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Cablegate: Media Report: American Delegation Criticizes U.S.

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 002735

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA, AF/PDPA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT: AMERICAN DELEGATION CRITICIZES U.S.
POSITION ON LAND REFORM IN ZIM; HARARE


1. The lead story in the December 2 edition of the
government-controlled daily "The Herald" is based on a
report released by a delegation of American elected
officials after their two-week fact-finding visit to
Zimbabwe. The report criticizes the United States' position
on Zimbabwe's controversial land reform program. Under
headline "U.S. stance on land rapped" the newspaper carried
the following article:

2. "New York City councilors have attacked the U.S.
Government for its position on Zimbabwe's land issue which
they say is heavily influenced by a biased former colonial
power, Britain. `We cannot expect Britain to have a
neutral position on the land issue,' the councilors said in
a report compiled after a two-week fact-finding tour in
Zimbabwe. The report urges U.S. to immediately lift travel
restrictions against government officials and help kick-
start dialogue between Zimbabwe and Britain. `It would be
difficult for the Zimbabwean officials to state their case
to the world if they are restricted from traveling to other
countries. How can the U.S. have dialogue with North Korea
and Iraq, in the interest of peace, while preventing
Zimbabwean officials from traveling to articulate their
position?' The U.S., they said, was supposed to be neutral
and help resolve the dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain
instead of taking sides. `Without an independent U.S.
position, it will be difficult to act as an honest broker,'
they
said. . .The councilors said they had found that
there were double standards when Western countries,
especially Britain and the U.S., talked about
democracy and human rights in Africa. They called
for increased commercial contacts and visits by
ordinary Americans to Zimbabwe, including the media,
to observe the changes occurring in the Southern
African country. . . ."

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3. Comment: Although the local media are referring to the
group as a "delegation from the New York City Council," the
fact-finding mission included other American elected
officials. New York City Council members Charles Barron (D-
Brooklyn) and James Davis (D-Brooklyn) were accompanied on
their visit to Zimbabwe by New York State Assembly member
Adam Clayton Powell IV (D-Harlem) and Illinois State
Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago). The group was in
country October 11-23, 2002.

SULLIVAN

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