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Cablegate: Mexico Outreach with Activists for Democracy And

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHME #2190 1982140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 162140Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2594

UNCLAS MEXICO 002190

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL A/S KRAMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL CU MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO OUTREACH WITH ACTIVISTS FOR DEMOCRACY AND
DISSIDENTS

REF: STATE 44903

1. (SBU) Poloff met with Eduardo Matias Lopez Ferrer,
President of the Cuban-Mexican Civic Association in Mexico,
and his wife on June 27, to express support for his
organization in response reftel request to meet with
dissidents from un-free nations who are living in exile in
Mexico.

2. (SBU) The Mexican press recently reported Matias public
criticism of Mexico's handling of Cuban immigrants. He
asserted that a qualitative change in policy occurred
beginning in April 2005 when Mexico began deporting some
Cubans back to Cuba. (Comment: While Mexico seeks to
repatriate all undocumented Cubans it detains, Cuba refuses
to repatriate those who arrived via a third country and
overall accepts very few. The two countries are negotiating
a migration agreement but it is not clear whether they will
be able to reconcile the divide over repatriation in time
for signature of the document when the Cuban FM visits
Mexico. End Comment.) Matias questioned why Mexico does not
regard these migrants as assets contributing to the country's
development and blamed the problems most Cubans face on
corruption within the Mexican National Institute for
Migration (INM). He claimed that wealthier Cubans (who can
bribe officials) are given preferential treatment by corrupt
Mexican immigration officers. He believed that INM officials
had facilitated the recent "hijacking" of a bus with 33
undocumented Cubans, rejecting the notion that this operation
was carried out by Cuban-American smugglers as widely
reported by media.

3. (SBU) During the meeting with Poloff, Matias also opined
that Raul Castro was going to be even more repressive than
Fidel, pointing to his recent handling of student protests.
He thought that Raul, who is more business oriented, would
follow the Chinese model of "external capitalism and internal
communism." When asked about the U.S. trade embargo with
Cuba, Matias maintained that it was, in practice, not
effective in preventing goods from reaching Cuba. He said
that his organization is currently involved in an effort to
get Cuba to use a single currency. He explained that workers
in Cuba are being paid in the national currency but that the
majority of food and other essential supplies can only be
purchased with "convertible" currency.

4. (U) Post will continue its outreach to dissidents from
un-free nations who are living in exile in Mexico and report
as appropriate.

Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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