US embassy cable - 08SANTODOMINGO1235

PRESIDENT AND FOREIGN MINISTER ON DRUGS, CHEVRON, IRAN, SOLIDARITY FUND

Identifier: 08SANTODOMINGO1235
Wikileaks: View 08SANTODOMINGO1235 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Santo Domingo
Created: 2008-07-30 19:30:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV ECON ENRG SNAR IR DR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDG #1235/01 2121930
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301930Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1233
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN PRIORITY 2179
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0917
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN PRIORITY 1091
RUEHKG/AMEMBASSY KINGSTON PRIORITY 2882
RUEHPO/AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO PRIORITY 1216
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE PRIORITY 4845
RUEHSP/AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN PRIORITY 1917
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0196
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMISTA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SANTO DOMINGO 001235 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR WHA/CAR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2018 
TAGS: PGOV, ECON, ENRG, SNAR, IR, DR 
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT AND FOREIGN MINISTER ON DRUGS, CHEVRON, 
IRAN, SOLIDARITY FUND 
 
REF: SANTO DOMINGO 1199 
 
Classified By: P. Robert Fannin, Ambassador, Reasons 1.4(b), (d) 
 
Background 
---------- 
 
1. (SBU) On July 23, in front of an audience that included 
President Fernandez and Acting U.S. DEA Chief, Dominican drug 
czar Marino Vinicio "Vincho" Castillo said that the United 
States is persistently obstructing the Dominican Republic's 
anti-drug efforts.  Castillo said that this has harmed some 
GODR initiatives to control the trafficking of narcotics by 
sea and air.  He also said that the Dominican justice system 
is not doing its part in the war on drugs.  Castillo argued 
that the USG was impeding efforts "to resist and defeat" drug 
trafficking "aggression" by sea and air.  (Note: this is a 
reference to the USG position against a draft law that would 
authorize the shooting down of civilian aircraft.) 
Furthermore, according to Castillo, the USG was reluctant to 
crack down on the GODR during the previous Mejia 
administration because Mejia had sent Dominican troops in 
Iraq.  He said that U.S. inattention to the drug war is due 
to the Iraq war and that there have been "more deaths for us 
from the addiction of our youth than the U.S. casualties in 
the war."  His comments were made at the launching of the 
National Strategic Drug Plan. 
 
Ambassador's Pull-Aside with the President 
------------------------------------------ 
 
2. (C) On July 29, in a brief pull-aside meeting with 
President Fernandez at a public diplomacy event, the 
Ambassador raised Castillo's speech.  The Ambassador 
requested that the Government come to us privately if they 
have concerns regarding our counter-narcotics cooperation. 
He also noted that Fernandez had been standing at Castillo's 
side when the comments were delivered, giving the impression 
that he shared the drug czar's views.  Fernandez made no 
substantive reply. 
 
3. (C) The Ambassador noted Chevron's disappointment that the 
court ruling ordering the end of the blockade had not been 
enforced (Reftel).  He added that he hoped that, at a 
minimum, Chevron trucks would be able to continue to operate 
freely while the company seeks a resolution with the 
transporters.  Fernandez responded that he was hopeful the 
dispute would be resolved quickly.  (Note: Chevron met with 
the transporters on July 29 and rejected their request for a 
two-year extension of the contract.  Chevron raised the 
possibility of making a payment to the truck owners to 
compensate them for their investment and is waiting to 
receive a proposal from the truck owners.  According to 
Chevron, the transporters were not happy with this idea and 
only agreed to consider it under pressure from government 
officials.) 
 
Charge's Meeting with the Foreign Minister 
------------------------------------------ 
 
4. (C) On July 28, then-Charge Bullen met with FM Morales 
Troncoso at the Foreign Minister's request (Ambassador Fannin 
was on leave at the time of the request for a meeting by the 
Foreign Minister).  Noting that the Dominicans had recently 
exchanged Ambassadors with Iran, Morales said that he "wanted 
to be transparent" with the U.S. about the fact that he had 
been invited by his counterpart to visit Tehran and meet with 
President Ahmadinejad.  He is "not enthused" about the 
invitation and is concerned that he will be used by the 
Iranian President for a photo opportunity.  (Note: Morales 
did not say definitively whether or not he planned to take 
the trip.)  The Charge replied that before Morales decides 
whether or not to make the trip, we suggest that he consider 
how the Iranians reply to the proposal by the "5 plus 1" 
countries regarding Tehran's nuclear program.  If the 
Iranians take a hard line and the 5 plus 1 then call for 
further isolation of Tehran, the visit might not be advisable. 
 
5. (C) FM Morales briefed Mr. Bullen on the Dominican 
initiative to create a Global Fund of Petroleum Solidarity. 
Morales said that the fund would be available to countries 
with a GNP per capita of $6,000 or less, and that the donors 
would be oil exporting countries (as opposed to developed 
countries).  He said that 57 countries had expressed an 
interest in the initiative and was particularly pleased that 
an Arab country, Lebanon, had given the GODR a positive 
reaction.  Finally, Morales noted that fund initiative will 
be Fernandez's priority at the UN General Assembly.  (Note: 
In contrast to Morales' optimism, the press reported that 
when the Foreign Minister presented the fund idea at the UN 
earlier this month, representatives of Venezuela, Iran, and 
Algeria argued against the proposal.) 
 
6. (C) Then-Charge Bullen raised the Dominican drug czar's 
July 23 speech, saying that Castillo's remarks were not 
helpful.  Mr. Bullen added that was a good thing that he had 
decided not to attend the event where Castillo spoke because, 
if he had attended, he would have had to walk out in protest. 
 Morales replied that the President and Castillo have an 
"uncomfortable arrangement" (a reference to their political 
coalition).  In a gesture of disapproval, Morales shook his 
head and said that Castillo's son, Pelegrin, had also caused 
problems.  (Note: Pelegrin Castillo is the author of the 
draft shootdown legislation, as well as a law establishing 
the GODR's archipelagic territorial claim that has been 
protested by the U.S. and U.K.) 
 
(U) Please visit us at 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/santodomingo/  
FANNIN 

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