US President George W Bush has said an $80 million plan to promote a transition to democracy in Cuba demonstrates that the US is committed to actively helping Cuba to move away from 'repressive control' to freedom.

The announcement was made as a US presidential commission presented its recommendations for US policy following the eventual death of the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.

Some of the money will provide 'uncensored information' via conventional and satellite radio and television broadcasts as well as the internet.

Cuba has described the plan, entitled 'Compact with the People of Cuba', as arrogant and embarrassing.

But US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said aid would be sent to any successor government in Havana which was deemed democratic by Washington.

The US has been at odds with Mr Castro, 79, since he came to power in 1959 and the communist country has weathered four decades of US economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure.