US embassy cable - 05MADRID2557

SPAIN/VENEZUELA: GOS PLANS PUBLIC CRITICISM OF SUMATE TRIAL

Identifier: 05MADRID2557
Wikileaks: View 05MADRID2557 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Madrid
Created: 2005-07-06 16:31:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
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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