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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 d├ętente 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.