Cablegate: Tfha01: Venezuela Sends Aid, Minimizes Coordination With


DE RUEHCV #0047 0192230
R 192230Z JAN 10



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: TFHA01: Venezuela Sends Aid, Minimizes Coordination with

REF: STATE 4909; STATE 4807; STATE 4854

1. (SBU) Summary: As of January 19, the Venezuelan
government (GBRV) has completed five airlifts and launched three
sealifts to provide disaster relief to Haiti. The arrival of two
Russian operated cargo planes, if fully employed, could
significantly increase Venezuela's relief contribution. Phone
conversations between the DATT and Dr. Luis Diaz Curbelo, National
Director of Civil Defense and his deputy, have been positive. The
DATT's requests to meet with the Commando Estrategico Operacional
(CEO) (the Joint Staff Equivalent) to coordinate all Venezuelan
military support have been met with silence. During a January 17
broadcast, President Chavez promised that all of Haiti's fuel
requirements during the disaster would be met by Venezuela. A
tanker is en route to the Dominican Republic to provide generator
fuel. End Summary.

By Air

2. (SBU) The GBRV's first response to the Haitian earthquake
was to send a C-130 transport aircraft on January 13, reportedly
with 50 personnel, including an advance assessment team and relief
supplies. A second C-130 departed January 15 with about 25
personnel, including a second team to assess aviation support
requirements. The GBRV Ministry of Communications announced on
January 17 that 14 tons of food, water and medicine, accompanied by
an unknown number of personnel, were transported on a third C-130.
Venezuelan Minister of Interior and Justice Tarek El-Aissami posed
in front of two Russian-operated IL-76 cargo planes on January 17
prior to their departure to Haiti and announced that the aircraft
would carry 80 tons of first aid supplies and an additional 120
Venezuelans to the island.

By Sea

3. (SBU) Two ALLIGATOR Class amphibious landing ships
(Capana-T-61 and the Essequibo T-62) left port from La Guaira on
January 18, according to official sources. The DATT was informed
that one ship would carry approximately 600 tons of food and
medicine, palletized and ready for roll-on roll-off operations. The
other ship would have approximately 600 tons of heavy machinery and
engineering equipment for recovery and clearing operations. The
estimated transit time is four days. A third and possibly even a
fourth ship was announced to sail in the near future under the
auspices of the Bolivarian Alliance for Latina America (ALBA) with
the potential of increasing seaborne tonnage of aid to 5,675 tons.

4. (SBU) The Venezuelan national oil company, Petroleos de
Venezuela (PDVSA), reported in a January 18 press release that a
tanker carrying approximately 225,000 barrels of diesel and
gasoline was en route to a refinery in the Dominican Republic,
where the fuel would be transported to Haiti for use in electricity

5. (SBU) Civil Defense officials have coordinated with the
United States. Curbelo provided the DATT with the telephone
numbers of the captains of the two amphibious ships, and both
mariners were grateful to receive some basic information regarding
the status of the harbor in Port-Au-Prince. The DATT has not been
able to meet with the Venezuelan Joint Staff or to arrange for a
Venezuelan naval liaison officer.

6. (SBU) The Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to
post's request to meet to exchange information.

© Scoop Media

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