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Cablegate: Day of Solidarity with Cuba in Canada

VZCZCXRO1067
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBW RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHIK
RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHQU RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVC
RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHOT #0694 1431533
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221533Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7900
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000694

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO CU CA
SUBJECT: DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA IN CANADA

REF: A. STATE 51536
B. OTTAWA 628
C. STATE 46997

1. (U) Following Embassy outreach to the Prime Minister's
Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade (reftels) to encourage Canadian actions
in support of the Day of Solidarity with Cuba, Foreign
Minister Maxime Bernier issued the following statement "in
recognition of May 21 as the Day of Solidarity with the Cuban
People:"

quote

Canada's links with the people of Cuba go back many years.
Indeed, Cuba was the first Caribbean nation selected by
Canada as a location for a Canadian diplomatic mission.

Canada engages Cuban society through our diplomatic presence
which is aimed at helping to lay the groundwork for a Cuba
that upholds freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of
law. This is in keeping with our renewed engagement in the
Americas.

Canada continues to monitor developments in Cuba closely, and
we are concerned about the plight of political prisoners,
especially those suffering from poor health. It is our hope
that recent shifts will open the way for the Cuban people to
pursue a process of political and economic reform.

end quote

2. (U) The "National Post" -- the leading daily of Canada's
only truly national newspaper chain -- on May 21 published an
op ed piece by Ambassador Wilkins based on ref a text.

3. (U) Mission Canada websites prominently feature the
President's statement and other Department texts and links.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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