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Cablegate: Country Clearance for Treasury Advisor Joseph


DE RUEHAC #1123/01 3112015
P 072015Z NOV 06





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Per reftel, country clearance is granted for Joseph
Bognanno, Diplomatic Passport: 900525202, Clearance:Secret,
for travel to Asuncion during the period of November 27 -
December 1, 2006, for the purpose of working with INL to
provide technical assistance to the Superintendent of Banks
and Financial Intelligence Unit of Paraguay. The conrol
officer for the visit is Oscar Rivera, office tel.:
011-595-21-213-715, ext. 2238. Fax: 011-595-21-214-479.

2. Due to budget constraints, post will only provide airport
expediter for initial arrival and final departure of
employees assigned to post, as well as for senior officials.
Other travelers requiring special assistance should request
an expediter in advance and provide fiscal data. Taxis are
available from the airport. A taxi ride from the airport to
your hotel may cost you anywhere from 45,000 to 60,000
guaranies, approximately 8 to 12 USD.

3. All U.S. citizens traveling to Paraguay are now required
to have visas. Airport and border visas are not available at
this time. Please contact the Paraguayan Embassy or closest
Consulate for more information, especially if you require a
multiple entry visa.

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4. Airport Tax: All visitors are requested to pay airport tax
when departing Paraguay. For international flights, the tax
is US$25 per passenger (vat-exempt) or guarani equivalent,
payable in cash only. Accredited personnel are exempted from
paying this tax.

5. If travel plans involve visiting neighboring countries in
the region, please arrive with appropriate visas and obtain
country clearances from the appropriate U.S. Embassies.
Brazil and Argentina requires visas for official travelers on
diplomatic, official, and/or personal passports. Official
visitors contemplating travel to Iguazu Falls should advise
the Embassy before doing so as well as Embassy Brasilia
and/or Embassy Buenos Aires if they plan to cross into Brazil
and Argentina. Travelers are reminded that Iguazu Falls is
located on the border of Brazil and Argentina, about ten
miles east of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, and that travelers
from Paraguay cross into Brazil.

6. Threat Assessment:

A. Political Violence-Terrorism: There are no political
groups or parties currently active in Paraguay that
specifically target U.S. interests. Because of reports
indicating the presence of members of, and support for,
extremist terrorists groups in the tri-border region (Alto
Parana and Itapua Departments), visitors here cannot discount
the possibility of terrorist activity, to include random acts
of anti-American violence. Small, armed groups have also
been reported to be operating in the Concepcion and San Pedro

B. Crime: Paraguay is a high-threat post for crime. Petty
street crime in the city of Asuncion and the immediate
suburbs continues to be a problem for residents and visitors
alike. Visitors to the city of Asuncion should be aware of
problems with pickpockets or purse snatchers on the street or
on public transportation. Until recently, most crime
affecting visitors has been non-violent; aggravated
robberies, shootings, etc., while not completely unheard of
in Asuncion, were nonetheless uncommon. However, incidents
of armed robberies of businesses and residences by criminal
groups are occurring with greater frequency, and as a result,
it is recommended that due caution be exercised when
traveling about the city.

7. The seasons in Paraguay are the opposite of those in the
United States. Asuncion,s climate is extremely hot from
November through April and cool or mild in July and August.
The transitional seasons, May ) June and September )
October are unpredictable: they can be pleasant or hot.
Health conditions generally are good. The water in Asuncion
is potable, and there are few reports of intestinal or
stomach problems. There is no endemic hepatitis or malaria
in Asuncion although outbreaks of dengue fever are recurrent.

8. As of 6 November 2006 the exchange rate is approximately
5,380 guaranies to one US dollar. Personal finances:
Official travelers may cash personal checks at the Embassy
for amounts up to US $5,000 monthly; and use their ATM cards
at one of the many terminals located throughout the city.
Because of restrictions with the embassy bank, ABN-AMRO,

traveler's checks may only be cashed with one of the local
exchange houses.

9. Laptops, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) may not be
brought into the Embassy without the prior approval of the
Regional Security Office. Personally owned laptops, PDAs may
not/not be used in the Embassy. USG-owned laptops may only be
used in Controlled Access Areas (CAA) if the user certifies
that the computer has been continuously under the personal
control of a cleared American throughout transit. If this
requirement is not met, the laptop can only be utilized
outside of the CAA. USG-owned PDAs are under the same
restrictions as cellular phones and other electronic devices,
and may not be utilized within the CAA.

10. Security Clearance: State Department policy requires that
all official visitors verify their security clearances, in
writing, with the RSO in order to have unescorted access to
the Embassy. Visitors whose clearances are not verified must
be escorted at all times. TDY,ers must schedule a security
in-briefing with the security office as soon as possible
after arriving at post. Access badges will not be issued
until the employee has acknowledged receipt of the required
security briefing.

11. Administrative support: Each visitor, regardless of
length of stay, must bring or forward fiscal data to pay for
direct costs of the visit. Each agency, organization or
visiting delegation will be charged for the actual costs
attributed to its visit. Direct charge costs include, but
are not limited to: American and LES overtime (for such
services as airport expediting, cashier accommodation
exchange, control room staffing, representational event
support), travel and per diem costs incurred by post
personnel in support of visitor's field travel, rental of
vehicles and other equipment, long distance telephone calls,
office supplies, gasoline and other vehicle maintenance
costs, departure tax and other airport fees. Post will not
provide service if fiscal data is not provided for the direct

12. For TDYers remaining at post over 30 days, there is a
charge for ICASS support services. This charge is for the
following ICASS services: Basic Package, CLO and Health
Services. Agencies will not be billed until the accumulated
invoice costs for TDY support exceeds $2,500 for the fiscal
year. If your sponsoring agency is not signed up for ICASS
services at post, please be prepared to sign a Memorandum of
Understanding for ICASS support services upon arrival. The
agency should provide post with a written communication,
generated by the traveler's headquarters, that confirms the
agency will pay ICASS charges for the TDYer, provides the
agency ICASS billing code to which the TDY support charges
should be applied, and authorizes the traveler to sign the
ICASS invoice generated by the TDY module. Where travel is
urgent, the TDYer should bring this documentation with
him/her to ensure there are not interruptions in the
provision of service. Post will not provide service to a
TDYer staying in excess of thirty days without provision of
this documentation before day 31 of the TDY.

13. For further general information regarding travel to
Paraguay travelers should consult the Department of State
internet site at http://travel.state.gov/, which includes the
latest consular information sheet for Paraguay.

14. We look forward to meeting and working with you. Warm

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