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Cablegate: Venezuela Refuses Usg Request for Aviation

VZCZCXRO2941
PP RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHMT
RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHCV #1364 2702255
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 262255Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1877
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS CARACAS 001364

SIPDIS

HQ SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
TREASURY FOR MMALLOY
COMMERCE FOR 4431/MAC/WH/MCAMERON
CA FOR CA/OCS/ACS FOR WILLIAM HURST

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: VE CASC ASEC MARR PGOV ECON EAIR
SUBJECT: VENEZUELA REFUSES USG REQUEST FOR AVIATION
CONSULTATIONS

REF: CARACAS 1266

1. (U) On September 16 the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) and the Venezuelan Civil Aviation Authority
(INAC) both acknowledged receipt of the Embassy's diplomatic
note requesting consultations under the authority of the 1953
bilateral aviation agreement with Venezuela. That note cited
the September 10 INAC letter that threatened U.S. carriers
Delta, Continental and American with flight reductions
starting Sunday September 28 and requested consultations
prior to any action against U.S. airlines (reftel). Since
that date the Embassy has followed up daily to request a
response to the diplomatic note. The response (informal
translation in Para. 2 below) arrived on Friday, September 26
at 6:00 pm DC time.

2. (U) An informal translation of Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuelan (BRV) Diplomatic Note No. 000564 follows.

BEGIN TEXT INFORMAL TRANSLATION:


The Ministry of Popular Power for International Relations,
Office of the Vice Minister for North American Affairs and
Multilateral Issues, salutes the Honorable Embassy of the
United States of America and would like to take this
opportunity to refer to the Verbal Note No. 617 dated
September 16, 2009, directed to the National Institute of
Civil Aviation (INAC) regarding a request for consultations
on the part of the Embassy referring to the air frequencies
of U.S. airlines.

The Minister of Popular Power for International Relations,
Office of the Vice Minister for North American Affairs and
Multilateral Issues would like to inform that, in response to
the above mentioned communication from the Embassy, the
National Institute of Civil Aviation (INAC) highlights the
following points:

The National Aeronautic authority observes with satisfaction
the request presented by the Embassy of the United States,
which finally came under the framework established in the
commercial aviation treaty signed and in effect between both
countries.

However, it is curious that the above mentioned request was
made in the interests of avoiding frequency reductions of
airlines of the United States by this Authority; when it was
the U.S. federal transport agency (TSA) which decided to act
in such a suppressive and inconsistent manner, before the day
established by this same agency (TSA) and thereby committed
an outrage against the normal development of air transport
between both countries and tried also to impose by
extraterritorial force internal U.S. laws in our nation. In
light of the aforementioned considerations, this Institute
hopes that TSA will desist in its actions against national
aviation, and cease in its line of disparaging remarks, in
this instance against national air terminals, so that the
Venezuelan State can effectively evaluate the possible
consultations.

Complimentary closing. Caracas, September 26, 2008.

3. (U) Comment. We will now wait to see whether the BRV will
cut U.S. air carrier flight frequencies on Sunday, September
28, as threatened by INAC in its September 10 letter to U.S.
companies. Despite the strident tone of this message, it is
unclear whether the BRV will carry out its threat to reduce
frequencies effective September 28.
CAULFIELD

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