Julian Assange

terça-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2010



Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MADRID76 2006-01-12 17:05 2010-12-07 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

121706Z Jan 06

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000076 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/11/2016 
REF: STATE 5253 
Classified By: DCM Bob Manzanares; reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 
1. (C) Summary.  The Ambassador met with Foreign Minister 
Miguel Angel Moratinos on January 12 to advise him of the USG 
decision to deny the Spanish technology transfer license 
request related to the sale of Spanish aircraft to the 
Venezuelan government.  Moratinos expressed frustration, 
saying it would be seen as a "punitive action" by the USG 
against Spain and would provide a field day for the 
opposition and the media.  He said he expected a negative 
reaction by President Zapatero to the news.  Moratinos 
complained that the USG did not recognize Spain's positive 
steps, but only focused on negative episodes in the 
relationship; he urged a clear "positive signal" that the USG 
wanted good relations with Spain.  The Ambassador reviewed 
the USG's clear, consistent, and frequent messages to Spain 
regarding its sale of ships and planes to Venezuela.  He said 
the USG also desired better relations and had made a 
concerted effort to work with Spain in Latin America, as 
evidenced by the upcoming visit of WHA A/S Shannon.  The 
Ambassador met briefly with President Zapatero and Moratinos 
at a representational event later in the day; both appeared 
to have accepted the news and were focused on how to deal 
with it in the media.  Comment: It would be useful from 
Embassy Madrid's perspective to again demonstrate our 
interest in good relations with Spain, perhaps by arranging a 
meeting for Moratinos with the Secretary when Moratinos is in 
the U.S. in May for the U.S.-Spain Council meeting in 
Florida.  End Comment. 
2. (C) Separately, Moratinos discussed his impressions of 
Bolivian president-elect Evo Morales, describing him as 
honest, but inexperienced and caught in "a bear hug" by 
Castro and Chavez.  He said he had encouraged Morales to work 
with the USG.  For his part Morales asked that Spain convey 
two messages to the USG: A) that the USG not imply that he is 
connected to narcotraffickers (or by association with 
terrorists) because of his support for the coca growers, and 
B) that the USG give Morales "room for maneuver" with the IMF 
and World Bank.  End Summary. 
3. (C) The Ambassador, accompanied by DCM, relayed reftel 
points to FM Moratinos and Deputy FM Bernardino Leon, telling 
Moratinos that it was not the USG's intent to make the denial 
of the licenses public.  The Ambassador explained that the 
USG had carefully reviewed the application for a license by 
EADS CASA and was denying the application consistent with USG 
concerns regarding the transfer of such technology to 
Venezuela, not as a swipe against the Spanish government.  He 
told Moratinos that he would similarly inform Minister of 
Defense Jose Bono and EADS CASA Chairman Sanz. 
4. (C) Moratinos asked whether the USG decision could be 
reversed.  The Ambassador said that it was a firm decision 
that could only be revisited if Venezuela changed its present 
course, noting that the USG was following the same policy 
with respect to similar applications by other countries for 
authorization to transfer technology to Venezuela, as we had 
recently explained to Spanish officials.  Moratinos said the 
denial of the applications was unfortunate, given the Spanish 
government's approval to EADS CASA to continue with the sale 
and expressed concern about how this decision would affect 
Spanish commercial interests.  The Ambassador ventured that 
EADS CASA would probably not be unduly harmed, given the 
company's significant business interests elsewhere, but that 
that issue was for the company to resolve. 
5. (C) Moratinos turned to the political impact of the USG 
decision, saying it would be portrayed as a punitive action 
by the USG against the Zapatero government and would give the 
opposition and the media platform to cast Zapatero as inept 
in his handling of relations with the U.S.  Moratinos said he 
would inform Zapatero immediately and expected him to react 
negatively to the news.  He said he would inform the 
Ambassador of Zapatero's reaction. 
6. (C) In a frustrated tone, Moratinos asked what the USG 
expected of Spain.  He said 2006 was a crucial year for the 
Zapatero government and that they had to get bilateral 
relations on track because the U.S. would be absorbed by 
political campaigning in 2007.  Moratinos said Spain desired 
"clear signals" from the USG that bilateral relations had 
improved, but saw only "punitive signals," including this 
decision to deny the technology transfer to Venezuela.  He 
said the USG and Spain should be establishing joint 
objectives in democracy promotion in Venezuela rather than 
arguing over arms sales.  "We are the eighth largest power in 
the world, but (the USG) treats us like a fifth-rate power. 
We have no indication that there could be a visit by 
Secretary Rice or other high level attention.  We want to 
work with you, but need a minimal political signal that you 
want to work with us.  We need to demonstrate that the 
bilateral relations are on track and are not just about what 
we are doing in Venezuela and Cuba." 
7. (C) The Ambassador responded that there could be no 
surprise on the part of Moratinos or other Spanish leaders 
regarding the USG's decision on the EADS CASA application. 
From the beginning, the USG message on the Spanish sales to 
Venezuela had been clear, consistent, and frequent.  Spain 
had made its decision in spite of our objections. 
Nevertheless, said the Ambassador, the USG also wished to put 
this issue behind us and move forward on a common agenda, as 
evidenced by the upcoming visits of WHA A/S Tom Shannon and 
Senator Mel Martinez.  He also noted Spanish Vice President 
de la Vega's expression of interest in visiting the U.S., 
which the Embassy supported.  The Ambassador said he agreed 
with Moratinos that we could work together to make 2006 a 
good year for the bilateral relationship.  At this point, 
Deputy FM Leon noted that former President Felipe Gonzalez 
planned to visit Venezuela at the end of January to talk to 
both Chavez and the opposition as part of Spain's democracy 
promotion efforts. 
8. (C) Hours later, the Ambassador met with President 
Zapatero and Moratinos in an informal pull-aside at a Royal 
Palace reception.  They seemed to have digested the news well 
and were focused on media portrayal of the decision.  The 
Ambassador assured them that the USG was not interested in a 
negative portrayal of this episode in the media viz-a-viz 
U.S.-Spain bilateral relations. 
10. (C) Given President Zapatero's measured response, it 
appears that Moratinos overcame his frustration and presented 
the issue to Zapatero is a straightforward manner.  Overall, 
Moratinos has been a positive influence throughout this 
episode, despite having to (again) play the role of the loser 
in an internal struggle with Bono.  Moratinos consistently 
scores near the bottom in Spanish public opinion polls while 
Bono is among the most popular figures in the cabinet.  This 
may be due in part to the fact that Bono is a professional 
politician, while Moratinos is a career diplomat with little 
flair for the spotlight.  From our viewpoint, it makes sense 
to reinforce Moratinos' positive attitudes, perhaps through a 
meeting with the Secretary during Moratinos' visit to the 
U.S. in May to participate in the U.S.-Spain Council meetings 
in Florida. 

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