US embassy cable - 00HARARE3160

ZIMBABWE REPORTEDLY WANTS CUBANS DOCTORS RELEASED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR PERMANENT RESETTLEMENT

Identifier: 00HARARE3160
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3160 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-12 17:25:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREF PGOV PHUM PREL 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.

121725Z Jun 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2223

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ACTION PRM-01   

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      INR-00   INSE-00  IO-00    L-00     AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  
      OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
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                  ------------------61E1AE  121733Z /49    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6297
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003160 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03160  01 OF 02  121733Z 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE REPORTEDLY WANTS CUBANS DOCTORS 
RELEASED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR PERMANENT RESETTLEMENT 
 
REF: HARARE 3113 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CONSUL THERESA A. HEBRON FOR REASONS 1.5 
B/D. 
 
1. (U) THIS IS AN ACTION REQUESTED MESSAGE; PLEASE SEE 
PARAGRAPH 8. 
 
2. (C) SUMMARY: UNHCR OFFICIALS ADU AND SALOMONS 
CONTINUED IN THEIR QUEST TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE 
CUBAN DOCTORS JUNE 12, AT ONE POINT TELLING THE INS 
OFFICER TO LEAVE THEM TO WORK INDEPENDENTLY.  THEY HAD 
NO OBJECTION TO EMBOFFS SEEING THE CUBANS BUT SAID THEY 
WOULD NOT HELP THEM GAIN ACCESS.  AT THE SAME TIME 
SALOMONS PROBED FOR PROPRIETARY INFORMATION ON WHAT THE 
DOCTORS TOLD INS OFFICER VARSANI ABOUT THEIR REFOULEMENT 
ORDEAL. THE UNHCR OFFICIALS TOLD US THAT THE DECISION TO 
RELEASE THE CUBANS NOW RESTED WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE, AND 
THAT THE ZIMBABWEANS WERE ASKING THAT THE CUBAN 
DEFECTORS BE RESETTLED IN A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE 
UNITED STATES, AS HAD BEEN THE PRACTICE IN SUCH CASES IN 
THE PAST.  REGIONAL UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE BAJULAIYE MAY 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03160  01 OF 02  121733Z 
COME TO HARARE TO TAKE OVER THE CASE, BUT DOWNPLAYS HIS 
CHANCES OF ACHIEVING SUCCESS.  MEANWHILE, SENIOR 
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CONTINUED TO OUCK THE AMBASSAOOR'S 
ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT THEM, OR FEIGNEO IGNORANCE OF THE 
MERITS OF THE CASE WHEN REACHED.  IF WE SEE NO PROGRESS 
IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS, POST ASKS THAT THE SECRETARY 
REQUEST UNHCR HEAD OGATA TO INTERVENE WITH PRESIDENT 
MUGABE TO SECURE THE CUBANS' RELEASE.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3. (C) ON JUNE 12 UNHCR REPRESENTATIVES ADU AND SALOMONS 
ADVISED INS OFFICER SANJEETA VARSANI THAT HER PRESENCE 
WOULD BE AN IMPEDIMENT TO ANY MEETINGS HELD WITH GOZ 
OFFICIALS CONCERNING THE CUBANS AND WOULD HINDER UNHCR'S 
IMPARTIALITY.  SALOMONS, HOWEVER, ASKED VARSANI TO SHARE 
INS INTERVIEW NOTES FROM THE JUNE 9 REFUGEE INTERVIEW 
THAT SHE CONDUCTED WITH THE CUBANS, AS THIS INFORMATION 
WOULD BE HELPFUL TO UNHCR IN THE MEETINGS WITH THE GOZ 
OFFICIALS.  SALOMONS ALSO STATED THAT HE SPECIFICALLY 
WANTED INFORMATION REGARDING WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CUBANS 
AFTER THEY WERE ABDUCTED FROM THE TEACHER'S HOME ON JUNE 
2 AND WHAT SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIALS DID OR SAID WHEN THE 
CUBANS ARRIVED IN JOHANNESBURG.  SALOMONS INDICATED THAT 
IF UNHCR COULD ESTABLISH THAT SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIALS 
ASSISTED THE GOZ IN THE ATTEMPTED REFOULEMENT OF THE 
CUBANS, THEN UNHCR STOOD A BETTER CHANCE AT SECURING THE 
CUBANS' RELEASE INTO THEIR CUSTODY TODAY JUNE 12. 
VARSANI DEMURRED AND SAID THAT SHE COULD NOT SHARE ANY 
INFORMATION WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF HER INS SUPERIORS. 
SALOMONS WENT ON TO STATE THAT THE PROCESS OF GETTING 
THE CUBANS RELEASED MAY TAKE SEVERAL DAYS, AS THE FINAL 
DECISION RESTED WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE.  HE ALSO ADDED 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03160  01 OF 02  121733Z 
THAT IN THE PAST, WHEN HIGH PROFILE CUBANS DEFECT, CUBA 
TRIES TO SAVE FACE BY HAVING THEM RESETTLED IN ANY 
COUNTRY EXCEPT THE UNITED STATES. 
 
4.  (C) CONSUL RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM FORWARD 
MADZIYA (STRICTLY PROTECT), THE TEACHER WITH WHOM THE 
CUBANS HAD BEEN STAYING AFTER THEY REQUESTED ASYLUM. 
VARSANI WENT TO VISIT MADZIYA AT THE SCHOOL WHERE HE 
TEACHES IN GLEN NORAH, A HIGH-DENSITY AREA OUTSIDE OF 
HARARE.  AFTER CONFIRMING THAT VARSANI HAD THE CUBANS' 
BEST INTERESTS IN MIND AND THAT SHE KNEW WHERE CORDOVA 
HAD HIDDEN THEIR PASSPORTS, MADZIYA TOOK VARSANI TO HIS 
HOME AND HANDED OVER THEIR PASSPORTS, TELEPHONE DIARIES, 
AND OTHER PERSONAL DOCUMENTS. 
 
5.  (C) ADU AND SALOMONS CONTINUE TO ARGUE THAT THE USG 
SHOULD KEEP ITS DISTANCE FROM THE CASE AND ALLOW THE 
CUBANS TO BE RESETTLED IN SOME OTHER COUNTRY, AS A 
"FACE-SAVING MEASURE" FOR THE GOZ.  SALOMONS ALSO TOLD 
VARSANI THAT IF SHE ANO CONSUL WISHED TO VISIT THE 
CUBANS, THAT PERMISSION WOULO HAVE TO BE SECURED WITHOUT 
UNHCR ASSISTANCE.  JAMES MCANULTY, POLITICAL REFUGEE 
COOROINATOR AMEMBASSY NAIROBI, SAIO THAT PREETA LAW OF 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2226 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  03160  02 OF 02  121734Z 
ACTION PRM-01 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AF-00    AID-00   CA-02    CIAE-00  DODE-00  WHA-00 
      SRPP-00  EB-00    EUR-00   OIGO-02  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00 
      INR-00   INSE-00  IO-00    L-00     AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00 
      OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00 
      SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  T-00     USIE-00 
      VO-03    PMB-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00     /015W 
                  ------------------61E1B9  121734Z /49 
O 121725Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6298 
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003160 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03160  02 OF 02  121734Z 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE REPORTEDLY WANTS CUBANS DOCTORS 
RELEASED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR PERMANENT RESETTLEMENT 
 
THE UNHCR REGIONAL SERVICES CENTER NAIROBI ALSO 
MENTIONEO THE GOZ'S OSTENSIBLE OESIRE TO HAVE THE CUBANS 
RESETTLEO ANYWHERE BUT IN THE U.S.  MCNAULTY THOUGHT 
THAT ONE POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE IMPASSE WOULO BE TO 
ACKNOWLEOGE THAT THE CUBANS WOULO GO TO KENYA, WHILE 
GLOSSING OVER THE FACT THAT THEY WOULD ALSO TRAVEL 
ONWARO FOR RESETTLEMENT IN THE U.S.  HOWEVER, THIS MAY 
BE TOO TRANSPARENT A RUSE FOR THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT, 
AS WORO OF ONWARO PROCESSING HAS ALREAOY HIT THE PRESS 
IN THE STATES. 
 
6.  (C) OLUSEYI BAJULAIYE, UNHCR REGIONAL 
REPRESENTATIVE, TOLO LUSAKA DCM WHITEHEAO JUNE 12 THAT 
HE MAY COME TO HARARE TO SORT THE PROBLEM OUT HIMSELF. 
BAJULAIYE REITERATED THAT THE CASE WAS ON MUGABE'S OESK 
FOR DECISION.  ALTHOUGH A SKILLED OIPLOMAT, BAJULAIYE 
THINKS HE IS CURRENTLY OUT OF FAVOR WITH THE GOZ, 
BECAUSE OF STATEMENTS HE MAOE ABOUT POSSIBLE REFUGEE 
INFLUXES FROM ZIMBABWE DUE TO THE LAND CRISIS. 
 
7.  (C) MEANWHILE, AMBASSADOR MCDONALD SPOKE WITH THE 
INFLUENTIAL SECRETARY OF THE CABINET, CHARLES UTETE, WHO 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03160  02 OF 02  121734Z 
WAS CORDIAL ENOUGH BUT PROFESSED IGNORANCE OF THE MERITS 
OF THE CASE.  THE AMBASSADOR ALSO ATTEMPTED TO SPEAK 
WITH HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER DUMISO DABENGWA AND OTHER 
SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, ALL OF WHOM PROVED 
UNAVAILABLE. 
 
8.  (C) ACTION REQUESTED: IF THE CUBAN DOCTORS ARE NOT 
RELEASED WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS POST RECOMMENDS THAT 
THE SECRETARY PLACE A CALL TO UNHCR HEAD OGATA TO 
REQUEST THAT OGATA SPEAK WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE TO SECURE 
THE DOCTORS' FREEDOM AND TRANSFER OF CUSTODY TO UNHCR. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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