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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Cuba: Castro Transition

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #1843 2411316
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291316Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9880
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0041

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001843

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, WHA/CCA
STATE FOR INR/IAA, PM, INL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KPAO KMDR PHUM PGOV CI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - CUBA: CASTRO TRANSITION


1. On August 27, private TV channel Chilevision international pundit
Raul Sohr commented about U.S. policy towards Cuba, drawing on a
recent DVC at Embassy Santiago with A/S Shannon. Sohr stated:

2. "The United States is carrying out a very complicated policy
towards Cuba. On one hand, the highest U.S. diplomat for Latin
America, Tom Shannon, has said that the United States is willing to
lift the embargo if Cuba initiates a series of political reforms,
liberates political prisoners, and allows the existence of
independent political parties and moves towards free elections,
which sounds reasonable. In exchange for this, the United States
would begin to lift the embargo."

3. "What is not acceptable is that in parallel to this, the United
States designates a mission director for Cuba and Venezuela, a top
level member of the CIA whose main responsibility is to gather
information and determine a strategy towards Cuba and Venezuela.
This obviously does not stimulate change by Cuba. The only thing it
can produce is opposition to negotiations with the United States.
These are mixed signals that are very contradictory."

KELLY

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