US embassy cable - 00HARARE3563

ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO DEFER RELEASE OF CUBAN DOCTORS

Identifier: 00HARARE3563
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE3563 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-06-29 16:14:00
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.

291614Z Jun 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2488

PAGE 01        HARARE  03563  01 OF 02  291610Z 
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      DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /011W
                  ------------------6883FD  291610Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6477
INFO USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003563 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
WHA/CCA 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
ROME FOR INS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03563  01 OF 02  291610Z 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO DEFER 
RELEASE OF CUBAN DOCTORS 
 
REF: HARARE 3485 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 
B/D. 
 
1. (C) IN INTRODUCING CONSUL TO DOMINIC BARTSCH, UNHCR 
SENIOR DURABLE SOLUTIONS OFFICER (THE UN OFFICER 
REPLACING ATTORNEY MICHIEL SALOMONS), UNHCR REGIONAL 
REPRESENTATIVE OLUSEYI BAJULAIYE SAID THAT MOVEMENT ON 
THE RELEASE OF THE CUBAN DOCTORS HAD GROUND TO A HALT. 
HE TOLD US THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO PROGRESS EITHER BY THE 
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE OR UNHCR IN FINDING A SOLUTION TO 
THE CASE OF CUBAN DOCTORS LEONEL CORDOVA RODRIGUEZ AND 
NORIS DEL CARMEN PENA MARTINEZ.  BAJULAIYE SAID THAT 
ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAD INFORMED HIM THAT 
PRESIDENT MUGABE IS "MUCH TOO BUSY" TO MAKE A DECISION 
REGARDING THE CUBANS.  INDEED, WE CAN AVER THAT MUGABE 
HAS BEEN CONSUMED WITH DEALING WITH THE AFTERMATH AND 
PUTTING TOGETHER A CABINET FOLLOWING THE RECENT 
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION IN WHICH HIS PARTY NARROWLY WON A 
MAJORITY. 
 
2.  (C) BAJULAIYE REPORTED TO CONSUL THAT THE LETTER HE 
HAD DRAFTED FOR MRS. OGATA TO SEND TO PRESIDENT MUGABE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  03563  01 OF 02  291610Z 
WAS STILL ON THE DESK OF THE UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR 
REFUGEES.  HE OPINED THAT THE HIGH COMMISSIONER MAY BE 
WAITING FOR THE RETURN TO GENEVA OF DEPUTY HIGH 
COMMISSIONER SOREN JESSEN-PETERSEN, WITH WHOM SHE WOULD 
LIKE TO CONSULT PRIOR TO TAKING ANY ACTION.  JESSEN- 
PETERSEN'S LETTER TO VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA REMAINS 
UNANSWERED, ACCORDING TO THE REGIONAL UNHCR 
REPRESENTATIVE.  BAJULAIYE ALSO REVEALED THAT DOCTORS 
CORDOVA AND PENA HAD WRITTEN LETTERS TO THE ZIMBABWEAN 
GOVERNMENT IN WHICH THEY PLEADED FOR THE RIGHT TO BE 
RESETTLED IN ONE OF TWO COUNTRIES THAT HAVE ACCEPTED 
THEM AS REFUGEES.  THE UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE STATED THAT 
NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED, HE WOULD RETURN TO LUSAKA ON 
SATURDAY, JULY 1, AND THAT BARTSCH WOULD BE LEAVING ON 
SUNDAY, JULY 2.  THE CASE WOULD THEN PASS INTO THE HANDS 
OF LOCAL UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE JOHN ADU, WHO WILL BE 
RETURNING AFTER A VACATION FROM LONDON ON JULY 2. 
 
3.  (C) CONSUL GAVE TWO TOILETRY KITS TO BAJULAIYE TO 
DELIVER TO THE CUBAN DOCTORS.  SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS 
COMMITTEE STAFF MEMBER G. GARRETT GRIBSBY BROUGHT THE 
KITS, BUT WAS UNABLE TO HAND THEM OVER PERSONALLY, 
HAVING BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO THE DOCTORS.  THE REGIONAL 
UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE REPORTED THAT HIS STAFF HAD 
DELIVERED THE KITS TO THE DESPONDENT CUBANS ON JUNE 29. 
A FRUSTRATED BAJULAIYE SAID THAT HE WOULD SPEAK ONE MORE 
TIME TO THE PERMANENT SECRETARIES OF THE MINISTRIES OF 
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND HOME AFFAIRS AS WELL AS THE CHIEF OF 
IMMIGRATION TO INFORM THEM OF HIS INTENTION TO RETURN TO 
LUSAKA BECAUSE OF LACK OF PROGRESS IN THE CASE.  HE 
SUGGESTED THAT LEGAL INTERVENTION (NOT BY UNHCR) MAY BE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  03563  01 OF 02  291610Z 
A FINAL OPTION TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE CUBANS, AS 
IT WAS "ILLEGAL" FOR THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT TO 
CONTINUE TO KEEP THEM IN JAIL WHEN THEY HAD COMMITTED NO 
CRIME IN ZIMBABWE. 
 
4.  (C) SWEDISH AMBASSADOR LENNARTH HJELMAKER TOLD DCM 
ON JUNE 29 THAT SWEDEN IS PREPARED TO HELP RESETTLE THE 
CUBANS, BUT AT PRESENT IS UNSURE OF WHAT HIS COUNTRY'S 
ROLE IN THE CASE SHOULD BE. THE SWEDES ARE OCCASIONALLY 
IN TOUCH WITH UNHCR IN HARARE, BUT HAVE NOT HEARD FROM 
THEM IN OVER A WEEK.  THE SWEDISH AMBASSADOR SPECULATED 
THAT THE ZIMBABWEANS SUSPECT THAT SWEDEN IS MERELY AN 
ENTREPOT FROM WHICH THE CUBAN DOCTORS WILL PROCEED 
DIRECTLY TO THE UNITED STATES.  HE CONTINUED THAT HE HAD 
NOT DISCUSSED THE CASE WITH THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT. 
SWEDEN HAD BEEN VERY CRITICAL OF PRESIDENT MUGABE'S USE 
OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION IN THE RECENTLY CONCLUDED 
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CAMPAIGN, A REASON THE SWEDISH 
AMBASSADOR SPECULATED THE FORMER WOULD NOT WANT SWEDEN 
TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.  CANADIAN DEPUTY HIGH 
COMMISSIONER RON WILLSON TOLD DCM ON JUNE 29 THAT CANADA 
STANDS READY TO RECEIVE THE CUBANS, BUT REMARKED THAT 
HIS GOVERNMENT HAD NOT BEEN APPROACHED SINCE INITIAL 
DISCUSSIONS BY UNHCR IN THIS CONNECTION SOME THREE WEEKS 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2489 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  03563  02 OF 02  291610Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-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 
      FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01 
      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     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 
                  ------------------688402  291610Z /38 
O 291614Z JUN 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6478 
INFO USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003563 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR PRM A/S TAFT, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, AF/PD, 
WHA/CCA 
NAIROBI FOR REFCOORD AND INS 
ROME FOR INS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  03563  02 OF 02  291610Z 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/10 
TAGS: PREF, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, ZI, CU 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO DEFER 
RELEASE OF CUBAN DOCTORS 
 
AGO.  WILLSON REPORTED THAT CUBAN AMBASSADOR TO ZIMBABWE 
RODOLFO SARRACINO HAD ASKED CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER 
JAMES WALL SOME TIME AGO, "WHY DON'T YOU TAKE THEM?" 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
> 

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