Viewing cable 06SANTODOMINGO409,
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|06SANTODOMINGO409||2006-02-07 22:10||2011-01-18 10:10||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Santo Domingo|
VZCZCXYZ0019 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHDG #0409/01 0382212 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 072212Z FEB 06 FM AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3433 INFO RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 0205 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 0141 RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE IMMEDIATE 4100
Cable dated:2006-02-07T22:12:00C O N F I D E N T I A L SANTO DOMINGO 000409SIPDISSIPDISSTATE FOR WHA/CAR-NICHOLS, SEARBY; INR/SAA-BEN-YEHUDAE.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2016TAGS: PREL DR HA Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Lisa Kubiske. Reason: 1.4(b) and (d). ¶1. (C) Summary and comment. In a February 6 meeting requested by Charge Kubiske to underscore USG concerns about the possible return of Duvalier to Haiti, Dominican Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso said he had warned the Dominican embassy in Port-au-Prince and others to keep Duvalier out of the Dominican Republic and agreed that Duvalier,s (and Aristide,s) presence could be unhelpful. He said the Dominican Government,s highest interest was for peaceful, legitimate elections, so that the two governments -- his and the newly elected Haitian one -- could resume regular discussions on issues of mutual concern such as migration. He looked forward to working with whoever wins, and expected a Preval victory on the first round. Comment: We found Morales Troncoso current and engaged on Haiti, with plans to be immediately available to handle any developments that might arise. Morales Troncoso appeared understanding and supportive of our concern about any possible Duvalier return to Haiti. End summary and comment. ¶2. (C) Charge Kubiske, accompanied by poloff, met February 6 with Dominican Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso to discuss the outlook for the Haitian elections and aftermath, and, in particular, to re-alert the Dominican government to USG concerns about a possible return of Duvalier to Haiti. Morales noted several recent conversations with OAS Secretary General Insulza and UN SRSG Valdez, as well as with senior officials in the Dominican embassy in Port-au-Prince, among others. Duvalier,s Return to Haiti “Unhelpful” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶3. (C) Kubiske expressed USG concern over a return to Haiti of either Duvalier or Aristide. Both potentially were provocative and could complicate the ability of any new government to establish itself. If the election were inconclusive, a return of either one could certainly make things worse. We thought that neither should be allowed back into Haiti until a newly established, functioning democratic government could make a decision itself. Kubiske recalled President Fernandez, January 11 conversation with WHA DAS Patrick Duddy in which Fernandez himself had agreed that Duvalier,s arrival in Haiti around the time of the elections would be detrimental and that Duvalier should not be permitted to return via the Dominican Republic (reftel). ¶4. (C) Morales Troncoso agreed that Aristide and Duvalier supporters would get upset if their opponents returned to the scene. Anti-Duvalier Haitians might seek revenge, even after 20 years, he noted. He said he had warned the Dominican embassy in Port-au-Prince among others against Duvalier coming to or through the Dominican Republic. Reminded by Kubiske about past Dominican government tolerance of the presence of Haitian activists on Dominican soil, Morales Troncoso did not expect Duvalier to live in the Dominican Republic. ¶5. (C) For this week, Morales Troncoso said the most important thing is that everyone votes on February 7 and that the vote is legitimate. He added, “Anything we can do, we will do, toward this end.” Kubiske suggested that the Dominican Government make clear that it doesn,t see Duvalier as helpful to Haiti. He strongly agreed: “In fact, unhelpful,” he replied. Kubiske clarified that the message should be that Duvalier was “not welcome” from a Dominican perspective. Election Day Outlook Good - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶6. (C) Morales Troncoso noted his brief conversation with OAS Secretary General Insulza at the airport earlier in the day and his various conversations with the Dominican Port-au-Prince senior staff. He reported that Insulza sounded optimistic about the prospects for the Haitian elections and that his staff reported that the situation was calm as of 6:00 pm February 6. Washington is also optimistic, though we can never rule out entirely some potential problems, Kubiske noted. The foreign minister agreed, saying “You can,t rule out anything on Haiti.” He confirmed that the Dominican Government had put more troops along the Dominican-Haitian border as a matter of preparing for a worst-case scenario. Morales said he had cleared his February 7 calendar of most events, in case something developed that would need his attention. ¶7. (C) FM Morales Troncoso thought Preval could win on the first round, though he noted that Haiti is very unpredictable. He expected low turnout for the elections; “30 percent would be great.” Working with a New Haitian Government - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶8. (C) Morales Troncoso said that the Dominican Government would be able to work with any of the candidates. Overall, the Dominican Republic wanted to be able to co-exist well with its island neighbor. As for specific candidates, Morales Troncoso was especially optimistic about Preval or Baker. With Preval, he expected that the Dominican Government could make use of the DR-Haiti bi-national commission. (Note: In the past, the two governments have been able to use the commission for migration issues, among other things.) He characterized Preval as quiet and professional. Morales Troncoso didn,t know Baker, but noted that the Dominican consul general in Port-au-Prince, Carlos Castillo, thinks highly of him. As for Manigat, Morales Troncoso thought he was a “nice guy.” They had gotten to know each other after the Dominican government put him up in a hotel when Manigat was removed from the presidency in the 1980s. ¶9. (C) Morales Troncoso said that the Core Group on Haiti, including OAS Secretary General Insulza, had decided to postpone its meeting here from last week until March 5. The postponement would allow for organizing a more public event and discussing the post-election situation. The foreign minister also mentioned a project the Dominican government had been developing for Haitian students in the Dominican Republic. He thought the Dominican government could help Haiti with education and health. The project had been postponed while the IGOH was in power, but he hoped to resume it soon after the elections. Comment - - - - - - - ¶10. (C) We found Morales Troncoso current and engaged on Haiti, with plans to be immediately available to handle any developments that might arise. Morales Troncoso appeared understanding and supportive of our concern about any possible Duvalier return to Haiti. End comment. Biographic Notes on Dominican-Haitian Diplomatic Dealings - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ¶11. (C) Kubiske asked about the new Haitian ambassador in Santo Domingo, Fritz Cineas. Cineas and his family, the foreign minister noted, were Duvalier supporters; the new ambassador, in fact, had been a young private secretary to Papa Doc Duvalier. Morales Troncoso characterized Cineas as a good man, a moderate, open and transparent. He had medical training and ample experience in diplomacy. The foreign minister didn,t know how long Cineas would keep this new job, since the outcome was likely to depend on the elections. ¶12. (C) As for the Dominican embassy in Port-au-Prince, Morales Troncoso noted he speaks with both Ambassador Jose Serulle RamiaXXXXXXXXXXXX and with Consul General Carlos Castillo. He acknowledged that he depends more on Castillo. Serulle, he said, is a friend of Preval,s, while Castillo is in touch with Baker. KUBISKE