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WikiLeaks: NZ policies on Cuba

WikiLeaks cable: NZ policies on Cuba

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

June 1, 2005 SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND POLICIES AND ACTIONS TAKEN WITH REGARD TO CUBA

Classified By: POL/ECON COUNSELOR KATHERINE HADDA, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) The Government of New Zealand formalized diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2001, with its Ambassador resident in Mexico City accredited to Havana. Cuba's Ambassador to New Zealand is resident in Jakarta and cross-accredited to Wellington. According to Mike Shaw, Policy Officer, Americas Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, no significant change occurred in the diplomatic relationship between New Zealand and Cuba during the past year.

2. (C) Shaw said that the GoNZ uses meetings with Cuban officials to "express its concern over the human rights situation in Cuba, and encourage moves towards democratization and the promotion of human rights. These include the proper treatment of those who hold political views in opposition to the Cuban government." This is consistent with the GoNZ's policy of engagement with states that have poor human rights records, he added.

3. (C) Post is unaware of any NZ entity or national who would be subject to Title III of the LIBERTAD Act. The GoNZ would strenuously object to any effort to apply Title III to a NZ entity or national on extraterritoriality grounds. While the GoNZ has not historically co-sponsored Cuba-related resolutions at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and is not presently a member of the Commission, it is strongly supportive of the U.S. positions regarding Cuba's human rights record. Use of Title III would jeopardize continued good-faith cooperation.

4. (SBU) Economically, no substantive change has developed regarding New Zealand's trade and investment with Cuba during the past year. In calendar year 2004, New Zealand's exports to Cuba totaled NZD 80.9 million (USD 57.6 million) and imports totaled NZD 1.08 million (USD 768,700.) As in 2003, 97 percent of total exports were in the dairy sector, specifically powdered milk purchased by the Cuban government primarily for its "milk in schools" program.

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