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Cablegate: Wfuna Complaint Re Denial of Visa for Cuban

VZCZCXYZ0015
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0292 0931759
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021759Z APR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4029
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0260

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000292

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP PREL CVIS CU
SUBJECT: WFUNA COMPLAINT RE DENIAL OF VISA FOR CUBAN
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER/FORMER AMBASSADOR

REF: A. USUN NEW YORK 00194

B. USUN NEW YORK 00228

1. Action Request: Department's guidance is requested in
replying to the World Federation of United Nations
Associations (WFUNA)'s MarQ 27, 2008, letter to the U.S.
Representative to the UN, Ambassador Khalilzad (text in
paragraph 3 below).

2. WFUNA has complained to Ambassador Khalilzad concerning
the refusal of visas to two Cuban nationals who were expected
to attend the organization's recent meeting in NYC. One of
the nationals, Carlos Amat-Fores, is a member of WFUNA's
Executive Committee and is a retired Cuban Ambassador to the
UN. Prior to the refusal of the visas, the Cuba desk had
asked USUN to confirm the dates of the WFUNA meeting. USUN
contacted WFUNA, confirmed the dates and invitees, and
relayed the information to the Cuba desk. Since the the visas
were refused, USUN has received calls from WFUNA at various
levels. In its letter WFUNA cites the visa denials as causing
WFUNA to hold future meetings outside of US territory.

3. WFUNA Exec.Committee Chairman Sen's March 27, 2008, letter
to Ambassador Khalilzad

Begin text--

Your Excellency,

We would like to bring to your attention that Ambassador
Carlos Amat-Fores, a long standing member of the Executive
Committee of the World Federation of United Nations
Associations (WFUNA), has been refused a visa to enter the
United States. He was expected to participate in our
Executive Committee Meeting being held at the UN premises in
New York, on the 28-29 March 2008.

All members of the Executive Committee join with me in
expressing our disappointment in the strongest possible
terms. WFUNA's membership deems it unacceptable that a
widely respected member of WFUNA's Executive Committee be
refused clearance to participate in such a vital meeting for
the program of work for the organization.

Carlos Amat-Fores, a retired Ambassador of Cuba to the UN,
has been an active and invaluable member of WFUNA's Executive
Committee since 2003 and was reelected to the Committee, at
the 38th Plenary Assembly in Buenos Aires, in 2006.
Ambassador Carlos Amat-Fores has participated actively in all
WFUNA's Executive Committee meetings held outside US
territory and was able to participate in WFUNA's Executive
Committee meetings held in the United States in the past.

A people's movement for the United Nations, founded in 1946
and currently counting over 100 members worldwide, WFUNA
works to make the United Nations more relevant and valuable
in the lives of people across the globe. To reach its
objectives, WFUNA draws on the expertise of UN, Member States
and Civil Society's key players from all regions of the
world. The contribution of Ambassador Carlos Amat-Fores, an
experienced and knowledgeable diplomat, has been crucial to
the work of our organization.

Since WFUNA operates on the principles of inclusiveness and
openness, the Executive Committee regrettably decided that
future meetings will have to be held outside of US territory,
unless we receive firm reassurances that all of our members
are granted entry to the United States.

Please accept our highest considerations,

Mr. Pang Sen
Chairman of the Executive Committee
World Federation of the United Nations Associations

End text.

KHALILZAD

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