Search

 

Cablegate: Cuba Protests Delay in Official Visa Issuance

VZCZCXYZ0718
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0194/01 0602134
ZNY EEEEE ZZH (CCY AD66126C TOQ9349-695)
P 292134Z FEB 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3833
INFO RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 0290
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0395
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1159
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA PRIORITY 0499
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0254

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000194

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
NOFORN
SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION AND CLASSIFICATION

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNP - EDMONDSON; CA/VO/L/C - SMITH;
CA/VO/P/D - MUNTEAN AND GOLDBECK, WHA.CCA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP CVIS CU UN
SUBJECT: CUBA PROTESTS DELAY IN OFFICIAL VISA ISSUANCE

1. (U) Summary and Action Request: USUN seeks Department's
guidance in replying to Cuba's note verbale (text in
paragraph 3) which protests the USG's delay in issuing a visa
to Cuban government expert Jose Rufino Menendez Hernandez,
who had made timely application to attend an official UN
meeting. As the Cuban Permanent Representative has formally
requested that the Chair (Cypriot Permanent Representative)
of the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country
distribute the note verbale as an official document of the
Committee, USUN must provide a written reply for the record,
which will also be circulated as a Committee document. Both
documents will likely be discussed/examined at the
Committee's next meeting. End Summary and Action Request.

2. (U) At the request of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the
Cuban government selected Jose Rufino Menendez Hernandez,
Director of the Center for Disarmament and International
Security Studies in Cuba, to serve as an expert to
participate in the first session of the Group of Governmental
Experts constituted by the UN Secretary General under UN
General Assembly Resolution 61/89 to examine the feasibility,
scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally
binding instrument for the import, export and transfer of
conventional arms. The meeting appears on the UN Calendar of
Conferences and Meetings and was held as scheduled February
11-15 at UN HQ in NYC. Cuba alleges that it submitted the
application to USINT on January 11 through a Note Verbal
(046) dated January 9, 2008. The applicant did not receive
his visa until February 21, six days after the meeting had
concluded. Cuba considers the USG's failure to issue this
visa in a timely manner a breach of U.S. international
obligations as Host Country, specifically those related to
timely issuance of entry visas for representatives of Member
States to attend UN meetings, under the U.S.-UN HQ Agreement
(section 11, Article IV) and UN General Assembly Resolution
62/72.

3. (U) Begin text of Cuban Note Verbale #98 dated February
25, 2008 --
The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations presents
its compliments to the United States Mission to the United
Nations and has the honor to refer to the first session of
the Group of Governmental Experts constituted by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations under General

SIPDIS
Assembly resolution 61/89, with the mandate to review the
viability, scope and parameters of a draft comprehensive and
legally-binding instrument establishing common international
rules for the import, export and transfer of conventional
weapons, held from 11 to 15 February 2008, at the
Headquarters of the United Nations in New York.

The UN Secretary-General invited Cuba to nominate an expert
to participate in such Group, and the Cuban authorities
decided on appointing Mr. Jose Rufino Menendez Hernandez,
Director of the Center for Disarmament and international
Security Studies of Cuba.

In order for the Cuban expert to be able to participate in
the first working session of the Group of Experts, his visa
application was submitted to the US interest Section in
Havana, on 11 January 2008, through Note Verbale No. 046 of 9
January 2008.

However, Mr. Menendez Hernandez could not travel to New York
to participate in said meeting, due to the fact that his visa
application remained unaddressed by the Host Country
authorities until after the conclusion of the aforementioned
Group of Experts' works. The telephone communication of the
US Interest Section in Havana was received on Thursday, 21
February 2008, six days after the meeting finished.

Such delay is unjustifiable, for the procedures for the visa
application were carried out in accordance with the
procedures established by the host country authorities.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations wishes to
express its protest for the late issuing of Mr. Menendez's
visa, and once again calls on the Host Country authorities to
honor their international obligations as host of the United
Nations, specifically those related to the timely issuing of
entry visas for the representatives of Member States to
attend United Nations meetings, under section 11 of article
IV of the 'Agreement between the United Nations and the
United States of America relative to the United Nations
headquarters', and Resolution 62/72 of the UN General
Assembly.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations hopes
that in the future, similar situations are not repeated, for
they affect the effective exercise by Cuba of its legitimate
rights as Member States of the United Nations.

The Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations avails
itself of this opportunity to renew to the US Mission to the
United Nations the assurances of its consideration. End text.

4. (U) Action Request - USUN requests that Department provide
the text of a reply to the Cuban note so that it can be
circulated to member states as a Host Country Committee
document.

5. (SBU/NOFORN) Comment: Government officials applying for
official (G) visas at American embassies in Moscow, Damascus,
and Vienna or Bern (Iranian officials often apply in Vienna
or Bern for lack of a US embassy in Tehran)-in addition to
those applying at USINT Havana--in order to come to UN
meetings, frequently encounter delays in visa issuance
because of the SAO clearance process, even though USUN has
repeatedly advised the UN Missions that applicants from those
countries should apply well in advance. The UN delegations
from countries whose nationals require SAO clearances
complain frequently that the length of the "administrative
processing" interferes with their mission operations and
functioning, deprives them of their full participation in UN
meetings, and prevents them from substituting a replacement
delegate or additional representatives for their UN
delegations when the primary delegate may not be able to
travel (either becase his or her visa has not been approved
or for other reasons) or when changing schedules so demand.
Often when such a government-designated individual cannot
attend an official UN meeting because of the US delay in visa
issuance caused by the lengthy "administrative processing",
the Cubans and Russians, in particular, complain in the
Committee on Relations with the Host Country. The other
members of the Committee and the numerous observer
delegations in attendance are sympathetic to the criticisms
leveled against the U.S. as Host Country on visa delays,
which are often seen as outright visa refusals. Eventually,
we expect that a critical mass of frustration will be
reached, and the Committee would then request a legal opinion
from the UN Legal Counsel on whether such delays in visa
issuance constitute a breach by the US of our Host Country
obligations. End comment.
KHALILZAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC