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Cablegate: Mexico Review for Suspension of Title Iii Of

VZCZCXRO4683
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #2651/01 1432211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 232211Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7129
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0086

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 002651

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PASS TO WHA/CCA
WHA/MEX FOR MATT ROTH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ETTC PREL CU MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO REVIEW FOR SUSPENSION OF TITLE III OF
LIBERTAD ACT

REF: SECSTATE 65523

Summary
-------

1. (U) Post supports continued waiver of Title III provisions
of the Libertad Act for Mexico. The Mexican International
Development Bank has begun the process of recovering debt
from Cuba. There are small exchange programs between the two
countries. Mexico continues to promote respect for human
rights in Cuba and in the region as President Calderon seeks
to strengthen his government's relationship with Cuba. End
Summary

Mexican Investment in Cuba
--------------------------

2. (SBU) Mexican investment in Cuba is principally geared
towards the agricultural and food sectors, the tourism
sector, and the construction sector. The Havana branch of the
Mexican International Development Bank, BANCOMEXT, has been
closed since 2005. The Bank of Cuba and other entities still
have approximately 325 million USD in outstanding Mexican
debt. In 2006, BANCOMEXT won a settlement of 35 million USD
from the Bank of Cuba in Italian Court. BANCOMEXT has
expressed an interest in using European courts to settle the
debt.

Bilateral Trade Agreements
--------------------------

3.(U) In July 2002 Mexico and Cuba entered into a
Complementary Economic Agreement (ACE-51). ACE's are similar
to Free Trade Agreements, but only include some sectors. In
2001, Mexico and Cuba signed an Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreement (APRI). Both Mexico and Cuba are also
members of the Latin American Integration Association
(ALADI). No new agreements have been signed in recent years.

Exchange Programs Between Mexico and Cuba
-----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) According to Ricardo Dominguez, the Secretariat of
Foreign Relations (SRE) Director for Cuban, Haitian and
Dominican affairs, the governments of Mexico and Cuba have
several student exchange programs at the post-graduate level.
Medical travel to Cuba is usually paid for by individual
travelers. From time to time, groups of Cuban teachers work
on literacy programs in marginalized areas of Mexico.

Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Cuba
--------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) GOM officials continue to insist that Mexico prefers
to use multilateral fora to discuss human rights issues with
Cuba (or other countries), rather than engage the GOC
one-on-one. The Mexican Embassy in Cuba eschews engaging
with Cuban dissidents or human rights which it believes could
be construed as interference in Cuba's internal affairs.
Nevertheless, we do not expect Calderon's administration to
overlook the issue of human rights on the island. Shortly
before assuming office, Foreign Secretary Espinosa
acknowledged that Cuba suffered from "a difficult human
rights situation, that there are problems that should be
addressed, which explains why this subject is brought before
international fora."

Diplomatic Visits
-----------------

6. (SBU) Since the August 10, 2005, appointment of Jose
Ignacio Pina Rojas as Mexico's Ambassador to Cuba, Mexico has
had an Ambassador resident in Havana. There have been no
ministerial level visits to Cuba in the past six months.
According to Ricardo Dominguez, the Secretariat of Foreign
Relations (SRE) Director for Cuban, Haitian and
Dominican affairs, and SRE Under-Secretary for Environmental
Affairs traveled to Cuba for meetings in January.

7. (SBU) President Felipe Calderon has said that he will seek
a more constructive and less confrontational relationship
with Cuba than prevailed under the Fox administration a
sentiment echoed by Foreign Secretary Espinosa in recent
months.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at

MEXICO 00002651 002 OF 002


http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
BASSETT

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