeing because they're getting ready to be shot or their wives have been raped, their houses have been burned -- I'm not aware of that. Is the situation economically getting more difficult in Haiti? Yes. Are these people economic refugees? In my opinion and the opinion of the experts, yes. That is quite different from having fear that you can not sleep at night in your home for fear that someone's coming in and is going to kill you and stab you to death. Q Margaret, is the State Department satisfied with the pace of OAS efforts to resolve this matter? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of any unsatisfaction that the United States has expressed, but I'll be honest with you, Johanna, this is not something that I've been into in depth over the last three weeks. Q Margaret, are Honduras and Venezuela providing permanent or temporary safe haven for these people? MS. TUTWILER: I believe they agreed -- do you know, Richard -- what it is they're doing? MR. BOUCHER: Temporary. MS. TUTWILER: I don't know. I only have that they've offered to provide safe haven facilities. I don't know if it's temporary -- I'm sorry. Yes, temporary. Q Temporary. So they may be returned as well -- MS. TUTWILER: Well, we're trying to accomplish movement of these people to temporary safe haven facilities in their countries. That's our characterization. Venezuela, Honduras, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, have offered to provide safe haven facilities. So I don't know, you know, what they'll do. Q But you wouldn't use Venezuela and Honduras and others to shift those people there and then those countries would return the Haitians back home, thus circumventing the judicial order? MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to speak for those countries. I'll be happy to look into it for you, but I'm not in a position to do that right today. Q Margaret, if we can go back to the Middle East negotiations, the point was that if the parties couldn't agree between themselves -- MS. TUTWILER: Right. Q -- the United States would suggest the time and place. Are you at that point yet? I mean for the continuation of phase two -- the bilaterals. MS. TUTWILER: I don't want to preempt anything that the Secretary is thinking or maybe planning to do, and it would be premature at this particular briefing to announce that here. I don't have anything to announce today on bilaterals and multilaterals, other than those discussions are going on. And you correctly point out that he has said that if the parties themselves cannot reach agreement on where to begin the bilaterals, that the United States, with their co-sponsor, the Soviet Union, would look at making a proposal. Q Well, no. We don't expect Shamir will leave town without knowing where the talks will resume, but that's Friday. And I just wondered, in the general development of this thing, if you could put some contour on it -- if it's moved now from their hands to the Secretary's hands. MS. TUTWILER: Well, let me do it this way, by saying that I'm not aware that any parties -- who are having bilateral talks -- have jointly announced that they have decided a site and a time. Q Margaret, did you discuss the peace process with Shevardnadze -- specifically, the venue? MS. TUTWILER: A little bit. Q Can you give us any more? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Margaret, back to Haiti for a moment, I assume that these repatriations are being or were being -- until the judge's temporary restraining order -- were being undertaken under this l98l law -- or not a law, an agreement with Haiti. That agreement, as I understand it, calls for the United States to inform the Haitian government when they plan to return people to Haiti. MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q And I'm just wondering -- Richard told us that there were discussions with the junta, the coup people, about this. But I'm not sure -- since you don't consider them the legitimate government of Haiti, I wondered whether Mr. Aristide, who you do consider to be the legitimate government, whether he also gave his O.K. on this? MS. TUTWILER: I have no idea. I'll be happy to ask ARA for you. Q Do you have any word on how those people are being treated -- the ones who have been sent back? MS. TUTWILER: As I stated, and I think Richard also stated yesterday, we have two Embassy officers that are there and are watching this. And I know of nothing -- as of this briefing -- that these people have, in any way, been harassed or mistreated. Q There was a source story running this morning indicating in Korea that the North Koreans have agreed to a nuclear-free peninsula -- which, if that is in fact true, would certainly be a landmark decision. Do you have any knowledge, any light you can shed on that? MS. TUTWILER: I haven't heard it until you've just stated it, so I know nothing about it. Q Could you take the question and inquire? MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q Thank you. Q The Kenyan Government asked that our Ambassador be replaced yesterday. I was wondering if we have any reaction to that and to the report of the dismissal of the energy minister -- MS. TUTWILER: That's not exactly correct. Our information is that the government has not asked for the Ambassador's recall. Q Parliament -- my understanding. MS. TUTWILER: We are aware of calls within the Kenyan parliament for the recall of Ambassador Hempstone. Ambassador Hempstone has been ably performing his duty and accurately reflects United States Government views. The President has full confidence in his continued ability to carry out United States policy. Q Do you have anything on the firing of the former energy minister? MS. TUTWILER: No. Q Nothing at all? MS. TUTWILER: Nothing. Q Margaret, with regard to Croatia, there are two resolutions in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, calling for recognition of Croatia and Slovenia. In the House, there are a lot of Congressmen who tend in the direction of sponsoring this resolution, but they're waiting for some response from the State Department. Now, up until now, it seems as if State has tried to put a brake on any move toward recognition of Croatia. In the light of what happened in Vukovar and continued Serbian aggression, will that policy be changed? And, if not, why not? MS. TUTWILER: I'm not aware of any consideration that the President is giving to changing United States policy on this situation, but maybe your question would be best asked over at the White House. I just personally am not aware of a change in our policy. Q Are you any closer to imposing fresh economic sanctions on Serbia? MS. TUTWILER: Are you talking about through the U.N.? Q No, through the Europeans, and perhaps through the United Nations as well. MS. TUTWILER: My understanding is that there's nothing new to report in either one of those bodies, as of this briefing, of what they are considering doing. There's a lot of talk going on and a lot of different things people are considering; but there's nothing specific as of this briefing, including the WEU, too, if you want to throw that in -- all of them. Q Margaret, could you clarify what is U.S. policy? Are we in support of a united Yugoslavia, or what, in fact, is our -- MS. TUTWILER: I'll be happy to bring back for you -- I don't have it before me; since you're so interested, I want to make sure it is exactly verbatim -- our policy for you; and I will be happy to refer you to the record, where it's been enunciated here any number of -- hundreds of times. I just don't have the exact language with me. But it basically is -- paraphrasing it, as I'm sure you're familiar with -- that this is basically something that is to be handled through dialogue and peacefully, and it is for the peoples of Yugoslavia themselves to determine. Yes? Q To follow up the North Korean nuclear matters, please. MS. TUTWILER: Excuse me. Q To follow up the North Korean nuclear matters -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q In his statement in Peking, Secretary Baker said that the U.S. and China have agreed to cooperate in pressing North Korea -- MS. TUTWILER: Yes. Q -- nuclear program. What kind of cooperation are you proceeding or plan to do in curbing the North Korean nuclear program at the moment? MS. TUTWILER: I believe that the translation that you got was not the exact English. The English translation was that they both agreed that it was important to work on this situation on the peninsula. And, as you know, if you followed the Secretary's trip through Asia last week, he said that this is the number one issue of concern to us, and that he did discuss it in any number of meetings while he was out there in the region, but he did not state publicly any specifics concerning what the United States was or was not going to do about it. And there also were extensive briefings, as I recall, here and at the White House, of all of us pointing out our concern over the situation there. Q Excuse me. I was wondering. Some of the Haitian refugee advocacy groups have been saying that there's an inconsistency in policy between Cuba and the Haitians and that if we're so concerned about the Haitians coming out in these small, leaky boats, why aren't we equally concerned about the Cubans coming out in small, leaky boats and losing hands and legs in seawater, etc.? MS. TUTWILER: Can I refer you to the record. Richard answered our policy on both Cuba yesterday and the comparison in Vietnam, and it was quite clear and concise. And I just -- instead of repeating it -- would refer to yesterday's briefing. Q Thanks, Margaret. MS. TUTWILER: Thanks, Barry. (The briefing concluded at l2:35 p.m.)