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Cablegate: May 21 - Day of Solidarity with the Cuban People

VZCZCXRO6529
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0437 1371707
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161707Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8004
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000437

SIPDIS

FOR WHA/CCA

E.O. 12958; NA
TAGS: KDEM PHUM PREL EUN CU CG
SUBJECT: MAY 21 - DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE

REF: (A) STATE 45972; (B) STATE 46997

1. As background in responding to reftels, the Government of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has warm relations with Cuba.
In fact, former President Laurent Kabila, whose son Joseph is the
DRC's current head of state, fought alongside Che Guevara in the
1960's in the eastern Congo in Guevara's ill-fated African adventure
to oust military dictator (and former U.S. ally) Joseph-Desire
Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seku). With Kabila's 1997 triumph over
Mobutu after a conflict that lasted some 30 years, pro-Cuban
Congolese are in most key government positions. Nonetheless,
attitudes towards Cuba are changing slowly as the old guard is
replaced by a new generation of leaders.

2. Charge approached Mangenda Tshibangu, deputy chief editor of Le
Potentiel, a prominent Kinshasa daily, who has agreed in principle
to publish an op-ed piece on the Day of Cuban Solidarity in the
newspaper's May 21 edition. Embassy is translating into French the
op-ed piece provided by the Department. Other materials will be
sent as a press packet to major media outlets and will also be
posted on Embassy's bilingual website. Finally, although occurring
after the Day of Cuban Solidarity, on May 24 DCM will speak on Cuba
to a group of university students.

BROCK

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