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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06PORTOFSPAIN1349
2006-11-24 10:31:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Port Of Spain
Cable title:  

SECRETARY AND CARICOM: BROAD DIALOGUE NEEDED

Tags:   PREL  PTER  EAID  XL  TD 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSP #1349/01 3281031
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241031Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7609
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L PORT OF SPAIN 001349 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR, INL/LP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/22/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER EAID XL TD
SUBJECT: SECRETARY AND CARICOM: BROAD DIALOGUE NEEDED

REF: PORT OF SPAIN 1344

Classified By: DCM, Eugene P. Sweeney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L PORT OF SPAIN 001349

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR, INL/LP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/22/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER EAID XL TD
SUBJECT: SECRETARY AND CARICOM: BROAD DIALOGUE NEEDED

REF: PORT OF SPAIN 1344

Classified By: DCM, Eugene P. Sweeney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) SUMMARY. Secretary Chertoff,s October 26 meeting
with CARICOM representatives highlighted the potential for
greater cooperation building on existing structures for
Cricket World Cup 2007. CARICOM is happy to receive
assistance for Cricket World Cup, and further collaboration
on interdicting narcotics, small arms and light weapons
trafficking would be welcome. Criminal deportees to the
region and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative remain
sticking points that may be eased by more dialogue to better
explain the U.S. position. Cooperation on disaster
preparation is largely good, but CARICOM would like better
early warning information on hurricanes. CARICOM is slowly
moving away from overdependence on direct assistance, but
clings to the notion that they deserve special treatment by
dint of their &traditional ally8 status. CARICOM suggested
that the U.S. should pay more attention to the region to keep
others from wielding more influence that could be inimical to
U.S. interests. END SUMMARY.


2. (C) Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff,s
two-hour meeting with CARICOM representatives on October 26
in Port of Spain was largely a success. The meeting covered
a wide variety of high-priority issues for CARICOM, and
culminated with Secretary Chertoff and T&T Prime Minister
Manning signing the US-CARICOM Memorandum of Intent to
implement an advance passenger information system, or APIS
for Cricket World Cup (CWC) (All other CARICOM members had
already signed the MOI). Although CARICOM members repeatedly
stated that they were &victims of circumstance and
geography8 because of their proximity to the United States
and the current worldwide terrorism situation, they were
happy to take the opportunity to build closer cooperation
with the United States.

-------------- --------------
CRICKET WORLD CUP: PREPARATIONS MOVING, BUT GAPS REMAIN

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


3. (C) The indomitable Deputy Prime Minister from Barbados,
Mia Mottley, presented CARICOM,s position on APIS and
updated Secretary Chertoff on general security plans. She
took pains to underscore that &when we agreed to host CWC
2007, the world was a different place, prior to September 11,
2001.... We are not at the center of the Global War on
Terrorism, but by virtue of hosting a large sporting event
and our dependence on tourism, we have placed ourselves at
significant risk, and must take significant precautions....
If not for the increase in global terrorism, we would have
been able to handle the games comfortably, and would have had
sufficient capacity.8 Still, she acknowledged that APIS
would be key to ensuring that spectators moved freely and
safely among the venues, as required by the agreement with
the International Cricket Council.


4. (C) DPM Mottley flagged a potential snag with APIS: UK
and Canadian airlines claim privacy concerns over their
passengers, information being shared with a third party.
Mottley noted that, while CARICOM is working with the UK
Foreign and Commonwealth Office to resolve the issue, in
light of data protection legislation related to passenger
name record information, she announced that CARICOM officials
are working on a contingency plan. This plan would require
CARICOM access to any available watchlists from the U.S.,
such as the no-fly list, which could be placed on a CARICOM
server for vetting those particular flights. Secretary
Chertoff responded forcefully, drawing a distinction between
APIS information, which is governmental information already
contained in travel documents and the more extensive
passenger name record information collected by air carriers
for commercial purposes. He also noted that APIS was a
powerful tool to improve the security of the region for CWC,
and should be seen as a building block in ongoing
cooperation. He warned that the contingencyplan was a &far
inferior8 solution, if workable t all. He further offered
to speak with EU representatives on APIS, as he has already
been activel engaged with them onairline
information-sharin issues.


5. (C) Jamaican Minister of National ecurity Peter Phillips
discussed regional resoure mobilization for CWC,
highlighting the work done over two International Support and
Advisory Group meetings to determine what resources exist in
the region and where the gaps are. He further noted that CWC
is spurring regional coordination and a regional security
infrastructure and setting the stage for further U.S./CARICOM
cooperation. Phillips pointed out that CARICOM still had the
following critical gaps:
- Explosive detection and disposal teams, to include canines
- Troop movement resources, both fixed-wing and rotary
aircraft
- Rescue helicopters
- Air surveillance assets
- On-call (that is, not pre-positioned) hostage and
counter-terrorism teams ready to deploy to the region as
needed.
In order to facilitate any offers of assistance, Phillips
designated Colonel Tony Anderson, the head of the CARICOM
Operational Planning and Coordinating Staff (COPACS), as the
primary liaison.


6. (C) Secretary Chertoff pointed out that it is important
to engage with SOUTHCOM and other USG agencies on these
issues, since the requirements cut across bureaucratic lines
in the U.S. Even though much of it falls outside DHS,
Secretary Chertoff indicated that specific needs, such as

SIPDIS
hostage negotiator teams, would be discussed in Washington.
-------------- --------------
MARITIME SECURITY AND TOURISM SECURITY: DO MORE FOR US!
-------------- --------------


7. (C) In what was supposed to be a presentation on
Caribbean maritime security issues, Rayburn Blackmoore, the
Minister of National Security from Dominica, spoke somewhat
disjointedly on what a good friend of the United States
Dominica is and has been, and how the U.S. should essentially
provide all security for the smaller islands so they could
focus their budgets on social justice programs. PM Manning
attempted to save the discussion by turning towards the
geography of the Caribbean, between drug supply and demand,
and emphasizing how narcotics and other trafficking is a
regional problem, rather than a problem for individual
islands. Manning reiterated his offer from the bilateral
meeting with Secretary Chertoff (reftel) to patrol the waters
of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and to
open the T&T Coast Guard to nationals from the OECS.
Secretary Chertoff also pointed out the need to take part in

SIPDIS
regional exercises, such as Tradewinds, and for CARICOM to
sign the Caribbean Maritime Cooperation Agreement, which
would open up collaborative security efforts. He further
expressed an interest in formalizing the process for placing
U.S. Air Marshals on selected flights to the Caribbean. He
also promised to relay CARICOM,s requests to Washington,
but cautioned that the requests must be weighed in the
context of all other security commitments.


8. (C) Calixte George, the Minister of Home Affairs and
Internal Security from St. Lucia, made a short presentation
on tourism security issues that was largely in the same vein:
The U.S. is not doing enough for small economies as they
transition to tourism economies, and the U.S. should be
cautious before issuing travel warnings, maybe even consult
with the government, because of the deleterious effect they
can have on small, tourism-based economies. George further
suggested that the U.S. increase training and state-level
partnership programs for tourism infrastructure security
specialists or other law enforcement specialists from the
Caribbean to learn from the U.S. example. Secretary Chertoff
directed CARICOM to approach the Department of State and
other agencies which are better able to handle these requests.

--------------
DISASTER PREPARATION, WHTI
--------------


9. (C) The Attorney General of Barbados, Dale Marshall,
focused on hurricane preparedness in the Caribbean, and
sought closer technical cooperation with the U.S.,
specifically requesting that NOAA hurricane planes be sent
out four days before a hurricane is slated to hit the
Windward Islands. He also observed that insurance premiums
in the Caribbean go up with each hurricane, even on islands
that are not hit, saying that it was an issue CARICOM needed
to consider. He closed by asking for engagement before the
next hurricane season begins. Secretary Chertoff replied
that the USG is already working with the Caribbean Disaster
Response Agency, and that mutual aid agreements and
pre-staging emergency supplies are vital to an effective
disaster response. He further noted that NOAA would be
consulted about the hurricane planes, but underscored that
the far-advanced warning information is readily available on
the internet.


10. (C) Antigua and Barbuda,s Prime Minister, William
Baldwin Spencer, raised the Western Hemisphere Travel
Initiative (WHTI), and urged Secretary Chertoff to consider
delaying implementing the passport requirement for air
travel, citing studies that imply a gap in the stages of
implementation would harm tourism destinations that rely on
aircraft for U.S. citizen visitors. He urged that both parts
of WHTI be implemented simultaneously, ideally delayed until

2009.


11. (C) Secretary Chertoff took the opportunity to clarify
that there would not be a two-year gap, as Spencer indicated,
but rather that the target for cruise ship compliance is

2008. He noted that approximately 80 percent of air
travelers have passports, and over 90 percent of cruise
passengers book over four months in advance, providing ample
time to obtain a passport. He reassured CARICOM by
explaining that the USG had undertaken a massive information
campaign and that they might be &flexible8 for those few
U.S. citizens who had not obtained passports by January 8,
2007 and who sought reentry into the United States.

-------------- --------------
CRIMINAL DEPORTEES, SMALL ARMS: CARICOM STEPS NEEDED
-------------- --------------


12. (C) Ralph Fonseca, Minister of Home Affairs and Public
Utilities from Belize, started the discussion on criminal
deportees with a plea for better notification of arrivals,
especially for the time of CWC, if not beyond. Jamaican
Minister of National Security Phillips piggy-backed on this
statement to preview the CARICOM-commissioned studies on
deportees in Jamaica, Guyana and T&T. Their initial data
indicated a link between deported criminals (from the U.S.,
UK or Canada) and an increase in violent crime, as well as
hinting that deported criminals maintain links to their
criminal networks in the U.S., which they import to the
Caribbean. Further, Phillips noted that many deportees have
limited links to their country of nationality, and asked for
increased dialogue on this issue, especially to discuss
pre-deportation and post-arrival integration and orientation
programs. T&T PM Manning further elaborated that their
study,s preliminary data showed an overwhelming majority (62
percent) had committed at least one crime since arrival back
in T&T.


13. (C) Secretary Chertoff sympathized with the need for
better notification, and pointed out that the U.S. notifies
twice: first when requesting travel documents and second, 72
hours prior to departure from the U.S. He offered to work
with CARICOM to ensure (continued) timely notification about
deportees, arrival, but requested that CARICOM countries
work with the U.S. on issuing travel documents more quickly.
He finished his discussion by reiterating that the U.S.
operates well within the boundaries of the law on this issue,
and that countries have a responsibility to take back their
citizens.


14. (C) Getting in the last word on this contentious issue,
PM Manning suggested that the U.S. should foster preferential
treatment for CARICOM based on the economic and social
contributions the region makes. He encouraged a wide
dialogue on the issue in the upcoming months.


15. (C) Minister Phillips moved into small arms and light
weapons (SALW), noting that the Caribbean does not
manufacture weapons, but that there is an increase in the
number of arms flowing through the region. He noted that
CARICOM discussed this issue with Secretary Rice in February,
and would like to broaden the partnership on combating SALW
trafficking, possibly through greater information sharing to
track manufacture and ownership as well as investigative
assistance. Secretary Chertoff responded that at the
February meeting a draft agreement on SALW was discussed, and
that the ball was now in CARICOM,s court. The USG was in
agreement on most of the issues raised, but needed that
agreement published to unlock the assistance requested.

-------------- --
CLOSING COMMENTS: HELP US, OR SOMEONE ELSE WILL
-------------- --


16. (C) DPM Mottley elaborated on her earlier comments,
suggesting that American attention to the Caribbean has waned
since the 1980s, and that CARICOM must come to grips with the
fact that they are victims of circumstance in the world. She
cautioned that if the United States, a traditional ally of
the Caribbean, retreats in terms of assistance and influence,
then others will enter, seeking to influence the region with
their potentially anti-U.S. ideologies. She noted that some
recent foreign policy moves by the United States, such as the
International Criminal Court Article 98 restrictions or
terrorist financing laws that erroneously singled out some
Caribbean countries as violators, seemed short-sighted and
ill-informed and only alienated the region. She asked for a
revitalized dialogue to resolve these issues and others,
especially in light of the traditional partnership between
the Caribbean and the U.S.


17. C) COMMENT: Apart from the presentations on maritme
and tourism security, CARICOM largely refrained from its
typical model of requesting direct forign assistance.
Rather, the presentations seemedto have been well
thought-out to focus on partneship and collaboration, rather
than on assistanc and donations. Disturbingly, CARICOM has
latche on to the idea that they deserve special treatmen as
&traditional allies8 when the countries often resist
working with the U.S. in international fora such as the UN.
CWC security cooperation could be a vehicle for broadening
our partnership beyond security issues into political arenas,
but such a move will, as repeated over and over, require
ongoing dialogue to reach a meeting of the minds. END
COMMENT.


18. (U) DHS has cleared this cable.

AUSTIN