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Cablegate: Panama: Cuba Demarche Delivered On Human Rights

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHZP #0577 1971645
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 151645Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY PANAMA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2282

C O N F I D E N T I A L PANAMA 000577

DEPT PASS TO WHADP COLLECTIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2018
TAGS: PREL PHUM EUN CU
SUBJECT: PANAMA: CUBA DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON HUMAN RIGHTS
AND DEMOCRACY

REF: SECSTATE 71974

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY POLCOUNS BRIAN R. NARANJO 1.4 (d)

1. (C) POL met with MFA human rights officer Janio Tunon to
discuss respect for human rights and the need for democratic
change in Cuba. POL encouraged Panama to engage in dialogue
with Cuba and promote the human rights benchmarks set by the
European Union. Tunon stated that Panama's relationship with
Cuba was based on commercial ties and trade, asserting that
Panama would not push Cuba to discuss "sensitive political
matters." Tunon highlighted that Raul Castro's economic
reforms demonstrated progress towards a liberal market
economy, his regime would evolve at its own pace, and Cuba
would not be influenced by external players.

-------
Comment
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2. (C) Panama is loathed to engage on human rights and
democratic change in Cuba. Tunon's response to this demarche
was a complete regurgitation of Panama's views on its
engagement with the Cuban regime. While often holding itself
out as a "valid interlocutor" with the regime, Panama is
unwilling to carry water regarding respect for human rights
and the need for democratic change.
MESA

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