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Cablegate: Dominican Republic: Demarche On Venezuelan

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

UNCLAS SANTO DOMINGO 004579

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM KPAO VE DR
SUBJECT: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: DEMARCHE ON VENEZUELAN
REFERENDUM

REF: STATE 168747

1. (SBU) On August 6 poloff delivered points para 3 reftel to
MFA international organizations deputy director Rhadys Abreu
de Polanco, and urged the GODR to issue a statement
supporting a free, fair, and transparent process in the
Venezuelan presidential referendum August 15. Poloff also
advocated engagement of local NGOs on the referendum issue.

2. (SBU) Abreu de Polanco undertook to pass our request to
Foreign Secretary Frank Guerrero Prats. She noted, however,
the GODR's policy of non-intervention in other nations'
internal affairs and the need for any statement to be
scrupulously evenhanded and based on democratic principles.
She downplayed the possible role of any Dominican NGOs,
claiming that -- fairly or unfairly -- they are often
perceived has being partisan. Poloff asked that we be
informed of the foreign secretary's decision regarding a GODR
statement.

3. (SBU) Comment: The GODR will undergo a change of
administrations on August 16, the day after the Venezuelan
referendum. Senior officials in the GODR, including many at
the MFA, expect to be replaced by persons sympathetic to
President-elect Leonel Fernandez's PLD. Some mid-rank
officials hope to be retained by the new administration.

4. (SBU) Relations with Caracas are sensitive because of the
GODR's reliance on oil supplies from Venezuela. Fernandez
briefly visited President Chavez in June, and local press has
reported Chavez's announced intention to attend Fernandez's
inauguration on August 16. Under these circumstances, it is
unlikely the outgoing administration will issue any statement
on the referendum.

5. (SBU) The small number of Dominican NGOs respected for
their advocacy of democracy-related topics focus entirely on
domestic political reforms and respect for human rights.
They lack the mandate for international engagement.
KUBISKE

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