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09MADRID614 2009-06-26 14:56:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Madrid
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1. (C//NF) Madam Secretary, Embassy Madrid warmly welcomes
your visit, which comes on the heels of your June 24 meeting
with Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba in
Washington (Ref A). While one of the highlights of his trip
was signing the bilateral accord on Preventing and Combating
Serious Crime, one of the centerpieces of your Madrid trip
will be to sign an MOU to formalize the DHS Immigration
Advisory Program (IAP) at Madrid's Barajas Airport and a
declaration of intent for our two governments to work toward
concluding an agreement on Cooperation in Science &
Technology for Homeland Security Matters. You will hold
meetings with President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, his
Second Vice President, Elena Salgado, who also serves as
Minister of Economy and Finance, and Interior Minister
Rubalcaba. The Embassy also will co-host a reception in your
honor, which will give you and your delegation an opportunity
to meet a range of additional senior-level officials in the
Spanish Government. Your visit will help to highlight the
importance that the USG places on the overall bilateral
relationship and the numerous programs that the DHS is
working on with our Spanish hosts. While the focus of your
trip will be on discussing bilateral issues, your
interlocutors may express GOS interest in preliminary
discussions to increase collaboration on justice and home
affairs issues during Spain's upcoming stint as President of
the European Union (EU) during the first half of 2010.


2. (C//NF) U.S.-Spain relations are strong and based on
shared global interests. Spain is a valued US partner and an
important geostrategic player that has achieved a remarkable
transformation since the end of the Franco dictatorship 30
years ago. It is one of the leading democracies in Europe,
and has the ninth-largest economy in the world. Spain is an
important friend and ally, and we value its cooperation
against terrorism and a range of other security issues.
Since the U.S. presidential election in November, a strong
atmosphere of goodwill has emerged in Spain for closer
bilateral cooperation. As a gesture of this goodwill, the
GOS presently is considering accepting some of the detainees
currently held at Guantanamo (GTMO, see Ref B). In
Washington, Rubalcaba publicly stated that Spain may accept
as many as five detainees. Spain is an important NATO ally,
a key player in the EU, and during January-June 2010 will
hold the EU's rotating Presidency. XXXXXXXXXXXX, judicial, and information-sharing
efforts, at least with us. The USG and GOS signed the
Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6)
information-sharing agreement in 2007. XXXXXXXXXXXX. The DHS/ICE office within Embassy Madrid has
worked with GOS counterparts over the past year on successful
running of the IAP and in operations targeting bulk-cash
smuggling at Barajas Airport. Spain also is a founding
member of the Proliferation Security Initiative and an active
member in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
As per Ref C, Spain currently is being considered for

MADRID 00000614 002.2 OF 004

membership in the G-8 Partnership Against the Spread of
Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Spain also allows
us the use of two military bases that are critical transit
points between the U.S. and Iraq and Afghanistan. One recent
irritant in bilateral relationship is are the efforts by some
investigating judges - invoking "universal jurisdiction" - to
indict former USG officials for their allegedly involvement
in torture at GTMO (Ref D).

3. (SBU) Your visit to Madrid and Rubalcaba's visit to
Washington are but the latest in a series of high-level
exchanges, including a presidential bilateral on the margins
of the U.S.-EU Summit in Prague in April, a meeting between
National Security Adviser Gen. Jones and King Juan Carlos I
in Florida in February, and Foreign Minister Moratinos's
February meeting in Washington with Secretary Clinton. At
the end of May, U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood became
the first cabinet-level visitor to Spain on behalf of the
Obama Administration. While you are in Madrid, Defense
Minister Carme Chacon will be in Washington during June 30 -
July 2 for discussions with Secretary Gates, among other
meetings (Ref E).


4. (SBU) In office since 2004, Zapatero won reelection to a
second term in March 2008, but his center-left Spanish
Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) is seven seats shy of a
majority in the 350-seat Congress. XXXXXXXXXXXX. Unemployment is over 17%, the
highest rate in the EU, and it is expected to reach 20%
sometime in the next year. Although popularity ratings for
Zapatero and the Socialists are low, the conservative
opposition Popular Party (PP) has struggled to capitalize on
this. The PP, hampered by internal divisions, also has been
dogged by corruption accusations. Nevertheless, Zapatero
suffered his first serious political reverse since winning
reelection when his party lost power in March 2009 regional
elections in Galicia. Zapatero shuffled the cabinet April 7
as a response to criticism of the GOS' inability to resolve
the economic crisis and with an eye to the June European
Parliament elections. The most prominent change was the
replacement of the Second Vice President/Minister of Economy
and Finance. Even so, the PP secured more seats than the
Socialists in the June 7 European Parliament elections,
another sign that Zapatero needs to focus on the economic


5. (S//NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX. He may even take credit, as in the case of
adjustments in U.S.-Cuba policy, for shaping USG views. He
is not innately ill-disposed to the USG. For him, foreign
policy is subordinate to domestic political interests, and
the U.S. relationship is just one more element to be viewed

MADRID 00000614 003.2 OF 004

currently a wave of goodwill for President Obama in Spain,
which is the answer to Zapatero's prayers in that it enables
him to engage the USG without being dinged by the traditional
anti-U.S. sentiment among his socialist base. XXXXXXXXXXXX. Zapatero
does not speak English, though we think he may understand it.

6. (C/NF) You will recall Interior Minister Rubalcaba - who
has wide-ranging responsibilities on security, law
enforcement and intelligence issues - as very capable and
serious but also charming. XXXXXXXXXXXX. He is known for his
intelligence, discretion, hard work, and mastery of detail,
as well as his negotiating prowess. XXXXXXXXXXXX.
You and Minister Rubalcaba are scheduled to sign
an MOU formalizing ongoing cooperation on the DHS's
Immigration Advisory Program (IAP) at Madrid's Barajas
Airport, where a successful pilot program recently was
carried out. You are also scheduled to sign a declaration of
intent for our two governments to work toward concluding an
agreement on Cooperation in Science & Technology for Homeland
Security Matters. Rubalcaba also is likely to continue his
Washington discussions with you on the US-EU transatlantic
agenda, border control issues, CSI, document falsification,
money laundering, and an alert system in case of the theft of
arms or explosives for terrorist purposes. He may discuss
further his recent proposal for an exchange of liaison
personnel to have officials present in each others'
headquarters. In addition to the preceding topics, you may
also wish to raise trafficking in persons, illegal
immigration, Frontex issues, and Special Interest Alien
Smuggling through Madrid-Barajas Airport en route to the
United States. Rubalcaba speaks English but prefers to have
an interpreter present during discussions of some technical
aspects of his portfolio.

7. (C) XXXXXXXXXX. Elena
Salgado is the Second Vice President and Minister of Economy
and Finance. She was moved up from being Minister of Public
Administration in April, as part of the broader cabinet
shuffle intended to highlight an intensified GOS effort to
combat the impact of the global economic crisis on Spain.
Rubalcaba reportedly was an influential figure in supporting
her appointment. XXXXXXXXXX. She previously served as Minister
of Public Administration (2007-09) and Minister of Health
(2004-07). The Spanish Government in 2006 unsuccessfully
nominated Salgado as a candidate for the Presidency of the
World Health Organization. Salgado also has extensive
private sector experience in consulting and
telecommunications industries. Salgado, born in 1949, has
degrees in industrial engineering and economics. Salgado
would be an appropriate GOS official with whom to discuss
CSI, money laundering and bulk-cash smuggling, and the USG's

MADRID 00000614 004.2 OF 004

relationship with Spanish Customs. Salgado speaks English.