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Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom

The Hon. Jesse Helms

The Honorable Jesse Helms (1921-2008) was a Republican Senator from North Carolina and a fervent anti-Communist. He introduced the resolution that ultimately granted honorary U.S. citizenship to Soviet dissident Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. He also worked to tighten sanctions against the communist Castro government in Cuba and opposed détente with the Soviet Union, believing its government to be wholly untrustworthy. He was also the main force behind the Helms-Burton Act, which penalized foreign companies doing business with Cuba. In addition to the 2001 Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, Helms also received the Outstanding Service Award from the Council Against Communist Aggression.