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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ASUNCION540
2005-04-12 14:36:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Asuncion
Cable title:  

COUNTRY CLEARANCE CABLE

Tags:   KMSG 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASUNCION 000540 

SIPDIS

UNCLAS//NO5040//

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMSG
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE CABLE

REF: (A) MSG 121436Z APR 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASUNCION 000540

SIPDIS

UNCLAS//NO5040//

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMSG
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE CABLE

REF: (A) MSG 121436Z APR 05


1. AS REQUESTED IN REFERENCE (A), COUNTRY CLEARANCE IS
GRANTED FOR LTCOL R. S. BAKER (TS) AND 1STSGT M. D. LOPEZ
(TS) FOR TRAVEL TO ASUNCION DURING THE PERIOD OF 11 - 13 MAY
2005 FOR THE PURPOSE OF A COMMAND VISIT. THE CONTACT
OFFICER FOR THE VISIT IS GYSGT ADAM H. YAKUBSIN, MSG
DETACHMENT COMMANDER, OFFICE TEL: 595-21-213-715, EXT. 292.
HOME TEL: 595-21-612-711.


2. HOTEL RESERVATIONS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED AT VILLA MORA
SUITE HOTEL, (TELEPHONE: 595-21-612-715). THIS HOTEL IS
LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 1 1/2 MILES FROM THE EMBASSY. COST OF
THE SINGLE ROOM IS $78 USD PER NIGHT WITH TAX AND BREAKFAST
IS INCLUDED.


3. LTCOL BAKER AND 1STSGT LOPEZ WILL BE MET AT THE AIRPORT
UPON THEIR ARRIVAL BY THE DETACHMENT COMMANDER.


4. ALL U.S. CITIZENS TRAVELING TO PARAGUAY ARE NOW REQUIRED
TO HAVE VISAS. AIRPORT AND BORDER VISAS ARE NOT AVAILABLE
AT THIS TIME. PLEASE CONTACT THE PARAGUAYAN EMBASSY OR
CLOSEST CONSULATE FOR MORE INFORMATION, ESPECIALLY IF YOU
REQUIRE A MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA.


5. IF TRAVEL PLANS INVOLVE VISITING NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES
IN THE REGION, PLEASE ARRIVE WITH APPROPRIATE VISAS AND
OBTAIN COUNTRY CLEARANCES FROM THE APPROPRIATE U.S.
EMBASSIES. BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA REQUIRE VISAS FOR OFFICIAL
TRAVELERS ON DIPLOMATIC, OFFICIAL, AND/OR PERSONAL
PASSPORTS. OFFICIAL VISITORS CONTEMPLATING TRAVEL TO IGUAZU
FALLS SHOULD ADVISE THE EMBASSY BEFORE DOING SO AS WELL AS
EMBASSY BRASILIA AND/OR EMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IF THEY PLAN TO
CROSS INTO BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA. TRAVELERS ARE REMINDED
THAT IGUAZU FALLS IS LOCATED ON THE BORDER OF BRAZIL AND
ARGENTINA, ABOUT TEN MILES EAST OF CIUDAD DEL ESTE,
PARAGUAY, AND THAT TRAVELERS FROM PARAGUAY CROSS INTO
BRAZIL.


6. POST RECOMMENDS THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU WILL BE ONLY
TRANSITING BRAZIL, YOU ALSO OBTAIN A BRAZILIAN VISA. IF THE
AIRLINE CANCELS OR DELAYS ITS FLIGHT TO ASUNCION, THEN YOU
MAY HAVE TO STAY IN SAO PAULO FOR ONE DAY WHILE WAITING FOR
THE NEXT AVAILABLE FLIGHT TO ASUNCION. BRAZILIAN
AUTHORITIES WILL NOT PERMIT YOU TO LEAVE THE AIRPORT TO GO
TO THE HOTEL WITHOUT A VALID BRAZILIAN VISA. U.S. CITIZENS
MAY BE FINGERPRINTED AND PHOTOGRAPHED UPON ENTRY INTO
BRAZIL. THIS APPLIES TO HOLDERS OF DIPLOMATIC AND OFFICIAL
PASSPORTS AS WELL AS TOURIST PASSPORTS.



7. THREAT ASSESSMENT:


A. POLITICAL VIOLENCE/TERRORISM: THERE ARE NO INDIGENOUS
TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN PARAGUAY. THERE ARE NO
POLITICALLY ACTIVE GROUPS OR PARTIES THAT ARE CURRENTLY
ACTIVE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY TARGETING U.S.
INTERESTS. HOWEVER, GIVEN THE PRESENCE OF MEMBERS OF AND
SUPPORT FOR EXTREMIST TERRORIST GROUPS IN THE TRI-BORDER
REGION (ALTO PARANA AND ITAPUA DEPARTMENTS), VISITORS HERE
CANNOT DISCOUNT THE POSSIBILITY OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY, TO
INCLUDE RANDOM ACTS OF ANTI-AMERICAN VIOLENCE.


B. CRIME: PARAGUAY IS A HIGH THREAT POST FOR CRIME. PETTY
STREET CRIME IN THE CITY OF ASUNCION AND THE IMMEDIATE
SUBURBS CONTINUES TO BE A PROBLEM FOR RESIDENTS AND VISITORS
ALIKE. VISITORS TO THE CITY OF ASUNCION SHOULD BE AWARE OF
PROBLEMS WITH PICKPOCKETS OR PURSE SNATCHERS ON THE STREET
OR ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. UNTIL RECENTLY, MOST CRIME
AFFECTING VISITORS HAS BEEN NON-VIOLENT; AGGRAVATED
ROBBERIES, SHOOTINGS, ETC., WHILE NOT COMPLETELY UNHEARD OF
IN ASUNCION, WERE NONETHELESS UNCOMMON. HOWEVER, INCIDENTS
OF ARMED ROBBERIES OF BUSINESSES AND RESIDENCES BY CRIMINAL
GROUPS ARE OCCURRING WITH GREATER FREQUENCY, AND AS A RESULT
IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT DUE CAUTION BE EXERCISED WHEN
TRAVELING ABOUT THE CITY.


8. THE SEASONS IN PARAGUAY ARE THE OPPOSITE OF THOSE IN THE
UNITED STATES. ASUNCION'S CLIMATE IS EXTREMELY HOT FROM
NOVEMBER THROUGH APRIL AND COOL OR MILD IN JULY AND AUGUST.
THE TRANSITIONAL SEASONS, MAY - JUNE AND SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER
ARE UNPREDICTABLE: THEY CAN BE PLEASANT OR HOT. HEALTH
CONDITIONS GENERALLY ARE GOOD. THE WATER IN ASUNCION IS
POTABLE, AND THERE ARE FEW REPORTS OF INTESTINAL OR STOMACH
PROBLEMS. THERE IS NO ENDEMIC HEPATITIS OR MALARIA IN
ASUNCION ALTHOUGH OUTBREAKS OF DENGUE FEVER ARE RECURRENT.


9. AS OF 20 APRIL 2005 THE EXCHANGE RATE IS 6,270 GUARANIES
TO ONE US DOLLAR. PERSONAL FINANCES: OFFICIAL TRAVELERS MAY
CASH PERSONAL CHECKS AT THE EMBASSY FOR AMOUNTS UP TO US$
750.00 PER WEEK; OR USE THEIR ATM CARDS AT ONE OF THE MANY
TERMINALS LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE CITY. BECAUSE OF
RESTRICTIONS WITH THE EMBASSY BANK, ABN-AMRO, TRAVELER'S
CHECKS MAY ONLY BE CASHED WITH ONE OF THE LOCAL EXCHANGE
HOUSES.


10. LAPTOPS/PALM PILOTS, CELLULAR TELEPHONES AND OTHER
ELECTRONIC DEVICES: LAPTOPS/PALM PILOTS MAY NOT BE BROUGHT
INTO THE EMBASSY WITHOUT THE PRIOR APPROVAL OF THE REGIONAL
SECURITY OFFICE. PERSONALLY OWNED LAPTOPS/PALM PILOTS MAY
NOT/NOT BE USED IN THE EMBASSY. USG-OWNED LAPTOPS MAY ONLY
BE USED IN CONTROLLED ACCESS AREAS (CAA) IF THE USER
CERTIFIES THAT THE COMPUTER HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY UNDER THE
PERSONAL CONTROL OF A CLEARED AMERICAN THROUGHOUT TRANSIT.
IF THIS REQUIREMENT IS NOT MET, THE LAPTOP CAN ONLY BE
UTILIZED OUTSIDE OF THE CAA. USG-OWNED PALM PILOTS ARE
UNDER THE SAME RESTRICTIONS AS CELLULAR PHONES AND OTHER
ELECTRONIC DEVICES, AND MAY NOT BE UTILIZED WITHIN THE CAA.


11. SECURITY CLEARANCE: STATE DEPARTMENT POLICY REQUIRES
THAT ALL OFFICIAL VISITORS VERIFY THEIR SECURITY CLEARANCES,
IN WRITING, WITH THE RSO IN ORDER TO HAVE UNESCORTED ACCESS
TO THE EMBASSY. VISITORS WHO'S CLEARANCES ARE NOT VERIFIED,
MUST BE ESCORTED AT ALL TIMES WHILE AT THE EMBASSY. TDY'ERS
MUST SCHEDULE A SECURITY IN BRIEF WITH THE SECURITY OFFICE
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER ARRIVING AT POST. ACCESS BADGES
WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE HAS ACKNOWLEDGED
RECEIPT OF THE REQUIRED SECURITY BRIEFING.


12. DETCMDR YAKUBSIN SENDS. KEANE