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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #24

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

Supersedes Executive Order #89 Florio.

WHEREAS, the Cuban people have demonstrated a longing for freedom and democracy by expressing increasing and visible opposition to the communist regime in Cuba; and

WHEREAS, in light of the liberation movements that have resulted in freedom for the people in the former Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe, the Cuban-American community in New Jersey looks forward to the time when similar democratic reform may occur in Cuba; and

WHEREAS, the Cuban-American community in New Jersey awaits the day when the Cuban people are liberated from communist dictatorship, and the Cuban people are free to form a government that is democratic, respects human rights and provides due process of law to its citizens; and

WHEREAS, a liberated Cuba will enable the Cuban people to engage in economic, social, cultural and educational exchanges with the people of the United States, including the people of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, a free and open exchange of ideas, people and goods will benefit the people of Cuba as well as the people of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey contains the second largest population of people of Cuban descent in the United States and should, therefore, study the immigration process and its possible impact on New Jersey and its population and develop appropriate procedures to respond to a potential influx of immigrants; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 89 (Florio) directed the Department of Commerce and Economic Development to conduct a study to determine the likely social, economic, and cultural consequences that would result from the liberation of the people of Cuba; and

WHEREAS, the liberation of the people of Cuba is becoming increasingly more imminent and Executive Order No. 89 (Florio) should be reconstituted in recognition of the current situation in Cuba.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. Executive Order No. 89 (Florio) is hereby superseded by this Order.

2. The New Jersey Department of Commerce and Economic Development shall create a Free Cuba Task Force ("Task Force"), which shall conduct a study to determine the likely economic, social, immigration and cultural consequences that would result from the liberation of the people of Cuba.

3. The Task Force shall prepare a plan to be presented in a report setting forth a strategy that will enable the State of New Jersey and the people of Cuba to participate, for mutual advantage, in the economic, social and cultural opportunities that would result from democratic reform in Cuba. The report shall delineate appropriate steps to be taken with respect to immigration issues which may impact on New Jersey as a result of these developments.

4. The Task Force shall, whenever necessary, coordinate this effort with any and all other State departments having relevant expertise or knowledge of such issues.

5. The Task Force shall consist of fifteen members appointed by the Governor, including the Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development who shall serve as an ex officio member and shall chair the Task Force. In the Commissioner's absence, his designee shall serve as chairperson of the Task Force.

6. The Department of Commerce shall report its findings to me no later than six months following the date of this Order and every six months thereafter.

7. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 11th day of October in the Year
of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety-Four and of the
Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Eighteenth.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Peter Verniero
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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