US embassy cable - 00HARARE3231

UNHCR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ATTEMPTS TO BROKER A DEAL FOR THE CUBANS' RELEASE

Identifier: 00HARARE3231
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3231 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-14 17:55:00
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.

141755Z Jun 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1254

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ACTION PRM-01   

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      IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NEA-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  
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      PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------62D772  141751Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6323
INFO USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003231 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
WHA/CCA 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03231  01 OF 02  141750Z 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/14/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT:  UNHCR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ATTEMPTS TO 
BROKER A DEAL FOR THE CUBANS' RELEASE 
 
REF: HARARE 3164 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 
B/D. 
 
1. (C) ON JUNE 14 LUSAKA-BASED UNITED NATIONS HIGH 
COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) REGIONAL 
REPRESENTATIVE OLUSEYI BAJULAIYE TOLD AMBASSADOR 
MCDONALD THAT HE HAD MET WITH A NUMBER OF OFFICIALS IN 
HARARE WITH RESPECT TO THE CASES OF CUBAN DOCTORS LEONEL 
CORDOVA RODRIGUEZ AND NORIS DEL CARMEN PENA MARTINEZ. 
HIS FIRST CALL WAS ON THE REFUGEE COMMISSIONER, MR. I. 
T. MUKHARO, TO WHOM HE PROTESTED THE CONDITIONS UNDER 
WHICH THE CUBANS WERE BEING HELD.  DOCTORS CORDOVA AND 
PENA HAVE NO MATTRESS AND RECEIVE ONLY ONE MEAL A DAY, 
ACCORDING TO MICHIEL SALOMONS, THE UNHCR LAWYER WHO HAD 
VISITED THEM EARLIER ON JUNE 14. THE CUBANS ARE SLEEPING 
ON BLANKETS ON A HARD, COLD, CEMENT FLOOR IN THE 
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WINTER.  SALOMONS WAS ALLOWED ONLY 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03231  01 OF 02  141750Z 
TO LEAVE MONEY FOR FOOD AND TOILETRIES, BUT NO BLANKETS 
OR A MATTRESS.  THE GOROMONZI POLICE EXPLAINED TO 
SALOMONS THAT PERSONS IN REMAND STATUS WERE PROHIBITED 
FROM SLEEPING ON A MATTRESS, AS IT COULD BE USED TO 
CONCEAL WEAPONS. 
 
2.  (C) BAJULAIYE REPORTED THAT HE HAD SCHEDULED A 
MEETING AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS WITH LEGAL 
AND CONSULAR AFFAIRS HEAD, DR. ELITA SAKUPWANYA, WHO WAS 
CALLED AWAY TO BRIEF FOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE ALMOST AS 
SOON AS THE MEETING BEGAN.  THE UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE 
ALSO SPOKE WITH THE CUBAN AMBASSADOR TO ZIMBABWE, 
RODOLFO SARRACINO, WHO ASSURED THE FORMER THAT HIS 
GOVERNMENT HAD NO OBJECTION TO THE DOCTORS LEAVING FOR A 
THIRD COUNTRY, POSSIBLY CANADA, AND THAT HE HAD SENT A 
DIPLOMATIC NOTE TO THAT EFFECT TO THE ZIMBABWEAN 
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.  BAJULAIYE SAID THAT THE 
ZIMBABWEANS FELT THEMSELVES BOXED, UNDER TREMENDOUS 
PRESSURE FROM THE CUBANS, THE UNHCR AND THE USG.  ASKED 
WHAT WAS THE STATUS OF THE CUBAN DOCTORS UNDER 
ZIMBABWEAN LAW, BAJULAIYE EXPLAINED THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN 
REFUGEE COMMITTEE HAD DECIDED ON JUNE 8 THAT IT "NEITHER 
RECOGNIZED NOR REJECTED" REFUGEE STATUS FOR THE CUBANS. 
 
3.  (C) THE UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE WANTED TO PRESENT THE 
ZIMBABWEANS WITH A DEAL. HE WANTED TO PROPOSE THAT THE 
GOZ HAND OVER CUSTODY OF THE CUBANS IMMEDIATELY TO UNHCR 
FOR RESETTLEMENT.  THE RESETTLEMENT COUNTRY WOULD BE 
CANADA, ALTHOUGH CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER JAMES WALL 
HAD BEEN VERY CAUTIOUS IN A CONVERSATION WITH BAJULAIYE 
THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE 14.  THE CANADIAN DIPLOMAT 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03231  01 OF 02  141750Z 
EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE CUBANS AND 
FOUND THE ZIMBABWEAN'S MIDDLE OF THE ROAD DECISION 
PUZZLING, AS WAS THEIR RELUCTANCE TO RELEASE THEM TO 
UNHCR.  HE PROMISED BAJULAIYE HE WOULD CHECK WITH HIS 
HEADQUARTERS.  HARARE UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE JOHN ADU TOLD 
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD THAT ON JUNE 14 HE HAD MET WITH 
ZIMBABWEAN HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER DUMISO DABENGWA, WHO 
SAID HE WOULD NOT ALLOW DOCTORS CORDOVA AND PENA TO 
LEAVE UNTIL HE WAS SATISFIED THAT THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT 
APPROVED OF WHERE THEY WERE GOING.  THE MINISTER DID NOT 
VOICE OBJECTION TO THAT DESTINATION BEING CANADA. 
BAJULAIYE THOUGHT THAT THE DECISION TO RELEASE THE 
CUBANS RESTED WITH THE PRESIDENT.  THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE 
WOULD USE THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO COMMUNICATE 
HIS DECISION TO THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS. 
 
4.  (C) THE AMBASSADOR TOLD BAJULAIYE THAT THE USG WOULD 
BE CONVOKING THE ZIMBABWEAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED 
STATES TO EXPLAIN THE USG'S SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT THIS 
MATTER AND THE TREATMENT OF THE CUBANS. HE ALSO TOLD THE 
UNHCR REPRESENTAT 

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