US embassy cable - 92HAVANA781

SPAIN AND CASTRO

Identifier: 92HAVANA781
Wikileaks: View 92HAVANA781 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: US Interests Section Havana
Created: 1992-02-07 20:15:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV CU SP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 072015Z FEB 92
FM USINT HAVANA
TO AMEMBASSY MADRID
INFO SECSTATE WASHDC 1421
USMISSION GENEVA 1807/
USIA WASHDC 5930
AMEMBASSY MEXICO
AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY ROME
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3951
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
USCINCLANT NORFOLK VA
CCGDSEVEN MIAMI FL
USLO CARIBBEAN
COMNAVBASE GUANTANAMO BAY
FBIS KEY WEST
C O N F I D E N T I A L HAVANA 00781 
 
USIA FOR AR, P/G, B/CR; DEPT FOR ARA/CCA; 
ROME ALSO FOR VATICAN; CINCLANT FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL:OADR 
TAGS:        PREL, PGOV, CU, SP 
SUBJECT:     SPAIN AND CASTRO 
 
REF:         MABRID 1246 
 
1.  (C)  USINT APPRECIATES EMBASSY MADRID'S EXCELLENT 
REPORT ON SPAIN'S GROWING DISENCHANTMENT WITH FIDEL 
CASTRO.  WE FOLLOW THE SPANISH-CUBAN RELATIONSHIP AS 
CLOSELY AS WE CAN FROM HAVANA, AND OUR INFORMATION TRACKS 
WELL WITH THAT IN REFTEL.  WE OFFER A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS 
FROM THE HAVANA PERSPECTIVE. 
 
- 
2.  (C)  MORE THAN MOST, THE SPANIARDS HAVE INDULGED IN 
WISHFUL THINKING ABOUT FIDEL CASTRO.  PERHAPS BECAUSE 
OF HIS GALICIAN ROOTS, PERHAPBSECAUSE OF HIS POWERFUL 
PERSONALITY, PERHAPS BECAUSE OF HIS CAREFULLY CULTIVATED 
ROMANTIC IMAGE AS THE CARIBBEAN DAVID FACING THE NORTH 
AMERICAN GOLIATH, THEY HAVE TENDED TO GIVE HIM THE 
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.  THEY ALSO THOUGHT THEY HAD 
SPECIAL INFLUENCE.  IF THEY EVER DID, THEY NO LONGER 
HAVE.  CASTRO HAS NOW SHOWN THAT HE CAN BE AS DISMISSIVE 
OF FELIPE GONZALEZ AS HE CAN OF ANYONE ELSE WHO OFFERS 
HIM ADVISE HE DOES NOT LIKE. 
 
- 
3.  (C)  THE SPANIARDS -- AND FOR THAT MATTER MOST 
WEST EUROPEANS -- HAVE BEEN SLOW TO RECOGNIZE CASTRO 
FOR WHAT HE IS:  A SOMETIMES CHARMING BUT ALWAYS 
RUTHLESS DICTATOR.  NOW THAT THEY ARE LESS LIKELY TO 
RATIONALIZE HIS EGREGIOUS BEHAVIOR (SUCH AS THE 
CURRENT CRACKDOWN ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS) THEY SEEM 
TO BE MORE LIKELY TO OVERREACT TO IT.  THEY TEND TO 
SEE THE CURRENT SITUATION IN MORE APOCALYPTIC TERMS 
THAN THEY MIGHT HAVE IF THEIR VISION HD NOT BEEN 
CLOUDED BY ROMANTICISM AND WISHFUL THINKING FOR THREE 
DECADES.  MOREOVER, MADRID'S PESSIMISM PROBABLY ALSO 
REFLECTS THAT OF SPANISH EMBASSY PERSONNEL HERE WHO 
SEEM TO TAKE CASTRO'S INTRANSIGENCE AS A PERSONAL 
AFFRONT.  THEY HAVE ALSO BEEN DISILLUSIONED BY THE 
RECENT HARDLINE PRONOUNCEMENTS OF PCC IDEOLOGY CHIEF 
CARLOS ALDANA TO WHOM THEY HAD EARLIER IMPUTED THE 
ROLE OF INNER CIRCLE LIBERAL. 
 
- 
4.  (C)  ALL OF THIS IS NOT TO SUGGEST THAT THE 
CASTRO REGIME IS NOT IN CRISIS.  AND IT IS VERY 
POSSIBLE, EVEN LIKELY THAT CHANGE, WHEN IT COMES, WILL 
BE VIOLENT.  HOWEVER WE BELIEVE THAT THE CUBAN REALITY 
HAS NOT CHANGED AS MUCH AS THE SPANISH PERCEPTION OF IT. 
 
- 
5.  (C)  FINALLY, WITH REGARD TO WHETHER OR NOT CASTRO 
WILL BE INVITED TO THE SEVILLE SUMMIT, MWE HAVE SEEN 
PRESS REPORTS IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS QUOTING FELIPE 
GONZALEZ TO THE EFFECT THAT AS LONG AS HE WAS ISSUING 
THE INVITATIONS, CASTRO WOULD GET ONE.  THAT STATEMENT, 
IF ACCURATELY REPORTED WOULD SEEM TO OVERTAKE THE 
SUGGESTION IN PARAGRAPH 11 OF REFTEL THAT THE GOS 
MIGHT USE THE INVITATION FOR LEVERAGE. 
 
 
FLANIGAN 

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