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Cablegate: Cuba Formally Complains Re Ngo Rep's Visa Refusal

VZCZCXYZ0015
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0371/01 1341954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141954Z MAY 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1866
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0189

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000371

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNP - S. EDMONDSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP CVIS UN CU
SUBJECT: CUBA FORMALLY COMPLAINS RE NGO REP'S VISA REFUSAL

1. Action request - see paragraph 3.

2. Cuba's UN Mission Permrep, Amb. Rodrigo Malmierca, has
sent a Note Verbale (text in paragraph 5 below) to USUN Host
Country Affairs expressing concern for the USG's decision to
deny a visa to Mrs. Fabiola Mora (DPOB 31Jan1953, Cuba), a
representative of the Cuban NGO Union Nacional de Escritores
y Artistas de Cuba (National Union of Writers and Artists of
Cuba, UNEAC), which prevented her from participating in the
51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women held in
NY at UN HQ February 26-March 9, 2007. The Cuban Permrep
sent a copy of the Note Verbale under a cover letter (text in
para 4 below) to the Chair of the UN Committee on Relations
with the Host Country (a/k/a the Host Country Committee),
with copies, inter alia, to the Chair of the UN Committee on
NGOs and the President of ECOSOC. The Cuban Permrep asks the
Chair of the Host Country Committee that the letter and the
text of the Note Verbale be distributed as an official
document of the Host Country Committee.

3. Action Request - USUN seeks Department's guidance for U.S.
reply to the Cuban Mission's Note Verbale, which USUN will
ask to circulate as an official document of the Host Country
Committee.

4. Begin Text of May 9, 2007 Cuban Mission Note Verbale--

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations presents
its compliments to the United States Permanent Mission to the
United Nations and has the honor to refer to the Host Country
authorities' decision to deny a visa to a representative of
the Cuban NGO Union Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba
(National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, UNEAC),
preventing her from participating in the 51st Session of the
Commission on the Status of Women, held from February 26 to
March 9, 2007.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations would
like to point out that UNEAC has consultative status to
ECOSOC, and its representatives have actively participated in
other sessions of the aforementioned Commission.

The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba informed
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba on
the situation and further requested it to denounce the event
through the Cuban Mission to the United Nations and to
express its deepest concern for the Host Country authorities'
arbitrary and unjustified denial of UNEAC's visa to
participate in the 51 Session of the Commission on the Status
of Woman.

This time Mrs. Fabiola Mora, from UNEAC's Department of
International Relations, attended an interview and made the
corresponding payment for this visa at the United States
Interests Section to Cuba. Later on, on 26 February 2007,
the aforesaid Interest Section informed her that she was
authorized to enter the United States territory, but she was
alerted that she wouldn't be able to participate in the
meeting. Finally, she received a document denying her visa,
allegedly because her presence in the United States territory
was detrimental to the national interests.

Such events contravene the Host Country's obligations
contained in the Host Country Agreement and further
contradict the provisions of resolution 1996/31 of ECOSOC.

The aforementioned practice handicap the Cuban NGOs before
the rest of the NGOs community to contribute to the work of
the United Nations organs.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations urges
once again the Host Country to reconsider its position with
regard to the issues pointed out, in accordance with the
general principles of international law of equality and
non-discrimination.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations avails
itself of this opportunity to renew to the United States
Permanent Mission to the United Nations the assurances of its
highest consideration.

End text.

5. Begin Text of May 10, 2007 Cuban Mission Permrep cover
letter to Chair of Host Country Committee -

I have the honor to address you in your capacity as Chairman
of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country,
attaching a Note Verbale No. 2017, dated May 9, 2007,
addressed to the United States Mission to the United Nations
by the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations,
E

expressing our concern for the Host Country authorities'
decision to deny a visa to a representative of the Cuban NGO
Union Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (National
Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, UNEAC), preventing her
from participating in the 51 Session of the Commission on the
Status of Women, held from February 26 to March 9, 2007.

I would appreciate that you distribute this letter and text
of the attached Note Verbale as an official document of the
Committee on Relations with Host Country.

End text.
KHALILZAD

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