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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE5969 2000-10-24 13:49:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE LIKELY TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF CUBA'S UN

Tags:   PREL ZI CU 
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1. (C) CHARGE DELIVERED REFTEL DEMARCHE ON OCTOBER 24 TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05969 241346Z
SENIOR MFA ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER AND ACTING AMERICA'S
DESK OFFICER ARTHUR CHINGONO IN THE ABSENCE OF MORE
SENIOR MINISTRY OFFICIALS. DRAWING ON REFTEL TALKING
POINTS, CHARGE URGED ZIMBABWE TO OPPOSE, OR AT A
MINIMUM, ABSTAIN ON CUBA'S UNGA RESOLUTION CONDEMNING
THE U.S. BILATERAL EMBARGO ON CUBA. CHINGONO RESPONDED
THAT ZIMBABWE VOTED FOR THE SAME RESOLUTION LAST YEAR IN
HOPE OF MAINTAINING ITS GOOD RELATIONS WITH CUBA. EVEN
IF ZIMBABWE VOTES IN FAVOR AGAIN THIS YEAR, ZIMBABWE
HOPES THAT IT CAN USE ITS INFLUENCE TO CONVINCE CUBA TO
RESUME A DIALOGUE WITH THE UNITED STATES, HE STATED.
THE ZIMBABWEAN DIPLOMAT REPORTED THAT HIS GOVERNMENT HAD
ASKED CUBA FOR ITS ASSESSMENT OF ITS U.S. RELATIONSHIP,
AND CUBA RESPONDED THAT IT DETECTS NO MEANINGFUL CHANGE.



2. (C) CHARGE RESPONDED THAT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO
IMPROVE RELATIONS WHEN CASTRO DOES NOT RECIPROCATE U.S.
GESTURES, AND WORSE, INSULTS THE U.S. BY DERIDING ITS
HUMANITARIAN CONCESSIONS TO CUBA. CHARGE ASKED CHINGONO
HOW MUCH AUTHORITY ZIMBABWE'S PERMREP IN NEW YORK HAD IN
VOTING ON THESE TYPES OF RESOLUTIONS. DEPENDING ON THE
ISSUE, HE HAS A FAIR AMOUNT OF DISCRETION, CHINGONO
REPLIED. ZIMBABWE WANTS TO AVOID MAKING THESE UNGA
RESOLUTIONS A RITUAL, AND INTENDS TO RE-EVALUATE THE
SITUATION IN CUBA EVERY YEAR, BUT OFTEN DOES NOT HAVE
THE PERTINENT INFORMATION TO MAKE AN INFORMED VOTE.
ZIMBABWE APPRECIATES ANY INFORMATION THE U.S. CAN
PROVIDE, CHINGONO CONCLUDED.



3. (C) COMMENT: CHINGONO PUT A GOOD, DIPLOMATIC FACE
ON WHAT IN ALL LIKELIHOOD WILL BE A ZIMBABWE VOTE IN
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PAGE 03 HARARE 05969 241346Z
FAVOR OF CUBA'S RESOLUTION. GIVEN PRESIDENT MUGABE'S
DEMONSTRATED LACK OF CONCERN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN
GENERAL, HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA HAS NEVER BEEN A FEATURE
OF ZIMBABWEAN FOREIGN POLICY, AND CHINGONO EFFECTIVELY
CONFIRMED THIS. THERE ARE TOO MANY STRONG TIES, AND
PARALLELS, BETWEEN ZIMBABWE AND CUBA FOR ZIMBABWE TO
ABSTAIN OR VOTE AGAINST ITS OLDEST ALLY IN THE AMERICAS.
THERE ARE CURRENTLY ABOUT 100 LOW-COST DOCTORS IN
ZIMBABWE FROM CUBA, AND PRESIDENT MUGABE LIKELY VIEWS
CASTRO AS A FELLOW-IN-ARMS BESIEGED BY A HOSTILE WEST.
MUGABE ALSO LIKELY SEES THIS VOTE AS A COST-FREE CHANCE
TO POKE THE U.S. IN THE EYE OVER WHAT HE PERCEIVED WAS
AN ATTEMPT TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWE WITH THE
ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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