US embassy cable - 00HARARE3096

ZIMBABWE MAKES NO DECISION ON REFUGEE STATUS, BUT TRANSFERS CUBAN DOCTORS TO CUSTODY OF UNHCR

Identifier: 00HARARE3096
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3096 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-08 16:28:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PREF CMGT ZI CU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 

                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2276

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ACTION WHA-00   

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      INSE-00  IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   
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      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------60ABEC  081623Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6251
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 
USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA IMMEDIATE 
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 003096 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR CA A/S MARY RYAN, CA/VO/F/P DARIA 
DARNELL, AF PDAS NANCY POWELL, AF DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN, 
AF/S DIRECTOR ARLENE RENDER, AF/S DEPUTY DIRECTOR DON 
BOOTH, AND AF/S ZIMBABWE DESK OFFICER CHARLES GURNEY 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03096  081622Z 
 
GENEVA FOR RMA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/10 
TAGS: PREL, PREF, CMGT, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MAKES NO DECISION ON REFUGEE STATUS, 
BUT TRANSFERS CUBAN DOCTORS TO CUSTODY OF UNHCR 
 
REF: HARARE 3084 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 
B/D. 
 
1. (C) UNITED NATIONS RESIDENT COORDINATOR CARLOS LOPES 
INFORMED AMBASSADOR MCDONALD LATE ON JUNE 8 THAT THE 
ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT REFUGEE COMMITTEE HAD DELIBERATED 
ON THE CASE OF THE CUBAN DOCTORS LEONEL CORDOVA 
RODRIGUEZ AND NORIS PENA MARTINEZ FOR THREE HOURS AND 
TOOK NO FORMAL DECISION.  INSTEAD, THE ZIMBABWEAN PANEL 
DECIDED TO GRANT "TEMPORARY REFUGEE STATUS" TO THE PAIR, 
RELEASED THEM FROM PRISON AND HANDED THEM OVER TO THE 
CUSTODY OF THE UNHCR.  THE CLEAR UNDERSTANDING, LOPES 
STATED, WAS THAT THE CUBANS WOULD BE RESETTLED PROMPTLY 
IN A THIRD COUNTRY.  ACCORDING TO LOPES, LUSAKA-BASED 
UNCHR ATTORNEY MICHAEL SALOMONS WAS NOW SCHEDULED TO 
ARRIVE IN HARARE ON JUNE 10. 
 
2. (C) UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE JOHN ADU TOLD CONSUL EARLIER 
THAT THE TWO DOCTORS WERE IN HIS CUSTODY, BUT THAT HE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03096  081622Z 
DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY WOULD BE SAFE IN THE 
ZIMBABWEAN IMMIGRATION SERVICE'S TRANSIT FACILITY. 
THEREFORE, ADU SAID THAT TWO DOCTORS WOULD BE HOUSED IN 
THE GOZ'S REMAND FACILITIES.  ADU TOLD CONSUL THAT 
DOCTORS CORDOVA AND PENA WERE IN HIS OFFICE AND THAT HE 
INTENDED TO ACCOMPANY THEM TO THE REMAND CENTERS TO 
ASCERTAIN THE EXACT LOCATION OF EACH.  DOCTOR CORDOVA IS 
TO BE HOUSED AT A FACILITY IN DOWNTOWN HARARE, WHILE 
DOCTOR PENA WILL STAY AT CHIKURUBI REMAND CENTER, ON THE 
GROUNDS OF ZIMBABWE'S ONE MAXIMUM-SECURITY PRISON, JUST 
OUTSIDE OF HARARE. 
 
3.  (C) COMMENT: WE CANNOT RULE OUT SOMETHING GOING 
WRONG IN THE COMING DAYS, WHETHER IT IS THE CUBANS 
ATTEMPTING TO SPIRIT THE TWO OUT OF ZIMBABWE OR 
PRESIDENT MUGABE RECONSIDERING AND DECIDING THAT THIS IS 
NOT THE OUTCOME HE WANTED FOR THE CASE.  THE SITUATION 
ARGUES FOR QUICK PROCESSING OF THE DOCTORS AND THEIR 
TRANSFER TO U.S. SOIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  END COMMENT. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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