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Cablegate: Cuba: Nsc-Directed Country-by-Country Review

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

UNCLAS BRASILIA 001522

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D COPY (TEXT - PARA 1)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC PREL BR
SUBJECT: CUBA: NSC-DIRECTED COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY REVIEW
REGARDING SUSPENSION OF TITLE III OF THE LIBERTAD ACT

REF: A. A) BRASILIA 1454
B. B) STATE 96300
C. C) 2004 BRASILIA 2938

1. (U) Text below is in response to reftel B tasking.

2. (SBU) Brazil has close relations with Cuba and through
engagement hopes to spread democratic values to the island.
While the GOB is reluctant to criticize publicly the human
rights policies of the Castro regime, behind the scenes the
Brazilian government is often critical of both Cuba's lack
of democratic process and human rights violations. Much of
this stems from the fact that senior leaders in the Lula
Administration and the PT (i.e., the President's party)
sought refuge in Cuba when confronted with persecution by
Brazil,s former military government. Brazil consistently
abstains on UN resolutions critical of Cuba's policies, and
this year the Brazilian government voted to abstain on the
Cuba resolution at the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR)
in Geneva. Analysts here note, however, that the GOB,s
abstention reflects more worries that the issue has been
politicized at the UNCHR than any desire to whitewash the
abysmal human rights record of the Castro government.
Brazilian NGOs and particularly Brazilian journalists tend to
be less reticent than the Brazilian government in publicly
criticizing Castro and Cuba's treatment of opponents to the
regime. In 2004, the Brazilian press attacked the GOB,s
failure to speak out regarding the harsh sentencing dealt out
to Cuban human rights activists; at that time, the
Brazilian Senate passed a public resolution critical of the
Cuban government's crackdown on the dissidents.

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3. (SBU) With respect to Brazilian investment in Cuba,
beyond the transactions reported in reftel B, the Brazilian
petroleum parastatal Petrobras, in conjunction with
Venezuela's PDVSA and a local Cuban partner,intend to
construct a USD 20 million lubricant factory in Havana, Cuba.
While Petrobras sources note that under "ideal
circumstances" the contract would be three-way, Cuban foreign
ownership laws do not allow this as they only permit
Petrobras and PDVSA to own a total of 49 percent.

DANILOVICH

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