US embassy cable - 00HARARE3164

UNHCR LAWYER SKETCHES OUT POSSIBLE END GAME FOR CUBAN DOCTORS

Identifier: 00HARARE3164
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3164 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-13 15:02:00
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.



                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5986

PAGE 01        HARARE  03164  01 OF 02  131457Z 
ACTION PRM-01   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  
      INL-01   DODE-00  DOEE-00  ANHR-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    EUR-00   OIGO-02  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NEA-00   NSAE-00  
      NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  
      IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /012W
                  ------------------62489D  131458Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6301
INFO USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003164 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03164  01 OF 02  131457Z 
WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: UNHCR LAWYER SKETCHES OUT POSSIBLE END GAME FOR 
CUBAN DOCTORS 
 
REF: HARARE 3162 
 
CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL M. IRVING FOR REASONS 1.5 B/D. 
 
1. (C) A DOWNCAST MICHIEL SALOMONS (PROTECT) BRIEFED DCM 
ON JUNE 13 ON WHAT HE VIEWS AS A WORSENING OUTLOOK FOR 
THE RESOLUTION OF THE CASES OF CUBAN DOCTORS LEONEL 
CORDOVA RODRIGUEZ AND NORIS DEL CARMEN PENA MARTINEZ. 
SALOMONS, WHO CONTINUES TO GET THE RUNAROUND FROM 
ZIMBABWEAN AUTHORITIES, ALSO SPECULATED THAT THE UNITED 
NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) IN GENEVA 
MIGHT DROP THE CASE.  HE EXPLAINED THAT UNHCR HEAD OGATA 
HAD VISITED HAVANA RECENTLY IN AN EFFORT TO SECURE 
CUBA'S ACCESSION TO THE 1951 CONVENTION CONCERNING 
REFUGEES.  MS. OGATA FOUND FIDEL CASTRO IMPRESSIVE, 
ACCORDING TO SALOMONS.  CASTRO IN TURN PROMISED MS. 
OGATA "HUNDREDS" OF CUBAN DOCTORS TO ASSIST UNHCR, A 
DANGLED ATTRACTION WHICH MAY NOW BE INFLUENCING MS. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03164  01 OF 02  131457Z 
OGATA'S PROFESSIONAL AND IMPARTIAL VIEW OF THE FATE OF 
THE DOCTORS BEING HELD IN LOCAL DETENTION. 
 
2.  (C) SALOMONS ALSO TOLD US THAT HE HAD BEEN INFORMED 
THAT THE QUESTION OF THE RELEASE OF THE CUBAN DOCTORS 
COULD BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE CABINET IN ITS REGULAR 
WEEKLY MEETING ON JUNE 13.  IF THE CABINET DOES NOT ACT 
ON IT TODAY, SALOMONS THOUGHT IT WOULD ONLY RETURN TO 
THE ISSUE OF THE CUBANS' PLIGHT AFTER THE ELECTIONS.  HE 
SPOKE OMINOUSLY OF A CUBAN TRANSPORT PLANE BEING MOVED 
FROM GABON TO ZIMBABWE IMMINENTLY TO FORCIBLY REPATRIATE 
THE PAIR TO CUBA. 
 
3.  (C) SALOMONS THOUGHT THAT IF THE U.S. REALLY WISHED 
TO GRANT ASYLUM TO THE CUBANS, THEN IT SHOULD ENGAGE 
DIRECTLY WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE, BECAUSE HE BELIEVED 
CASTRO WAS ALREADY DOING SO.  LEFT TO UNHCR, THE CASE 
MIGHT GO TWO WAYS.  ZIMBABWE WOULD GRANT TO THE UNHCR 
"MANDATE STATUS", MEANING THE UN COULD RETURN THE PAIR 
TO CUBA, RELYING ON THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT'S PUBLIC 
PROMISE THAT NO HARM WOULD BEFALL THEM AS THEY HAD 
COMMITTED NO CRIME, OR, THE PAIR COULD BE SETTLED IN A 
THIRD COUNTRY.  EVEN THOUGH SALOMONS HAD ARGUED THAT THE 
TWO CUBANS WERE BONA FIDE REFUGEES, HE THOUGHT THE USG 
WOULD HAVE TO PRESS UNHCR HARD TO ESTABLISH THAT THEY 
HAD A WELL-FOUNDED FEAR OF PERSECUTION IF RETURNED TO 
THEIR HOMELAND. SALOMONS STATED THAT THE CUBANS HAD BEEN 
MODEL CITIZENS IN CUBA AND THAT THEIR CLAIM FOR REFUGEE 
STATUS ONLY AROSE AFTER THEY MADE ANTI-CASTRO REMARKS TO 
THE NEWSPAPERS IN ZIMBABWE. FINALLY, SALOMONS PROPOSED A 
"LOCAL SETTLEMENT", IN, WHICH THE CUBANS MIGHT BE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03164  01 OF 02  131457Z 
ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN ZIMBABWE NOT FOR TWO WEEKS, BUT FOR 
PERHAPS A YEAR, AS HAD BEEN THE CASE WITH CUBAN DOCTORS 
WHO DEFECTED IN VENEZUELA. 
 
4.  (C) IN WHAT WE VIEW AS A POSSIBLE FURTHER MUDDYING 
OF THE WATERS, THE TEACHER (MADZIYA) WITH WHOM THE 
CUBANS HAD BEEN STAYING TELEPHONED THE EMBASSY TODAY. 
HE TOLD US THAT A POLICE SERGEANT CHIDHARARA AT 
GOROMONZI DETECTION CENTER HAD BEEN IN TOUCH TO REQUEST 
THAT MADZIYA TURN OVER THE CUBANS' PASSPORTS, MONEY AND 
ANY OTHER BELONGINGS IN HIS POSSESSION.  HE DID NOT 
STATE IF THE REASON BEHIND HIS REQUEST WAS AN IMPENDING 
DEPARTURE FROM ZIMBABWE, OR A LIKELY EXTENDED STAY AS A 
GUEST OF HIS FACILITY. 
 
5.  (C) COMMENT: SALOMONS CAME LATE TO THE REALIZATION 
OF THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CASE, AS EVIDENCED BY HIS 
OFFHAND COMMENT TO INS OFFICER VARSANI THAT HE WAS 
SURPRISED BY THE AMOUNT OF PUBLICITY THAT THE CUBANS' 
CASE HAS GENERATED.  SALOMONS APPEARS UNABLE TO 
ANTICIPATE OR DECIPHER THE POLITICAL ENDGAMES BEING 
PLAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND UNFORTUNATELY HIS 
MALADROITNESS TRANSLATES INTO ANOTHER WEAK LINK IN THE 
CHAIN.  NEVERTHELESS, WE CANNOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBLE 
SCENARIOS HE HAS OUTLINED, OR THE VALIDITY OF HIS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5987 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  03164  02 OF 02  131457Z 
ACTION PRM-01 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00 
      INL-01   DODE-00  DOEE-00  ANHR-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00 
      EB-00    EUR-00   OIGO-02  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00 
      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NEA-00   NSAE-00 
      NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00 
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00 
        /012W 
                  ------------------6248A3  131458Z /38 
O 131502Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6302 
INFO USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003164 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03164  02 OF 02  131457Z 
WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/13/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: UNHCR LAWYER SKETCHES OUT POSSIBLE END GAME FOR 
CUBAN DOCTORS 
 
INFORMATION REGARDING MS. OGATA AND FACTORS AFFECTING 
HER ACTIONS.  END COMMENT. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04