|Wikileaks:||View 05MADRID2557 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PREL PHUM SP VZ|
|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.
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 002557 SIPDIS EUR FOR A/S FRIED EUR/WE WHA WHA/AND NSC FOR HADLEY E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2015 TAGS: PREL, PHUM, SP, VZ SUBJECT: SPAIN/VENEZUELA: GOS PLANS PUBLIC CRITICISM OF SUMATE TRIAL REF: JULY 6 A/S FRIED-AMBASSADOR AGUIRRE TELCON Classified By: DCM Bob Manzanares; reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 1. (C) Following ref telcon regarding strong USG interest in impending Venezuelan government legal action against Sumate NGO organizer Maria Cristina Corina Machado and five other activists, Ambassador Aguirre contacted acting Foreign Minister Bernardino Leon to express the USG's concern regarding the issue. The Ambassador reviewed the underlying facts in the case and urged the GOS to issue a strong public statement expressing displeasure with the treatment of the Sumate members. The Ambassador noted that this episode provided an opportunity for Spain and the USG to work together to demonstrate support for fundamental democratic freedoms in Venezuela. He urged the Zapatero government to demonstrate its influence with the Chavez government by privately and publicly stating their opposition to the action against Machado and her colleagues. 2. (C) Leon said that he was aware of Machado's situation and was closely following her case. He said the Spanish Ambassador had instructions to be present at Machado's hearing. In response to the USG's interest in the case, Leon said the GOS would agree to issue a public statement expressing Spain's opposition to the legal action against Machado. Leon noted that he had discussed the poor political situation in Venezuela during his June 21 testimony before Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission. The Ambassador thanked Leon and reinforced the point that this was a good opportunity for Spain and the USG to work together towards a common objective. The Ambassador said he looked forward to seeing the 3. (C) Separately, DCM contacted GOS National Security Adviser Carles Casajuana to relay similar points to the Spanish Presidency. Casajuana agreed that the Machado hearing represented an excellent opportunity to act jointly in support of Venezuelan democracy. Casajuana said he would instruct the MFA to ask the Spanish Ambassador in Caracas to demarche the Venezuelan government to express Spain's opposition to the legal charges against Machado and the others. AGUIRRE
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