US embassy cable - 00HARARE3263

UNHCR: PRESIDENT MUGABE TO MAKE DECISION ON RELEASE OF CUBAN DOCTORS

Identifier: 00HARARE3263
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3263 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-15 18:34:00
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.

151834Z Jun 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5347

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ACTION PRM-01   

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  
      INL-01   DODE-00  DOEE-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   DCP-01   NSAE-00  
      NSCE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  IIP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /013W
                  ------------------635157  151829Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6335
INFO USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 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 HARARE 003263 
 
SIPDIS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03263  151829Z 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
WHA/CCA 
 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
 
ROME FOR INS 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: UNHCR: PRESIDENT MUGABE TO MAKE DECISION ON 
RELEASE OF CUBAN DOCTORS 
 
REF: A) HARARE 3231 (NOTAL), B) STATE 113556 (NOTAL) 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 
B/D. 
 
1. (C) ON JUNE 15 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. 
THE REGIONAL UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE REPORTED THAT HE HAD 
ATTEMPTED TO DELIVER A MATTRESS AND MAGAZINES TO THE 
CUBANS, BUT WAS BARRED FROM DOING SO.  HE SAID THE CUBAN 
DOCTORS ARE IN A VERY STRESSED EMOTIONAL STATE, 
PARTICULARLY DOCTOR PENA.  THE TWO HAD BEEN FED ONLY ONE 
MEAL A DAY BY THE ZIMBABWEANS, PER THE POLICE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03263  151829Z 
REGULATIONS FOR PRISONERS IN REMAND STATUS, AND HAD BEEN 
USING WHAT LITTLE MONEY THEY HAD TO SUPPLEMENT THEIR 
MEAGER DIET.  BAJULAIYE SAID HE PROTESTED THEIR 
TREATMENT STRENUOUSLY TO THE ACTING PERMANENT SECRETARY 
OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DR. NGONI CHIDEYA. 
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD REQUESTED THAT BAJULAIYE PUT HIS 
COMPLAINTS IN WRITING TO THE GOZ AND THE UNHCR 
REPRESENTATIVES SAID THAT HE WOULD DO SO.  THE CUBANS 
HAVE THREATENED TO GO ON A HUNGER STRIKE TO PROTEST THE 
INHUMANE CONDITIONS IN WHICH THEY ARE BEING KEPT, 
ACCORDING TO BAJULAIYE. 
 
2.  (C) UNHCR ATTORNEY MICHIEL SALOMONS SAID THAT THE 
BIG NEWS WAS THAT DR. CHIDEYA AND VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH 
MSIKA WOULD BE BRIEFING PRESIDENT MUGABE THE EVENING OF 
JUNE 15 ON THE CASE AND THAT MUGABE WAS LIKELY TO MAKE A 
DECISION ON IT THAT NIGHT.  BAJULAIYE SAID THAT HE 
THOUGHT THAT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND VICE 
PRESIDENT MSIKA WERE BOTH INCLINED TO RECOMMEND THE 
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE CUBANS TO THE UNHCR. IF THE 
DECISION WAS A NEGATIVE ONE, THEN BAJULAIYE WOULD 
CONTACT UNCHR HEAD OGATA TO TELEPHONE OR WRITE TO 
PRESIDENT MUGABE. 
 
3.  (C) SALOMONS ALSO INFORMED US THAT HE HAD BEEN IN 
TOUCH WITH THE DUTCH COUNSEL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE 
OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, PETER VAN KRIEKEN, TO 
PROPOSE THAT THE NETHERLANDS ACCEPT THE CUBANS IN LIEU 
OF CANADA.  BAJULAIYE REPORTED THAT THE UNHCR 
REPRESENTATIVE IN OTTAWA HAD REPORTED REAL RELUCTANCE BY 
CANADA TO TAKE ON THE CASE, AS IT HAD BEEN BURNED IN A 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03263  151829Z 
SIMILAR SITUATION IN THE PAST (NFI).  THE DUTCH 
AMBASSADOR IN HARARE THOUGHT THAT THE PROPOSAL WAS A 
GOOD ONE AND PROMISED TO CONTACT HER GOVERNMENT WITH A 
FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION.  VAN KRIEKEN THOUGHT THAT IT 
WOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM TO ACCEPT THE CUBANS FOR A PERIOD 
OF THREE MONTHS, ASSUMING THE USG HAD NO PROBLEM WITH 
IT. 
 
4.  (C) SALOMONS ASKED THAT THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE 
NETHERLANDS APPROACH THE DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTRY AND 
ASSURE IT THAT THE USG VIEWED FAVORABLY THE CUBANS 
REQUESTING TEMPORARY ASYLUM OR EMERGENCY RESETTLEMENT IN 
THE NETHERLANDS. IF THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT RELEASES 
THE CUBANS TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNHCR, THE PLAN WOULD 
BE TO MOVE THE PAIR OUT OF ZIMBABWE ON JUNE 16 TO 
NAIROBI, AND FROM NAIROBI ONWARD TO THE NETHERLANDS. 
 
5. (C) ACTION REQUESTED: WE WOULD APPRECIATE DEPARTMENT 
REQUESTING AN APPROACH TO THE NETHERLANDS GOVERNMENT 
ALONG THE LINES PROPOSED BY SALOMONS. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

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