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Cablegate: Mexico Review for Suspension of Title Iii Of

VZCZCXRO2493
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #6005/01 3372017
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 032017Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9748
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0094

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 006005

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PASS TO WHA/CCA
WHA/MEX FOR LIZ WOLFSON

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

REF: STATE 158768

Summary
-------

1. (U) Post supports continued waiver of Title III provisions
of the Libertad Act for Mexico. The Government of Mexico
(GOM) is optimistic that a debt settlement with Cuba will be
reached in the near future. 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. Mexico's and Cuba's Foreign
Secretaries have discussed a possible reciprocal visit. End

SIPDIS
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 500 million USD in outstanding Mexican
debt. Mexico's new Ambassador to Cuba, Enrique Gabriel
Jimenez Remus, has stated that there will be ongoing
negotiations during December in hopes of reaching a debt
settlement before the end of 2007.

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 on 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 and 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, the Secretary of Health is planning a visit within
the next few months.

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.
Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa met with her Cuban
counterpart, Felipe Perez Roque on the periphery of the 2007
United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. They

MEXICO 00006005 002 OF 002


discussed, among other things, an interest in a future
reciprocal visit by the respective Foreign Secretaries.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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