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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06MEXICO2279
2006-04-27 20:42:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Mexico
Cable title:  

MEXICO: NSC-DIRECTED REVIEW OF TITLE III OF THE

Tags:   CU  ETRD  ETTC  PREL  MX 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO7213
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #2279/01 1172042
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 272042Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0566
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 002279 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FPR WHA/CCA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CU ETRD ETTC PREL MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO: NSC-DIRECTED REVIEW OF TITLE III OF THE
LIBERTAD ACT

REF: A. STATE 57782


B. 05 MEXICO 7186

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 002279

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FPR WHA/CCA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CU ETRD ETTC PREL MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO: NSC-DIRECTED REVIEW OF TITLE III OF THE
LIBERTAD ACT

REF: A. STATE 57782


B. 05 MEXICO 7186


1. (SBU) Summary: Post supports continued waiver of Title
III provisions of the Libertad Act for Mexico. Mexico
continues to have difficult relations with Cuba despite the
return of diplomatic envoys in July 2004. Seasoned diplomat
Jose Ignacio Pina Rojas replaced Roberta Lajous as Mexico's
ambassador to Cuba in August 2005. Cuba's outstanding debt
of $400 million (plus interest) to Mexico remained unpaid.
Mexican exports to Cuba increased 25 percent in 2005 to USD
222 million. Cuban exports to Mexico, however, decreased 24
percent to USD 20 million. Despite the current state of
relations, Mexico continues to promote respect for human
rights in Cuba and in the region. End Summary.

MEXICAN INVESTMENT IN CUBA
--------------


2. According BANCOMEXT, in 2005, seventeen Cuban businesses
shared USD 730 million in Mexican FDI. These businesses are
in the tourism, construction, basic industry, food, sugar and
agriculture sectors. Cuba still has USD 400 million in
outstanding Mexican debt caused by the closure of the Havana
branch of the Mexican International Development bank,
BANCOMEXT, in Havana (Ref B). BANCOMEXT estimates that it
is losing USD 2.75 million dollars in interest (all figures
expressed in USD assuming 2005 average interest rate of 10.89
pesos per dollar) annually. No significant discussions of
debt repayment have occurred since 2004.

BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN MEXICO AND CUBA
-------------- --------------


3. In July of 2002 Mexico and Cuba entered into a
Complementary Economic Agreement (ACE-51). ACE's are similar
to Free Trade Agreements but only include some sectors. In
2001 Mexico and Cuba signed an Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreement (APRI). Mexico enjoyed a healthy trade
balance with Cuba, exporting USD 222 million (mainly food and
food industry products) while importing USD 20 million
(mainly alcohol, cigars and seafood) in 2005. This represents
a 25 percent increase in exports and a four percent decrease
in imports over 2004.

EXCHANGE PROGRAMS BETWEEN MEXICO AND CUBA
--------------


4. (SBU) There are no known official exchange programs
between Mexico and Cuba. Medical travel to Cuba is usually
paid for by individual travelers.

PROMOTING DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA
--------------


5. (SBU) SRE officials continue to insist that Mexico prefers
to use multilateral fora to discuss human rights issues with
Cuba or other countries. However, President Fox publicly
noted during APEC in November 2004 that Mexico has
differences with Cuba because Mexico "respects democracy and
human rights." Mexico cast its vote with the U.S. at the
UNHRC every year under the Fox administration, calling for a
review of the human rights situation in Cuba by the Special
Rapporteur.

DIPLOMATIC VISITS
--------------


6. (SBU) There have been no high-level diplomatic visits
between Cuba and Mexico in the past six months. On August
10, 2005, the Mexican Senate ratified Jose Ignacio Pina Rojas
as Mexico's new Ambassador to Cuba and laid out his
priorities: work toward a migration accord to control the
flow of illegal Cubans entering Mexico and avoid meetings
with dissidents that would further negatively affect the
bilateral relationship. To date, little has been done to
curb the flow of illegal Cubans entering Mexico. Cuban
Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque stated in 2005 that the
Cuban-Mexican relationship had not returned to normal and
that he did not expect relations to normalize under the
current Mexican administration. Mexican Foreign Secretary
Luis Derbez has deemed relations between the two countries as
"cordial and positive."


7. (SBU) In November 2005 a multi-party delegation from
Mexico's Congress met in Monterrey, Mexico to conduct the
eighth inter-parliamentary meeting with Cuban counterparts.
In their final declaration, members of the Mexican delegation
expressed solidarity and support for the five imprisoned

MEXICO 00002279 002 OF 002


Cubans accused of spying in the United States in return for
Cuban support for Mexico's defense of Mexican citizens on
death row in the U.S. In addition, both delegations reached
agreement on further cooperation for prevention and reduction
of damages due to natural
disasters, and agreed to work closer together on trade,
education, cultural and health issues.

Comment
--------------


8. (SBU) Post supports continued waiver of Title III
provisions of the Libertad Act.




Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity

GARZA