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Cablegate: Day of Solidarity with Cuban People - Vietnam Response

VZCZCXRO9550
RR RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #0517 1261005
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051005Z MAY 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7745
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4669

UNCLAS HANOI 000517

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, WHA/CCA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PHUM PGOV PREL EUN CU VM

SUBJECT: DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBAN PEOPLE - VIETNAM RESPONSE

REF: STATE 45792
1. (SBU) Mission Vietnam has considered activities for May 21 - Day
of Solidarity with the Cuban People. We will continue to raise our
concerns about Cuba discreetly to key players in the GVN. In view
of local considerations, however, we have not scheduled any public
outreach activities.
2. (SBU) These considerations include the fact that Vietnam is a
traditional Communist ally of the Cuban government, and - at present
- Vietnam's state-controlled press will not allow any piece directly
or indirectly critical of the Cuban government. In fact, activism
on our part could spark a concerted propaganda counter attack, which
could prove effective in negatively affecting views towards the
United States. Any activity highlighting the plight of political
prisoners, in particular, would lead the regime to react,
considering that Vietnam has political prisoners of its own.

3. (SBU) The (relatively) good news is that, despite its long
history of ties with Cuba, Vietnam does not have extensive relations
and there is a very small number of Cubans living in Vietnam. Over
time, we expect that continued progress in our bilateral relations
will erode the affinity still felt by some for the Cuban regime and
people. In future years, with continued progress, we will be better
positioned to contribute to these global efforts.
4. (U) This cable was coordinated with ConGen Ho Chi Minh City.
MICHALAK

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