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Cablegate: Cuban Mission Queries Visa Renewal Delays Re

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0295 0932140
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
P 022140Z APR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4034
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0261

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000295

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

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

E.O. 12958: DNG: UN 03/25/2013
TAGS: OFDPQIS PREL CU
SUBJECT: CUBAN MISSION QUERIES VISA RENEWAL DELAYS RE
PERMREP AND MISSION PERSONNEL

REF: A. USUN NEW YORK 00194

B. USUN NEW YORK 00228

1. (SBU) Action request - USUN seeks Department's guidance
in responding to the Cuban Mission regarding the delay in
visa renewals for Cuban Permanent Representative, Ambassador
Rodrigo Malmierca and Cuban Mission officials referred to
below..

2. (SBU) Amb. Malmierca (10 October 1956, Cuba) had wished to
travel abroad in January and the Cuban Mission informed USUN
that he needed to apply for another country's visa after
receiving his renewed US visa (many countries will not issue
a visa unless applicants can show that they have a return
visa to the U.S.). The Cuban Mission informed USUN that Amb.
Malmierca postponed his travel to February 10. Amb. Malmierca
received his visa on Friday, February 8, leaving little or no
time for him to obtain a visa for another country to which he
intended to travel (Comment: Malmierca may have used his
status as Permrep to convince the other country to issue him
a visa in time for his travel). During the period of
administrative processing of Amb. Malmierca's visa, the Cuban
Representative to the UN Committee on Relations With the Host
Country (a/k/a the Host Country Committee) pressed USUN
regarding the delay in visa issuance. USUN expects the
Cubans to raise the delay in renewing Amb. Malmierca's visa
along with other visa delays (see reftels) at the April
meeting (date not yet finalized) of the Committee.

3. (SBU) The Cuban Mission has also raised the delay in visa
renewals of the following Cuban Mission officials and
dependents which have been pending in some cases since
December/January: Third Secretary Yunia D'Celis Acosta
(21Oct1978)-transfer of visa from old to new passport;
Attache Geraldo Sanchez Ferer (26May1972), Attache Pedro
Cabrera Larranaga (08May1950); Second Secretary and spouse of
ambassador Griselle Guadalupe Castano Rey (25Dec1954); and
Second Secretary Michel Rivero Medina (18July1972); and three
of his depemndents. As these indivduals, like Permanent
Representative Malmierca, are all based in New York, have all
received visas previously, and will ultimately receive their
official (G) visas which the U.S. is obligated by the UN
Headquarters Agreement to issue as promptly as possible, the
Cuban Mission asks why the administrative processing in these
cases requires two months or more to conclude. As in the case
with Amb. Malmierca, we expect the Cubans to raise these
cases of delay in visa renewals at the next Host Country
Committee meeting when reftels are discussed, .

4. (SBU) Comment: The Cuban complaints concerning delays in
visa issuance to the Cuban Permrep, the former Cuban
Representative to the Host Country Committee and to Cuban
Mission officials and their dependents in New York and often
also those officials coming from Havana, will likely be
supported and echoed by other delegations whose nationals are
also subject to lengthy administrative processing for visa
renewal (Russian Federation, Iran, Sudan, Syria). We believe
the allegations will resonate with many other members of the
Committee and the many observer delegations who will
interpret the delays in U.S. visa issuance as discriminatory,
arbitrary treatment by the US in targeting the nationals of
countries it dislikes for political reasons. The Chairman of
the Host Country Committee (Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis,
Cyprus), who is invariably symathetic to U.S. interests in
the Committee, has warned USUN that the frequency and level
of complaintw he has received has never been higher, and the
U.S. should address the issue.
KHALILZAD

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