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Cablegate: Cuba Queries Delay in Visa Issuance for Former

VZCZCXYZ0034
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0228 0731830
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
P 131830Z MAR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3894
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0256

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000228

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

FOR IO/UNP - S. EDMONDSON, WHA/CCA - B. WILLIAMS, CA/VO/P/D
- C. MUNTEAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP PREL CVISU CU
SUBJECT: CUBA QUERIES DELAY IN VISA ISSUANCE FOR FORMER
HOST COUNTRY COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE

REF: USUN NEW YORK 00194

1. (SBU/NOFORN) Action request - USUN seeks Department's
guidance in replying to the Cuban Mission regarding the delay
in visa issuance to diplomat and former Cuban represenative
on the UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country--a/k/a
the Host Country Committee), Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez (6
May 1956, Cuba). Cuba MUN alleges that Cuba's MFA requested a
visa from USINT Havana through a note verbale (No. 058) dated
Janaury 24, 2008 that was presented to USINT Havana on
January 29. The visa was requested so that Mrs Ramos could
attend two official UN meetings at UN HQ in NYC: 1) The Ad
Hoc Committee established by UN GA Resolution 51/210 meeting
February 25-26 and again on March 6; and 2) the Session of
the Special Committee on the UN Charter to be held Feb 27 -
March 7. According to CCD records, the SAO clearance for the
applicant was issued only on Febrary 27, thus making it
impossible for the diplomat to attend the first two days of
the first official UN meeting above.
2. (SBU/NOFORN) Comment: When USUN Host Country asked the
current Cuban representative on the Host Country Committee
why she had waited until late Friday afternoon on February 22
to contact USUN regarding the lack of visa issuance, she
replied that Cuba had observed that the U.S. often does not
issue visas for Cuban officials coming to the UN until the
last possible moment, and Cuba was hoping to have the visa
issued by Friday, February 22. Although Cuba has thus far
complained only orally and we have not received a formal
diplomatic note protesting the delay in visa issuance, we
fully expect the Cubans to raise this case at the next Host
Country Committee meeting, probably in rebutting USUN after
Cuba raises its formal protest concerning the delay in visa
issuance to Cuban governmental expert Jose Rufino Menendez
Hernandez (reftel). End comment.
KHALILZAD

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