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Cablegate: Embassy Staff Opens Dialog with Newly Appointed Mfa Protocol

VZCZCXRO8608
RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHHO RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
DE RUEHCV #0064 0262219
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 262215Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0356
INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS CARACAS 000064

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ADPM APER ADCO AMGT CMGT PREL VE
SUBJECT: EMBASSY STAFF OPENS DIALOG WITH NEWLY APPOINTED MFA PROTOCOL
STAFF

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Embassy representatives met with newly
appointed MFA Protocol and Immunities and Privileges personnel to
clarify procedures for expediting Embassy requirements in the areas
of approval of Venezuelan visas for TDY and permanently assigned
staff, importation of vehicles, credentialing of staff, diplomatic
pouch exchanges, issuance of diplomatic license plates and the
construction of the new Marine House. Future meetings were agreed
upon to continue to clarify any questions the MFA may have that
could delay Embassy operations. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) Consul General Ron Kramer, Management Counselor
Cecilia Elizondo Herrera, Facilities Management Officer Nat
Marchiano, and Human Resources Officer Eric Anderson met with MFA
representatives to discuss a variety of issues. Protocol Director
Gregorio Flores and the Director of Immunities and Privileges
Gerallynd Gonzalez Graffer met with the Embassy staff to discuss
Venezuelan visa issues, importation of eight cylinder armored
vehicles, diplomatic license plates, and credentialing of children
born in Venezuela to U. S. diplomats.

Emboffs also made a presentation on the plans for the construction
of a new Marine House on the Embassy compound. The cordial meeting
resulted in the approval of credentials for newborn children, the
agreement to continue the diplomatic pouch service procedure now in
place, and to allow replacement 8 cylinder armored vehicles to come
into the country. Gonzalez was clear that until the MFA files are
reconciled with our reports of returned plates they cannot issue
any diplomatic plates to the mission.

3. (SBU) The Consul General and the Management Officer
will meet with Gonzalez the week of Jan 25 to review visa cases
awaiting MFA approval and the issuance of diplomatic license
plates. The MFA representatives were clear that they were new and
just getting organized and that at times the political climate
between the U. S. and Venezuela also interfered with the ability to
get things done. This frank admission that the MFA was
disorganized and previous assistance from his office had been
lacking hopefully seemed to augur well for relations on Management
and consular issues. The Consul General requested as much lead time
as possible for large groups of Venezuelans traveling to the United
States, such as UNGA delegations, to be sure all visas could be
issued in a timely fashion, to which Protocol Chief Flores agreed.


4. (SBU) This meeting with the new leadership and the
future meetings planned between the Management Counselor and
Protocol will offer the opportunity to address some of the annoying
problems that have affected our administrative and consular
relationships in the recent past. Although the tone in the
Embassy's relationship with the Protocol office has improved, it is
still not clear if this will result in action to resolve our
administrative issues on a timely basis.
CAULFIELD

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