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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE3112
2000-06-10 15:11:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

CUBAN DOCTORS TO FLY TO NAIROBI TO COMPLETE

Tags:  PREF PGOV PHUM PREL CU ZI 
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                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9199

PAGE 01        HARARE  03112  01 OF 02  101506Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-01  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  
      INL-01   DODE-00  DOEE-00  ANHR-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   
      IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-02   
      OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
      SCT-00   SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /011W
                  ------------------616E02  101507Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6268
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA IMMEDIATE 
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY ROME 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USINT HAVANA
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003112 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PRM, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, WHA/CCA

NAIROBI FOR REGIONAL REFUGGEE COORDINATOR AND INS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03112 01 OF 02 101506Z
ROME FOR INS

LONDON FOR PFALUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2010
TAGS: PREF PGOV PHUM PREL CU ZI
SUBJECT: CUBAN DOCTORS TO FLY TO NAIROBI TO COMPLETE
U.S. TRAVEL PACKET ON JUNE 11

REF: (A) HARARE 3105 (NOTAL)
(B) NAIROBI 4808

CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL M. IRVING FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND
(D).



1. (SBU) REGIONAL INS OFFICER SANJEETA VARSANI ARRIVED
IN HARARE FROM NAIROBI THE MORNING OF JUNE 9 AND WAS MET
BY CONSUL. THE PAIR WENT DIRECTLY TO UNCHR. JOHN ADU,
WHO INFORMED THEM THAT THE GOZ HAD NOT YET AUTHORIZED
THE MEETING WITH THE CUBANS, GREETED CONSUL AND VARSANI.
ADU THEN IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED AMBASSADOR MCDONALD'S
ASSISTANCE IN GETTING ACCESS TO THE CUBANS. SEVERAL
TELEPHONE CALLS LATER, A MEETING WAS ARRANGED AND THE
TRIO, ACCOMPANIED BY ZIMBABWE IMMIGRATION, ARRIVED AT
GOROMONZI DETENTION CENTER TO INTERVIEW THE CUBANS.



2. (C) DOCTOR LEONEL CORDOVA RODRIGUEZ WAS INTERVIEWED
FIRST. CORDOVA DESCRIBED HOW ON JUNE 2 HE AND DOCTOR
NORIS DEL CARMEN PENA MARTINEZ WERE HUSTLED INTO A CAR
BY FOUR ZIMBABWEANS, TWO CIVILIANS AND TWO POLICEMEN
CARRYING RIFLES AND TAKEN TO IMMIGRATION HEADQUARTERS,
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03112 01 OF 02 101506Z
WHERE THEY REMAINED UNTIL THEY WERE TAKEN TO HARARE
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. CORDORVA REPEATEDLY ASKED TO SEE
UNHCR ATTORNEY MICHIEL SALOMONS, A REQUEST THAT WAS
DENIED AT EVERY TURN. CORDOVA SAID THAT HE SAW CUBAN
AMBASSADOR RODOLFO SARRACINO, CHIEF CONSUL JAVIER
VIAMONTES AND CUBAN MEDICAL TEAM LEADER DR. BUSTILLO
LURKING IN THE BACKGROUND. CORDOVA TOLD THEM, "YOU HAVE
WON, I WILL SEE YOU IN CUBA" BEFORE ENTERING THE PLANE.
CORDOVA MANAGED TO WRITE A NOTE, DESCRIBING HOW HE AND
PENA WERE BEING KIDNAPPED AND BEING RETURNED TO CUBA.



3. (C) THE CUBANS WERE KEPT FOR TWO DAYS IN CUSTODY OF
SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION AFTER THEY ARRIVED IN
JOHANNESBURG THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE 2. ON JUNE 4, SOUTH
AFRICAN IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS TOLD THE CUBANS THAT THEY
"MUST" RETURN TO CUBA, AS THEY HAD ENTERED THE COUNTRY
WITHOUT VISAS. ACCOMPANIED BY THE SAME TWO ZIMBABWEAN
HANDLERS AND NOW TWO SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION OFFICERS,
THE PAIR WERE ESCORTED TO AN AIR FRANCE FLIGHT BOUND FOR
HAVANA. THE GROUP WAS MET AT THE AIRPORT AND TAKEN TO
THE GATE BY THE CONSUL GENERAL OF THE CUBAN EMBASSY
PRETORIA AND BY DR. PABLO DIAZ, ALSO A CUBAN, WHO WAS
NOT UNIDENTIFIED. AT THIS POINT, DOCTORS CORDOVA AND
PENA STARTED SCREAMING AND THE AIR FRANCE CREW STOPPED
EVERYONE FROM ENTERING THE PLANE. CORDOVA EXPLAINED
WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO A SPANISH-SPEAKING FLIGHT
ATTENDANT, WHO TOLD EVERYONE TO GET OFF THE PLANE. THE
CUBANS AND TWO HANDLERS FROM SOUTH AFRICAN IMMIGRATION
BOARDED ANOTHER PLANE AND RETURNED TO HARARE THE SAME
DAY. UPON ARRIVAL IN HARARE THE CUBANS WERE TURNED OVER
TO ZIMBABWEAN IMMIGRATION AND TAKEN TO THE GOROMONZI
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03112 01 OF 02 101506Z
DETENTION CENTER.



4. (C) INS OFFICER VARSANI GRANTED THE CUBANS
CONDITIONAL REFUGEE STATUS, FINDING THAT THEY
ESTABLISHED A WELL-FOUNDED FEAR OF PERSECUTION ON
ACCOUNT OF THEIR POLITICAL OPINIONS IF RETURNED TO CUBA.
UPON THEIR RELEASE FROM THE GOROMONZI DETENTION CENTER,
THE TWO WILL TRAVEL TO NAIROBI ON JUNE 11 WITH VARSANI
IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THEIR TRAVEL PACKET FOR THE UNITED
STATES. WE EXPECT THEM TO FLY FROM NAIROBI TO THE
UNITED STATES BY THURSDAY, JUNE 15.



5. (C) IN THE LAST 24 HOURS BOTH THE LOCAL UNHCR
REPRESENTATIVE AND OFFICIALS OF THE ZIMBABWEAN MINISTRY
OF HOME AFFAIRS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO WASH OF THE CASE OF
THE CUBANS. THEY HAVE GIVEN CONSUL, INS OFFICER VARSANI
AND OTHER EMBASSY OFFICERS THE RUN-AROUND. WE ARE,
HOWEVER, CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE WILL SECURE
CUSTODY OF DOCTORS CORDOVA AND PENA THE EVENING ON JUNE
10, BASED ON A CONVERSATION AMBASSADOR MCDONALD HAD WITH
MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL, AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS
EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, WHO UNDERTOOK TO EXPEDITE THE
TRANSFER PROCESS ON JUNE 10. THAT SAME DAY AMBASSADOR
MCDONALD ALSO SPOKE WITH THE KENYAN HIGH COMMISSIONER,

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9200

PAGE 01 HARARE 03112 02 OF 02 101506Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-01 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00
INL-01 DODE-00 DOEE-00 ANHR-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SCT-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /011W


--------------------------

616E06 101507Z /38
O 101511Z JUN 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6269
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA IMMEDIATE
COMMISSIONER USINS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY ROME
USMISSION GENEVA
USINT HAVANA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003112

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PRM, PRM/A, PRM/AAA, AF/S, WHA/CCA

NAIROBI FOR REGIONAL REFUGGEE COORDINATOR AND INS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03112 02 OF 02 101506Z
ROME FOR INS

LONDON FOR PFALUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/10/2010
TAGS: PREF PGOV PHUM PREL CU ZI
SUBJECT: CUBAN DOCTORS TO FLY TO NAIROBI TO COMPLETE
U.S. TRAVEL PACKET ON JUNE 11

DR. HUKKA WARIO, WHO SAID HE WOULD INFORM HIS FOREIGN
MINISTRY OF THE CUBANS'WISH TO TRANSIT KENYA, AND
OPINED IT WOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM FOR THE CUBANS TO
TRAVEL TO KENYA WITHOUT VISAS.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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