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Cablegate: Venezuela Responds to Usg Request for Port Visits

VZCZCXRO1517
OO RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHMT
RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHCV #1580 3191855
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141855Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2143
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS CARACAS 001580

SIPDIS

HQ SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
TREASURY FOR MMALLOY
COMMERCE FOR 4431/MAC/WH/JLAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ASEC MARR PGOV EAIR PREL ETRD KHLS PTER
EWWT, VE
SUBJECT: VENEZUELA RESPONDS TO USG REQUEST FOR PORT VISITS

1. (SBU) Post has received a Diplomatic Note dated November
13 responding to the Embassy's October 6 Diplomatic Note,
which stated that the GBRV must set a port visit date within
30 days of the Diplomatic Note's receipt, or the Coast Guard
would impose "conditions of entry". An unofficial
translation of the Note follows in para two.

2. (SBU) BEGIN UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF VENEZUELAN
DIPLOMATIC NOTE 000643

The Ministry of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs, Office of
the Vice Minister for North American Affairs and Multilateral
Issues, salutes the Honorable Embassy of the United States of
America and takes this opportunity to refer to Diplomatic
Note No. 672 dated October 6, 2008, which requested a second
United States Coast Guard visit to the port installations
located in domestic territory.

The Ministry would like to inform the Honorable Embassy of
the United States that upon review of international and
domestic legislation regarding this matter, the referenced
visit is considered feasible ("viable" in Spanish), if and
only if the visit consists of meetings and table top
activities, and if the United Stated Coast Guard Command
previously sends evidence that its inspections in other
countries have contributed to an increase in port protection
at those ports.

Complimentary closing.

Caracas, November 13, 2008

END UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION

3. (SBU) Upon receiving the above Diplomatic Note on
November 14, Econoff called the head of security at the
National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (INEA), who did not
answer repeated calls, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MFA) to request a meeting with INEA to discuss port visits.
The MFA official stated she did not know if a meeting with
INEA and Embassy staff would be possible, but promised to
look into it. She then called back and suggested that the
Embassy send a Diplomatic Note acknowledging receipt of the
Venezuelan Diplomatic Note and requesting a meeting between
Embassy personnel and INEA staff.

4. (SBU) Embassy proposes that we respond to the note
describing what the Coast Guard visits include and again ask
for a specific date. Clearly the BRV is playing for time.
If they do not respond on a timely basis the USG should
proceed as planned.

CAULFIELD

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