WikiLeaks Cable - Cuba and South America
By John Andrews at Dec 19, 2010
Almost immediately, the conversation turned to recent events in Venezuela and Bolivia. Dezcallar and the Secretary agreed that while both situations are domestic problems, they are developing into crises of international concern. The Secretary noted that while she sympathizes with the Bolivian people, the Bolivian regime is making it very difficult for the United States to help them. Dezcallar agreed that the Bolivian people are suffering, and that resolution is "through consultation, not violence." Both agreed that Bolivian President Morales is "out of his league" in his attempts to govern the country.
A similarly dismissive view of Hugo Chavez:
On Venezuela, Ambassador Dezcallar recounted how he was forced to wait three hours for a meeting with Chavez several years ago, then heard mindless chatter from Chavez for a few hours before being allowed to make his official request for Venezuela to turn over 6 ETA members wanted for killing 36 Spaniards. When Dezcallar was finally able to make his appeal, Chavez readily agreed. Only when Dezcallar got out of the meeting did he learn that Chavez stalled for enough time to let the ETA members escape from detention. The Secretary responded that the United States has found that ignoring Chavez is the best policy, and the lack of attention frustrates him more than admonition.
The ongoing obsession with Cuba:
The Secretary stated she remains unconvinced of the sincerity of minor post-Fidel changes in Cuba. She emphasized the need to make real change, as opposed to cosmetic ones. For example, Cubans should have access to cell phones and the Internet. The Ambassador countered that GoS doesn't think that changes in Cuba since Raul's ascent to power have been cosmetic. He denied that Raul is another Fidel, but warned against being too heavy-handed and "scaring him off, or he will be even more difficult." Dezcallar commented that Cuba is going through hard times this hurricane season, and the Secretary confirmed that the United States has already offered humanitarian aid.
A request for Spain to formally recognise Kosova; a country in the news recently as the Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci has been accused of being a gangster, a drugs baron and complicit in the murder of Serbs for the sale of their bodily organs:
Turning to Europe, the Secretary asked if there was any chance Spain would recognize Kosovo. Dezcallar demurred "not any time soon." The Secretary replied that she hoped Spain would not recognize the breakaway Georgian provinces of South Ossetia or Abkhazia, and Dezcallar assured her they would not.
And a dismissal of the Human Rights Council:
Mirroring FM Moratinos' request to the Secretary during their May 19 meeting, Ambassador Dezcallar again asked for the United States' support of Spanish candidacy to the Human Rights Council in the next election (2010). Similar to her response then, the Secretary said the U.S. may not vote at all, as she considers the council a "disaster." However, she noted that the council needed countries with good human rights records, like Spain, to hold seats.
Okay, nothing new, but still a bit disturbing to see in print. ( http://22.214.171.124/cable/2008/09/08STATE100219.html) details discussions between Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Spanish Ambassador Dezcallar from September 2008. They indicate a very dismissive, possibly racist, attitude to Evo Morales: