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Cablegate: Spain Sensitivities Rule Out Great White Fleet

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMD #2223 3451612
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111612Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3929

UNCLAS MADRID 002223

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR TONY CORN, EUR/PPD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO MASS MPOS SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN SENSITIVITIES RULE OUT GREAT WHITE FLEET
CENTENNIAL

REF: STATE 152640

Post appreciates the opportunity to consider potential public
diplomacy opportunities related to the anniversary of
Theodore Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet." Though the United
States enjoys excellent naval cooperation with Spain today,
and Spain has been supportive of joint efforts such as the
Africa Partnership Station, plans for commemorating the
1907-1909 circumnavigation (reftel) are more likely to
generate bad feelings than good will. Any attention drawn to
the centenary voyage would be an unwelcome historical
reminder of the defeat of the Spanish Caribbean fleet in
Santiago de Cuba in July 1898 and of the Spanish Pacific
fleet at Manila Bay earlier that year by the same fleet.
U.S. Mission Madrid respectfully declines the invitation to
participate in this initiative.

AGUIRRE

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