Viewing cable 09BRASILIA755, BRAZIL: RESPONSE TO TITLE III REQUEST
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|09BRASILIA755||2009-06-15 19:07||2011-01-18 00:12||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Brasilia|
VZCZCXRO9243 RR RUEHRG DE RUEHBR #0755 1661915 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 151915Z JUN 09 FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4490 INFO RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9646 RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 7856 RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4201 RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0070
C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 000755 SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CCA GABRIELA ZAMBRANO E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2019 TAGS: PREL ETRD ETTC BR CU SUBJECT: BRAZIL: RESPONSE TO TITLE III REQUEST REF: STATE 48487 Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Marie D'Amour, Reason 1.4(b) and (d) ¶1. (C) Post responses to reftel A questions follow: Question 1): Has the host country, in Post's opinion, worked to promote the advancement of democracy and human rights in Cuba? Post Response to Question 1): Yes, high level Brazilian officials, including Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and Foreign Affairs Advisor to the President Marco Aurelio Garcia in conversations with U.S. officials have stated that Brazil engages the Cuban Government on human rights and democracy behind closed doors. The Brazilian Government position is that it will have more influence on Cuba by maintaining good relations with its government. Question 2): Have there been any high-level diplomatic visits between Cuba and host country in the past six months? Post Response to Question 2): The Government of Brazil regularly emphasizes to post officials that it has a strong and important relationship with the Cuban Government, and high-level diplomatic visits are common. The past six months have seen reciprocal visits by the Brazilian and Cuban presidents and foreign ministers, among others. Question 3): What is the nature of investments (and names, if known) that host country businesses have in Cuba? Post Response to Question 3): There are a number of Brazilian companies doing business in Cuba, including tour bus manufacturer Busscar (Transbus Industria S.A. in Cuba) and cigarette manufacturer Souza Cruz (a Brazil-based subsidiary of British American Tobacco Company in a joint venture with the GoC). In March 2008, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) facilitated the participation of 24 Brazilian companies in the International Fair of Havana, Cuba,s principal commercial event. The Brazilian companies came from the food, construction, cleaning materials, equipment and machinery, technology, and health sectors. According to news reports, participation in the same fair in 2007 resulted in immediate transactions for Brazilian participants of USD 6.7 million, with expected future earnings of USD 33 million. GoB Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade figures indicate that in 2008 Cuba exported approximately USD 45 million of goods to Brazil - a decrease of 51% from 2007. The top three goods exported from Cuba to Brazil were extracts from glands and organs (accounting for approximately 66% of total trade), Portland cement (16%), and other blood products (6%). Also in 2008, Brazil exported to Cuba goods valued at approximately USD 527 million - compared to USD 324 million in 2007. The top three goods exported from Brazil to Cuba were refined soybean oil (accounting for 9.7% of total trade), bagasse and other solid residue from the processing of soybean oil (8.8%), and rice (7.7%). Question 4): Are there any bilateral trade agreements between host country and Cuba? Post Response to Question 4): Yes. The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists the following trade-related agreements with Cuba: a 1989 Commercial Agreement, a 2003 Terms of Cooperation in the Area of Micro and Small Businesses, and a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding for the Promotion of Industrial Development. Cuba entered into a regional preference tarrif agreement with the Brazil and other Mercosul countries in 1999 through the Latin American Association of Integration. In 2006 Mercosul and Cuba agreed on an accord to an to liberalize trade by reducing import tariffs, but this agreement has yet to be ratified and has not entered into force. Question 5): Are there any exchange programs between host country and Cuba, including but not limited to: scholarships for host country nationals to study in Cuba; Cuban-paid medical travel for host country nationals; and Cuban doctors working in host country? Post Response to Question 5): Yes, exchanges are common, particularly among students. SOBEL