Cuba refutes US allegations against diplomat
Campaign News | Saturday, 3 January 2004
Statement by Ministry of froeign affairs
STATEMENT BY RAFAEL DAUSÁ CÉSPEDES,
DIRECTOR OF THE NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Last 3 January, several US news agencies ran articles in which, quoting an alleged official from the US State Department, it was said that Cuban diplomat Roberto Socorro García, accredited to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, had been expelled from the United States in December for “associating himself with criminal elements.”
Afterwards, on 4 January, the Washington Post published an article by Robin Wright, both in its electronic format and in printed form, in which once again unidentified officials from the US State Department were quoted as saying that the aforementioned Cuban diplomat had been expelled from the United States for “drug-related activities.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs totally rejects and categorically rebuts that Mr. Roberto Socorro García has been associated with people or activities connected with drug trafficking in the United States, or has engaged in actions that are harmful to the US Government or that violate his diplomatic status.
Comrade Roberto Socorro García worked as Third Secretary of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington from 2001 through 24 December 2003, when he returned to our country following his unjust expulsion from the US. He always worked with full adherence to his diplomatic status and to the rules governing International Law and, particularly, the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Any accusation against our official is just a gross lie and a gross manipulation of reality.
No US official has informed, for the record, the Cuban Interests Section or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of anything relating to alleged criminal activities or ties to drug dealers by official Roberto Socorro.
It is revealing, however, that on several occasions since this campaign started last 3 January, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington have questioned officials from the US Interests Section and the US State Department on this issue and never was a word uttered on the alleged association with criminals or elements connected with drug trafficking. US State Department officials even assured the Cuban Interests Section in Washington that they had no information to verify what was published by the Washington Post, but that no initiative would be taken to rebut the news.
The State Department attacks our country once again and, specifically, the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, with a view to pleasing the Miami-based mafia.
It is worth recalling that – as previously denounced – only in the last 13 months, 19 Cuban diplomats have been expelled from the Cuban Interests Section in Washington and from the Cuban Mission to the United Nations.
All these actions have attempted to thwart the work of our diplomatic missions to the United States and fully disregard the will of the American people, that increasingly favors an evident change in policy towards Cuba and the normalization of relations between both countries, including a growing number of Cuban residents in that nation.
Likewise, we reject any attempt to manipulate the overused pretext of Cuba’s alleged involvement in drug-related activities, which is seemingly present in these false allegations against our diplomat.
We demand that the US State Department act responsibly and rebut these comments if it were true that officials from that Department have “leaked” to the press the falsities on the alleged involvement of the Cuban diplomat in criminal and drug trafficking activities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs now hopes that the executives of the Washington Post will release the sources of this wicked and false comment and see to it that Cuba’s response is published so that the real facts become known.
Havana, 7 January 2004