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06PRAGUE388 2006-04-17 13:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Prague
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1. (C) Summary. On April 13, the Castro regime announced it
would not renew the visa of Czech diplomat Stanislav Kazecky,
effectively expelling him. The Czechs believe another Czech
diplomat may be expelled next week. The Cuban Charge
d'Affaires in Prague said the GOC expelled Kazecky because
his activities were "inconsistent with his diplomatic
status." The Czech government plans to retaliate in kind by
expelling at least one Cuban diplomat, and to use the
expulsion as a rallying cry for a tougher EU common policy
against the Castro regime. End summary.

2. (C) Poloff spoke separately on April 14 with Petr
Janousek, Czech MFA Americas Desk Officer, and Marek Toman,
of the Transformation Cooperation Unit, to discuss the
expulsion of Czech diplomat Stanislav Kazecky from Cuba.

3. (C) The MFA confirmed the following facts: Kazecky's visa
was due to expire on April 14, 2006, and the Czechs had
requested a renewal. On April 13, the Czech Charge d'Affaires
Vit Korselt was summoned to the Cuban MFA. There he was given
a note stating Kazecky's visa would not be renewed. No
further explanation was given. The GOC ordered Kazecky,
second in command at the Embassy, to leave Cuba within 72

4. (C) The Czech MFA immediately summoned Cuban Charge
d'Affaires in Prague, Aymee Hernandez Quesada, for an
explanation. Under intense questioning by Jakub Skalnik, MFA
Director of the Department of Americas, Hernandez admitted
the GOC's decision not to renew the visa was the equivalent
of a diplomatic expulsion. According to Janousek, Hernandez
said the GOC did not renew Kazecky's visa because his
activities were "inconsistent with his diplomatic status."
She referred to Kazecky's contact with organizations that
support dissidents, and that she claimed are funded by the
USG. (Note: the Czechs believe Hernandez was referring to
Czech NGO People in Need, which is active in Cuba.)

5. (C) Toman said Kazecky has worked hard to support
democracy in Cuba, and is regularly in touch with dissidents
and their families. Not surprisingly, the Cuban regime has
harassed him for his efforts. In a recent incident, a group
of Cuban "citizens" barred him from entering a building to
meet with dissident family members. Toman said Kazecky has
also experienced unpleasant treatment by some members of the
international diplomatic community in Cuba. While Toman
declined to identify any specific incident or diplomatic
mission, he coyly noted that Spain's position on Cuba is
diametrically opposed to the Czech position.

6. (C) In retaliation for Kazecky's expulsion, the Czechs
said they plan to expel at least one Cuban diplomat. They
also plan to use the incident as leverage to push for a
tougher EU common policy against the Castro regime. They have
already notified their EU partners via COREU and may request
them to make statements in the future. Although the Czechs'
ideas are still in the planning stages, according to Janousek
they will try to put the issue on the agenda at the next
COLAT and GAERC meetings. In addition, the Czechs have
already planned to host a conference on April 25 for foreign
ministers active on Cuba (including Spain), and NGOs.
Collective response to the expulsion will likely be discussed
at the conference.

7. (C) Finally, the visa of Manuel Angel Baltar Charnicharo
(please protect), the GSO at the Czech Embassy in Cuba, is
due to expire on Wednesday, April 19. The Czechs are
concerned the GOC will not renew Charnicharo's visa, and
therefore are preparing a diplomatic note urging renewal of
his visa.

8. (C) Comment. The Czech-Cuban relationship will likely
worsen in coming days as diplomats in both countries are
expelled and/or their visas are not renewed. Losing Czech
diplomats in Cuba will have an adverse impact on Cuban
dissidents and their families. In addition to providing
material support and comfort to these people, Czech diplomats
help People in Need (PIN) promote democracy and human rights
on the island by permitting PIN to use diplomatic pouches to
send money, supplies, and medicine into Cuba, and photographs
(ref A), and other items back out. While unfortunate, these
high-profile expulsions may persuade other EU member states
to side with the Czechs on a tougher EU common policy. As
will be reported septel, the Czechs have recently obtained

PRAGUE 00000388 002 OF 002

behind-the-scenes statements of support for a tougher EU
policy from other member states, including Slovakia, Hungary,
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, the Netherlands, and
others. The timing of this incident could not be better for
the Czech position, as it will certainly set the tone for the
April 25 conference, and may strengthen the resolve of
like-minded countries before the EU foreign ministers meet in
June 2006 to review EU common policy on Cuba.