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Cablegate: Tfha01: Venezuela Plans Two Flights for January 21; Ignores

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DE RUEHCV #0055/01 0202237
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R 202237Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0305
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CARACAS 000055

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID MOPS PREL PREF KPKO OAS HA VE
SUBJECT: TFHA01: Venezuela Plans Two Flights For January 21; Ignores
Offer To Coordinate Relief Efforts With The U.S.

REF: STATE 4909; STATE 4807; STATE 4854

1. (SBU) Summary: Defense AttachC) spoke on January 20 with
Dr. Luis Diaz Curbelo, National Director of Civil Defense. Diaz
confirmed prior sea and air shipments to Haiti. Diaz added that
Venezuelan ships were bound for the Dominican Republic instead of
Haiti. The GBRV will contact the U.N. to secure overland passage or
relief supplies. Two flights to Haiti are currently scheduled for
January 21. Requests for meetings with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and the Joint Armed Forces staff equivalent to coordinate
relief efforts have gone unanswered. End Summary.

By Air

2. (SBU) The GBRV has one IL-76 and one C-130 flight to
deliver assistance planned for January 21. Diaz noted that
although the flights had been ready to depart earlier, they were
unable to receive a landing time for January 20.

Prior Flights

3. (SBU) A C-130 transport aircraft departed on January 13,
reportedly with 50 personnel, including an advance assessment team
and relief supplies. A second C-130 took off 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.
Two Russian-operated IL-76 cargo planes carried approximately 80
tons of first aid supplies and an additional 120 Venezuelans on
January 17.

By Sea

4. (SBU) Diaz confirmed for the DATT that five ships that
have departed Venezuela with aid for Haiti will make port in the
Dominican Republic where the GBRV with ask the U.N. to secure
passage of the relief supplies overland into Haiti. Diaz verified
that two of the vessels were "ALBA" ships. Official media claimed
that the two ALBA ships departed Puerto Cabello carrying 4,761 tons
of food. In addition, official sources reported that 126
volunteers of the "Simon Bolivar International Brigade" were
embarked on the two amphibious ships that departed January 18.

Prior Sorties

5. (SBU) Two ALLIGATOR Class amphibious landing ships
carrying 616 tons of food and 176 tones of heavy machinery left
port from La Guaira on January 18.

6. (SBU) A PDVSA tanker carrying approximately 225,000
barrels of diesel and gasoline was en route to a refinery in the
Dominican Republic.

Coordination

7. (SBU) The DATT has not been able to meet with the
Venezuelan Joint Staff or to arrange for a Venezuelan naval liaison
officer in Haiti.

CARACAS 00000055 002 OF 002


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

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