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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BRIDGETOWN530
2006-03-24 19:30:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Bridgetown
Cable title:  

HOW MANY CUBANS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A

Tags:   EAID  ENRG  PINR  PREL  XL  CU  VE  CH 
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VZCZCXRO1363
PP RUEHGR
DE RUEHWN #0530 0831930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241930Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2171
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCV/USDAO CARACAS VE PRIORITY
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0048
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
						UNCLAS BRIDGETOWN 000530 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ENRG PINR PREL XL CU VE CH
SUBJECT: HOW MANY CUBANS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A
LIGHTBULB?

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 368

B. 05 BRIDGETOWN 1954

UNCLAS BRIDGETOWN 000530

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ENRG PINR PREL XL CU VE CH
SUBJECT: HOW MANY CUBANS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A
LIGHTBULB?

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 368

B. 05 BRIDGETOWN 1954


1. (SBU) Summary: The Cuban Government recently promised to
provide hundreds of thousands of Cuban-made energy-efficient
lightbulbs to the island-nations of Antigua and Barbuda,
Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Cuban aid in
the region, previously confined largely to medical assistance
and scholarships (Ref B), seems to be taking a new angle with
this initiative. This illuminating aid complements
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's PetroCaribe concessionary
oil financing deal rather nicely, and helps Fidel Castro
purchase an oath of silence from Eastern Caribbean leaders
regarding Cuban human rights abuses. End Summary.


2. (U) According to a press statement from the Government of
Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba is offering to replace 215,000
lightbulbs with energy-efficient Cuban-made bulbs. The
statement claims these bulbs could cut Antigua and Barbuda's
energy bill by US$1.5 million a year. A similar statement by
the Government of Grenada mentions that the bulbs are
supposed to last for 10,000 hours and use 50 to 80 percent
less electricity than normal bulbs. According to local press
in St. Vincent, that country will also receive similar light
bulb aid.


3. (U) This initiative accompanies a Cuban expansion of its
diplomatic presence in the Eastern Caribbean. In April, Cuba
is scheduled to open new embassies in Antigua and Barbuda,
Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, making it the
only country other than Venezuela to have an Embassy in all
seven of the Eastern Caribbean islands Embassy Bridgetown
covers. (Note: China has Embassies in every Eastern
Caribbean island except the two that recognize Taiwan, St.
Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. End
Note.)


4. (SBU) Comment: Rising oil prices have hit these
cash-strapped islands hard. Venezuela's PetroCaribe
initiative combined with this new Cuban lightbulb aid could
help both countries brighten their image and increase their
influence in the Eastern Caribbean. These two energy
programs expand on previous Cuban medical and educational
assistance and appear to be another example of coordinated
Venezuelan/Cuban aid activity in the region (Ref A). While
Eastern Caribbean leaders reject Cuban and Venezuelan leftist
social models, Cuba's aid efforts have bought the country
support in the U.N. and silence from regional leaders on
Cuba's human rights abuses and lack of democracy. End
Comment.
KRAMER