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Cablegate: Cuba: Review of Libertad Act Title Iii Suspension

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANTO DOMINGO 005409

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR WHA/CCA AND WHA/CAR-SEARBY;
NSC FOR FISK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CU ETRD ETTC PREL DR
SUBJECT: CUBA: REVIEW OF LIBERTAD ACT TITLE III SUSPENSION
- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

REF: A. STATE 207359

B. SANTO DOMINGO 3161

1. (SBU) Summary: This cable responds to Ref A tasking and
updates the information provided in our last report six
months ago (Ref B). President Fernandez in the second year
of his administration has made no significant change in his
low-profile approach to Cuban issues. As in previous years,
the Dominican Republic joined the UNGA majority in voting for
a resolution criticizing the U.S. embargo. Interaction is
limited to educational, sports, and technical exchanges,
visits to Cuba by Dominican tourists, and residence in Cuba
by a few church-affiliated social workers. A senior
Dominican official, Higher Education Secretary Ligia Amado de
Cardona, visited Cuba several months ago to attend the annual
graduation of approximately 50 Dominican medical students,
part of an ongoing program. Embassy considers that U.S.
national interests and Dominican Government actions justify
continued renewal of the waiver of Title III of the Libertad
Act with regard to Dominican businesses.

Dominican Businesses and Cuba
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) As in our last report (Ref B), Embassy considers
that U.S. national interests and the actions of the Dominican
Government justify a renewal of the waiver of Title III of
the Libertad Act with regard to Dominican businesses that may
be involved in joint ventures with the Government of Cuba or
significant trade with Cuba. A further Embassy inquiry to
MFA Director of the Americas Francia Sencion has not resulted
in identification of any Dominican companies or entities with
investments or joint ventures that would trigger Title III
concerns. There continues to be little Dominican investment
in Cuba, and Embassy has no information about any conflict
between Dominican investors and U.S. citizens with property
claims in Cuba. Embassy has not received any complaints by
any U.S. citizens against any Dominican company related to
any investment in Cuba or Dominican Republic-Cuba trade.

Dominican Vote at the UNGA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. (U) The only international organization vote on Cuba in
the past six months, to Embassy's knowledge, approved the
annual UNGA resolution criticizing the U.S. embargo on
economic exchanges with Cuba. The Dominican Republic joined
the large majority voting against the United States position.
.

Cuban-Dominican Technical Cooperation and Exchanges
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. (SBU) The administration of President Fernandez, now in
its second year, has continued to take a low profile on Cuban
issues. Technical cooperation is arranged between the
Technical Secretariat of the Presidency in the Dominican
Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Investment in Cuba. An
official of the Technical Secretariat has informed us that
currently, approximately 44 Cuban sports trainers are in this
country helping to train Dominican sports coaches, and about
18 Dominican technicians in physical education are in Cuba
performing similar functions. In October and November, the
Dominican Ministry of Education sponsored a visit by a Cuban
expert on adult literacy training, who trained Dominican
teachers in a program to improve literacy among low-income
residents, starting in the big capital city barrio of
Capotillo. A Cuban psychology professor resident here and
teaching at a Dominican university showed political officer
some of the printed training materials, which appeared to be
technically well done but with an obvious political slant.
The professor said the literacy trainer had returned to Cuba
in November, but was expected to return in January to
continue the project.

5. (SBU) According to the MFA, the number of Dominican
students studying medicine in Cuba continues at about 200-250
at any time. The annual graduation of about 50 Dominican
medical students was attended this year by Dominican
Secretary of Higher Education Dra. Ligia Amado de Cardona;

SIPDIS
last year we understand the same event was attended by the
MFA Americas director. (For further details on the program,
see Ref B para 5.)

6. (SBU) Cuban authorities completed the transfer of the
first Dominican prisoner to the Dominican Republic under a
2002 prisoner-exchange accord, and arrangements are being
made for the transfer of two other Dominicans now in custody
in Cuba. MFA Under Secretary for Consular Affairs Rosario
Graciano told us that the cases involved immigration law
violations and/or alien smuggling.

7. (SBU) According to the Technical Secretariat, the
Dominican agency (INESPRE) that provides subsidized food to
low-income persons has agreed to provide technical assistance
to Cuba on this subject, to begin early in 2006. Two other
Dominican Government entities -- the Dominican Petroleum
Refinery (REFIDOMSA) and the Dominican Telecommunications
Institute (INDOTEL) are drafting accords with Cuban
counterparts for technical exchanges, but these have not been
finalized.

8. (SBU) The annual meeting of the Cuban-Dominican Mixed
Commission, which had been tentatively scheduled for
September (Ref B para 8), was postponed because the
principals (Technical Secretary of the Presidency Temistocles
Montas and the Cuban Minister of Foreign Investment), were
traveling elsewhere. The Dominican Technical Secretariat has
proposed a new date in January and is awaiting a Cuban
response.
HERTELL

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