US President George W Bush has ordered the implementation of tougher measures on Cuba, suggested in a report designed to hasten the fall of Fidel Castro.
Bush would like to see Castro out of power
Among the report's proposals are renewed efforts to broadcast pro-US messages in Cuba and tighter curbs on money sent home by expatriate Cubans.
"We're not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom, we are working for the day of freedom," Mr Bush told reporters.
Cuba - the focus of a US trade embargo for four decades - condemned the moves.
Mr Bush proposed the new measures after receiving a 500-page report by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba earlier this week.
The commission - set up six months ago and chaired by Secretary of State Colin Powell - was tasked with planning for, in Mr Bush's words, "the happy day when Castro's regime is no more".
The embargo on Cuba has given its streets an old-fashioned feel
Mr Bush called for improving US-funded television and
radio broadcasts into Cuba, which are jammed by Havana.
He ordered several immediate measures, which, as reported by the Associated Press, include:
- Limiting family visits by Cuban-Americans to once every three years instead
of the current one-per-year
- Retaining the $1,200-a-year
limit on dollar transfers that Cuban-American families can
send to the island
- Restricting remittances and gift parcels to
immediate family members - recipients may not include "certain Cuban officials and Communist Party members"
- Lowering the authorised daily amount for a family visit from $164 to $50
Mr Bush said the new strategy "encourages the spending of money to help organisations to protect dissidents and to promote human rights".
"It is a strategy that encourages a clear voice of the truth being spoken to the Cuban people through Radio and TV Marti," he said.
"It is a strategy that will prevent the regime from exploiting hard currency of tourists and of remittances to Cubans to prop up their repressive regime."
Havana said Mr Bush's plans violated international law.
"The commission's report is part of an escalation of
pressures and aggressions against Cuba... aimed at toughening
the [US] economic blockade," Foreign Minister Felipe Perez
Roque told reporters.
In the US, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry said Mr Bush was playing election-year politics.
"Four years after candidate Bush came to Florida and
promised Cuban-Americans the Moon, all they've gotten from
this president is lip service and broken promises," he
said in a statement.
Cuban-American Republican members of Congress said they were pleased, according to the Associated Press.
Five senators criticised Mr Bush's tough approach in a letter to the president.
"Opening America's doors to Cuba - and challenging Cuba
to open its doors to the rest of the world - will be an act
of strength and magnanimity," they said.