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Cablegate: Panamanian Ambassador to Sweden Questions Visa Revocation

VZCZCXYZ0009
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSM #0688 2910652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170652Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3806
INFO RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0016

UNCLAS STOCKHOLM 000688

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS PREL PM SW
SUBJECT: PANAMANIAN AMBASSADOR TO SWEDEN QUESTIONS VISA REVOCATION

REF: (A) STATE 103325 (B) STOCKHOLM 000663

1. (SBU) Panamanian Ambassador to Sweden Cecilio Eduardo Simon
English (DPOB: 01-OCT-1951, Panama) met with DCM and Consul on 14
October in reference to reftel A notice that his B1/B2 visa has been
revoked under INA 212(A)(3). The visibly distressed Ambassador
stated that he was not an enemy of the United States and that the
revocation was bewildering and personally embarrassing.

2. (SBU) English voiced concern that he was being punished for his
past political opposition to the U.S. invasion of Panama, or his
later studies in Cuba. If so, he wondered why he had later received
a number of U.S. visas and had traveled to the United States on at
least six different occasions without incident, including once with
the International Visitors Program, and another in connection with a
USAID grant he received to promote rule of law in Central America.


3. (SBU) The DCM assured Ambassador English that the revocation was
not in response to any perceived political position or opinion he
held. Instead, he reviewed with Ambassador English the text of INA
212(A)(3), and noted the visa had been revoked on Department orders
as a precaution due to to what appeared to be an allegation of
criminal activity, for which the Embassy had no further information.
He advised the Ambassador to inquire directly with the Department
through the Panamanian Embassy in Washington. The DCM added that
the Ambassador should reapply at the Embassy if he wished to
determine his eligibility for a future visa. Ambassador English
said he understood the Embassy's position, and that he would do the
same in our shoes. He added that both his Ministry and Embassy in
Washington were informed of the case and may inquire further.

WOOD

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