Cablegate: Panama: Torrijos Congratulates Raul
DE RUEHZP #0176 0591637
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281637Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1771
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0092
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000176
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV CU PM
SUBJECT: PANAMA: TORRIJOS CONGRATULATES RAUL
Classified By: POLCOUNS Brian R. Naranjo. Reason: 1.4 (d)
Summary and Comment
1. (C) Panamanian President Martin Torrijos extended his
"sincere congratulations" to Cuban President Raul Castro for
his "well deserved designation to the highest government
position in the Republic of Cuba, as a result of the very
right and unanimous decision by the honorable Cuban General
Assembly," an MFA press release announced on February 27.
The press release expressed the desire to "strengthen even
more during" Raul Castro's term the "frank relationships of
friendship and cooperation that currently exist. The letter
was sent on February 24. This glowing statement is in
keeping with the Torrijos Administration's continuing desire
to refrain from doing anything that would alienate Cuba.
Continuing to present itself to the USG as a "bridge" to
Cuba, Panama is also unlikely to do anything public that
would cause it to incur Cuban wrath or even discomfort. The
use of the term "frank" is curious, as there appears to be a
lack of candor in the Cuba-Panamanian bilateral relationship.
End summary and comment.
Text of MFA Press Release
2. (U) Begin unofficial translation of MFA press release:
Panama, February 27, 2008
The National Government transmitted a congratulatory message
to the new President of the Republic of Cuba, Raul Castro
Ruz, on the occasion of this inauguration last Sunday,
The note was signed by President Martin Torrijos Espino, and
it extends the sincere congratulations from the people and
government of Panama on the occasion of the "well deserved
designation to the highest government position in the
Republic of Cuba, as a result of the very right and unanimous
decision by the honorable Cuban General Assembly."
"I will see with great pleasure how the frank relationships
of friendship and cooperation that happily exist between Cuba
and Panama strengthen even more during your term," stated the
presidential message sent through the Ministry of Foreign
The president of our country wishes President Castro Ruz that
"the ambitious government plan that you have designed could
be carried out for the well-being and happiness of the heroic
and fighting people of Cuba."
End unofficial translation.