US embassy cable - 00HARARE3112

CUBAN DOCTORS TO FLY TO NAIROBI TO COMPLETE U.S. TRAVEL PACKET ON JUNE 11

Identifier: 00HARARE3112
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3112 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-10 15:11:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREF PGOV PHUM PREL CU ZI
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     PTQ9199

PAGE 01        HARARE  03112  01 OF 02  101506Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-01  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  
      INL-01   DODE-00  DOEE-00  ANHR-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   
      IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02   
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
      SCT-00   SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /011W
                  ------------------616E02  101507Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6268
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USINT HAVANA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003112 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR PRM, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REGIONAL REFUGGEE COORDINATOR AND INS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03112  01 OF 02  101506Z 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFALUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2010 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, CU, ZI 
SUBJECT: CUBAN DOCTORS TO FLY TO NAIROBI TO COMPLETE 
U.S. TRAVEL PACKET ON JUNE 11 
 
REF:  (A) HARARE 3105 (NOTAL) 
      (B) NAIROBI 4808 
 
CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL M. IRVING FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND 
(D). 
 
1.  (SBU) REGIONAL INS OFFICER SANJEETA VARSANI ARRIVED 
IN HARARE FROM NAIROBI THE MORNING OF JUNE 9 AND WAS MET 
BY CONSUL.  THE PAIR WENT DIRECTLY TO UNCHR.  JOHN ADU, 
WHO INFORMED THEM THAT THE GOZ HAD NOT YET AUTHORIZED 
THE MEETING WITH THE CUBANS, GREETED CONSUL AND VARSANI. 
ADU THEN IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED AMBASSADOR MCDONALD'S 
ASSISTANCE IN GETTING ACCESS TO THE CUBANS.  SEVERAL 
TELEPHONE CALLS LATER, A MEETING WAS ARRANGED AND THE 
TRIO, ACCOMPANIED BY ZIMBABWE IMMIGRATION, ARRIVED AT 
GOROMONZI DETENTION CENTER TO INTERVIEW THE CUBANS. 
 
2. (C) DOCTOR LEONEL CORDOVA RODRIGUEZ WAS INTERVIEWED 
FIRST.  CORDOVA DESCRIBED HOW ON JUNE 2 HE AND DOCTOR 
NORIS DEL CARMEN PENA MARTINEZ WERE HUSTLED INTO A CAR 
BY FOUR ZIMBABWEANS, TWO CIVILIANS AND TWO POLICEMEN 
CARRYING RIFLES AND TAKEN TO IMMIGRATION HEADQUARTERS, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03112  01 OF 02  101506Z 
WHERE THEY REMAINED UNTIL THEY WERE TAKEN TO HARARE 
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.  CORDORVA REPEATEDLY ASKED TO SEE 
UNHCR ATTORNEY MICHIEL SALOMONS, A REQUEST THAT WAS 
DENIED AT EVERY TURN.  CORDOVA SAID THAT HE SAW CUBAN 
AMBASSADOR RODOLFO SARRACINO, CHIEF CONSUL JAVIER 
VIAMONTES AND CUBAN MEDICAL TEAM LEADER DR. BUSTILLO 
LURKING IN THE BACKGROUND.  CORDOVA TOLD THEM, "YOU HAVE 
WON, I WILL SEE YOU IN CUBA" BEFORE ENTERING THE PLANE. 
CORDOVA MANAGED TO WRITE A NOTE, DESCRIBING HOW HE AND 
PENA WERE BEING KIDNAPPED AND BEING RETURNED TO CUBA. 
 
3.  (C) THE CUBANS WERE KEPT FOR TWO DAYS IN CUSTODY OF 
SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION AFTER THEY ARRIVED IN 
JOHANNESBURG THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE 2.  ON JUNE 4, SOUTH 
AFRICAN IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS TOLD THE CUBANS THAT THEY 
"MUST" RETURN TO CUBA, AS THEY HAD ENTERED THE COUNTRY 
WITHOUT VISAS.  ACCOMPANIED BY THE SAME TWO ZIMBABWEAN 
HANDLERS AND NOW TWO SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION OFFICERS, 
THE PAIR WERE ESCORTED TO AN AIR FRANCE FLIGHT BOUND FOR 
HAVANA.  THE GROUP WAS MET AT THE AIRPORT AND TAKEN TO 
THE GATE BY THE CONSUL GENERAL OF THE CUBAN EMBASSY 
PRETORIA AND BY DR. PABLO DIAZ, ALSO A CUBAN, WHO WAS 
NOT UNIDENTIFIED.  AT THIS POINT, DOCTORS CORDOVA AND 
PENA STARTED SCREAMING AND THE AIR FRANCE CREW STOPPED 
EVERYONE FROM ENTERING THE PLANE.  CORDOVA EXPLAINED 
WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO A SPANISH-SPEAKING FLIGHT 
ATTENDANT, WHO TOLD EVERYONE TO GET OFF THE PLANE.  THE 
CUBANS AND TWO HANDLERS FROM SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION 
BOARDED ANOTHER PLANE AND RETURNED TO HARARE THE SAME 
DAY.  UPON ARRIVAL IN HARARE THE CUBANS WERE TURNED OVER 
TO ZIMBABWEAN IMMIGRATION AND TAKEN TO THE GOROMONZI 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03112  01 OF 02  101506Z 
DETENTION CENTER. 
 
4.  (C) INS OFFICER VARSANI GRANTED THE CUBANS 
CONDITIONAL REFUGEE STATUS, FINDING THAT THEY 
ESTABLISHED A WELL-FOUNDED FEAR OF PERSECUTION ON 
ACCOUNT OF THEIR POLITICAL OPINIONS IF RETURNED TO CUBA. 
UPON THEIR RELEASE FROM THE GOROMONZI DETENTION CENTER, 
THE TWO WILL TRAVEL TO NAIROBI ON JUNE 11 WITH VARSANI 
IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THEIR TRAVEL PACKET FOR THE UNITED 
STATES.  WE EXPECT THEM TO FLY FROM NAIROBI TO THE 
UNITED STATES BY THURSDAY, JUNE 15. 
 
5.  (C) IN THE LAST 24 HOURS BOTH THE LOCAL UNHCR 
REPRESENTATIVE AND OFFICIALS OF THE ZIMBABWEAN MINISTRY 
OF HOME AFFAIRS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO WASH OF THE CASE OF 
THE CUBANS.  THEY HAVE GIVEN CONSUL, INS OFFICER VARSANI 
AND OTHER EMBASSY OFFICERS THE RUN-AROUND.  WE ARE, 
HOWEVER, CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE WILL SECURE 
CUSTODY OF DOCTORS CORDOVA AND PENA THE EVENING ON JUNE 
10, BASED ON A CONVERSATION AMBASSADOR MCDONALD HAD WITH 
MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS 
EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, WHO UNDERTOOK TO EXPEDITE THE 
TRANSFER PROCESS ON JUNE 10.  THAT SAME DAY AMBASSADOR 
MCDONALD ALSO SPOKE WITH THE KENYAN HIGH COMMISSIONER, 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9200 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  03112  02 OF 02  101506Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-01  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00 
      INL-01   DODE-00  DOEE-00  ANHR-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00 
      EB-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00 
      IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02 
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00 
      SCT-00   SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00 
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /011W 
                  ------------------616E06  101507Z /38 
O 101511Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6269 
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USINT HAVANA 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003112 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR PRM, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REGIONAL REFUGGEE COORDINATOR AND INS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03112  02 OF 02  101506Z 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFALUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2010 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, CU, ZI 
SUBJECT: CUBAN DOCTORS TO FLY TO NAIROBI TO COMPLETE 
U.S. TRAVEL PACKET ON JUNE 11 
 
DR. HUKKA WARIO, WHO SAID HE WOULD INFORM HIS FOREIGN 
MINISTRY OF THE CUBANS'WISH TO TRANSIT KENYA, AND 
OPINED IT WOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM FOR THE CUBANS TO 
TRAVEL TO KENYA WITHOUT VISAS. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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