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Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Nasa's Compton Tucker

VZCZCXYZ0017
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #3060/01 3181954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141954Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1274

UNCLAS LA PAZ 003060

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/SAT AND WHA/AND LPETRONI
STATE PASS TO NASA/GSFC TPOSEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT AFIN ASEC TSPA OTRA BL
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR NASA'S COMPTON TUCKER

REF: STATE 186472

1. Embassy La Paz is pleased to grant country clearance
to Compton J. Tucker, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, to
travel to Santa Cruz, Bolivia December 5-16, 2006 for
analysis of global positioning system and satellite data from
glacial areas. Clearance is granted on the understanding
that Mr. Tucker has read and understood the security and
medical warnings in paragraphs six and seven of this
telegram. Commencing travel serves as confirmation that none
of these restrictions apply. Embassy La Paz is unaware of
any security clearance for Mr. Tucker.

2. The U.S. Embassy has received reports from official
visitors and tourists of Lloyd Aereo Boliviano domestic and
international flight cancellations, with resultant delays and
other inconveniences for travelers. Given Lloyd's severe
financial difficulties and reduced number of aircraft, delays
and flight cancellations have been and will likely remain
common. Official visitors and tourists should keep this in
mind when making travel plans.

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3. Mr. Tucker's control officer will be
Economic/Commercial Officer Colleen Crenwelge, who can be
reached at 591-715-30321 (cell) and 591-2-216-8225 (office).

4. Visa requirements: Personnel traveling with Official
or Diplomatic passports must obtain a visa before they
commence travel.

5. Funding: Each visitor, regardless of length of stay,
must bring/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: airport
transportation and expediting; driving services; 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, procurement/small
purchasing; departure tax and other airport fees. Post will
not provide service if fiscal data is not provided for the
direct charges.

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. The
charge per month is approximately $86.00. Agencies will not
be billed until the accumulated invoice cost 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 no interruptions in the provision of
service. Post will not provide any service to a TDYer
staying in excess of thirty days without provision of this
documentation before day 31 of the TDY.

6. Security Advisories:

6A) Bolivia is currently rated at medium to high threat
level for crime.

6B) Although there have been no recent terrorist incidents
targeting U.S. Mission Personnel, visitors are advised to
maintain a high level of security awareness and take normal
precautions, such as varying times and routes, while in
Bolivia.

6C) Demonstrations frequently occur in La Paz,
occasionally involving violence between police and
demonstrators; visitors should avoid areas where
demonstrations are taking place.

6D) Pick pocketing, purse snatching and car theft are
common and all personnel are advised to limit the cash,
credit cards, jewelry and other valuables they carry on the
city streets.

6E) Because of recurring incidents of civil unrest and
violence in the Chapare area (between Cochabamba and Santa
Cruz), all visitors to the Chapare must check with the
Embassy Regional Security Office before traveling to that
area.

7. Medical -- Attention! Very Important!

7A) Altitude: The altitude of La Paz is between 10,000
feet and 13,400 feet (4,075 meters) above sea level. The
altitude alone poses a serious risk of illness,
hospitalization, and even death, if you have a medical
condition that affects blood circulation or breathing.

7B) State Department's Office of Medical Services (M/MED)
strongly advises against any travel (including temporary
duty) to La Paz if you have:

7B1) Sickle Cell Anemia or Sickle Cell Trait: at least 30
percent of persons with Sickle Cell Trait will have a crisis
at elevations of more than 8,000 feet. In the U.S., sickle
cell trait occurs in 7 to 10 percent of the African-American
population and in 0.046 percent of persons of other origin.

7B2) Heart Disease: If you are a man 45 years or older, or
a woman 55 years or older, and have two of the following risk
factors (Hypertension, Diabetes, cigarette smoking, or
elevated cholesterol), it is highly recommended to have a
cardiologist evaluation before coming.

7B3) Lung Disease: If you have asthma and are on maximum
dosage of medication for daily maintenance, or have been
hospitalized for your asthma within the last year, it is
highly recommended to have a doctor's evaluation before
coming.

7B4) Diabetes: If you have diabetes, please note that only
the One Touch Ultra Meter, One Touch Fast Take Meter, and the
One Touch Surestep have been tested and labeled for use up to
10,000 feet. Other models may give inaccurate readings of
blood sugar levels at high altitude.

7C) Adjustment to Altitude: All people, even healthy and
fit persons, will feel symptoms of Hypoxia (lack of oxygen)
upon arrival at high altitude. Most people will have
increased respiration and increased heart rate. Many people
will have headaches, difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite,
minor gastric and intestinal upsets, and mood changes. To
help prevent these complications:

7C1) The Health Unit strongly/strongly recommends taking
Acetazolamide (Diamox), 125 mg twice a day -- starting one
day before traveling, on the day of the trip, and two to
three days after arriving at high altitude. This medication
has a slight diuretic effect, and stimulates respiration. It
is available only by prescription in the U.S., but can be
obtained from M/MED (located in Columbia plaza across from
Main State in WASHDC). Diamox cannot be taken by pregnant
women and nursing mothers. Consider that many health care
providers in the U.S. are not familiar with high-altitude
medicine, don't let them dissuade you from taking the Diamox.
If you have a severe allergy to sulfa, you may not be able
to take Diamox. One possible alternative is Ginkgo Biloba at
80 - 120 mg twice a day. Ginkgo Biloba has experientially
shown to be effective but does need further study. Do not
take Ginkgo Biloba if you take blood-thinning medications.

7C2) Avoid alcohol and smoking for at least one week after
your arrival.

7C3) Limit physical activity for the first 36 to 48 hours
after your arrival.

7C4) For those who exercise, expect that you will not be
able to perform your normal routine for several weeks.
Please start slowly!

7D) Vaccinations: All routine childhood immunizations
should be up to date. Yellow Fever vaccine is mandatory for
all personnel who will travel to tropical areas. TDY
personnel coming from the Washington, D.C. area should
consult the immunization clinic in M/Med (phone:
202-663-1707) for current medical information and
immunization recommendations. Please obtain this prior to
arrival to assure immunity. Travelers from other areas
should consult a travel medicine clinic in their area. If
you plan to visit Brazil following your trip to Bolivia, you
will be required to show immunization with the Yellow Fever
vaccine. Bolivia is considered a Yellow Fever endemic
country.

7E) If you plan on spending time in the malarious areas of
Bolivia, please obtain your malaria prophylaxis prior to
arrival.


7F) Medical Evacuation: Medical facilities in La Paz are
not adequate to handle serious medical problems. There are
no adequate facilities for the treatment of cardiac problems
in La Paz.

It is extremely important that TDY personnel not eligible for
medical evacuation at U.S. Government expense take out
medical evacuation insurance prior to travel to Bolivia. As
FAA regulations prevent most U.S. registered air ambulances
from landing at the La Paz airport, your insurance must cover
the cost of travel from La Paz to other cities in Bolivia by
non-U.S. registered aircraft. This is in addition to
coverage for return to the United States. It is also
important to be sure that your health insurance covers you
overseas. You will be expected to pay up front for all
medical bills incurred.

7G) Check-In: Please report to the Embassy Health Unit
within the first 24-48 hours after arrival to receive further
health related information concerning Bolivia.

8. Please contact post if you require further information
at telephone number: (591) (2) 216-8000.
GOLDBERG

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