But, he added, "one day the tide of freedom will reach Cuba's shores, as well. The great Cuban patriot Jose Marti said it best: La libertad no es negociable (liberty is not negotiable)."
Bush made the observation Monday at the opening session of the general assembly of the Organization of American States, meeting in Florida.
Democracy was on the march, he said. In 1974, the last time the OAS general assembly met in the United States, less than half its members had democratically elected governments.
"Today all 34 countries participating in this general assembly have democratic, constitutional governments."
The United States has imposed economic sanctions on the regime of Fidel Castro, once a client-state of the now-defunct Soviet Union, for more than four decades.