Cablegate: Cuba: Mfa On Inviting Dissidents to Spanish

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 003914



E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/05/2014


OF 10/6 D) STATE 215870

Classified By: Political Counselor Kathy Fitzpatrick; reasons 1.5 (B) a
nd (D).

1. (C) Poloff contacted MFA Deputy Director General for
Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Pedro Gomez de
Olea on 10/7 to discuss reports that the Spanish Embassy in
Havana was planning to break with EU policy by not inviting
dissidents to its national day reception on 10/12. Gomez de
Olea, who had clearly anticipated poloff's call, said he had
no information to provide because the decision on whether to
invite dissidents would be made by Foreign Minister Moratinos
himself. He said that, to his knowledge, no final decision
had been made.

2. (C) Gomez de Olea (please protect) indicated a certain
exasperation with the issue, saying it had been his
understanding that the GOS would comply with EU policies
calling for the inclusion of national day event, but that it
now seemed FM Moratinos felt he had to make the decision
himself. Gomez de Olea said it was likely no decision would
be made until right before the 10/12 event and that he would
likely learn of it at the same time we did. He added that it
was well known that the GOS wanted to revisit EU measures
against the GOC to find "more effective" tools, but his tone
suggested frustration with the way in which the issue of
invitations is being handled by FM Moratinos.

3. (C) Poloff inquired about the accuracy of news reports
that Cuban FM Perez Roque had told Moratinos in New York that
noted political prisoner Raul Rivero would not be released if
Spain invited dissidents to its national day event, comments
which Popular Party politicians denounced as blackmail.
Gomez de Olea scoffed, saying that Perez Roque had not made
such a statement, but that in fact his comments were even
"more insulting" than those reported. He said Perez Roque
demanded not only the lifting of EU measures undertaken in
the wake of the 2003 GOC crackdown on dissident, but also the
full revision of the EU Common Position to remove all
European political conditions on improved ties with Cuba.


4. (C) Poloff took advantage of the conversation to review
ref D points regarding the upcoming Cuba embargo resolution.
Gomez de Olea said Spain would hew closely to past EU
practice, including voting in favor of the Cuban resolution
while criticizing GOC human rights practices in an
Explanation of Vote. This was GOS policy under the Aznar
Government as well. We will follow up by delivering ref D
points to the MFA Office of UN Affairs.


5. (C) Moratinos' positions on Cuba continue to undermine the
Zapatero Administration's contention that human rights will
remain on the forefront of GOS policy towards Cuba. Instead,
Moratinos appears to favor "dialogue at any cost" with
respect to Cuba and seems willing to risk the ire of both the
EU and the USG in order to improve relations with the GOC.
Even if Moratinos does opt to invite dissidents, this episode
makes it abundantly clear that the GOS will continue to chip
away at EU resolve to hold the GOC to at least minimal human
rights standards. Given Spanish public opposition to U.S.
policy towards Cuba, the Zapatero Government could be tempted
to portray any rapprochement with Havana as yet another
demonstration of its "independence" f

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