Monthly Archives: December 2010

This post is based on an email that was sent and in no way reflects the views and opinions of ''Met'' or To send in a story send your email to [email protected]



Proverbs 20

Words of Wisdom Are Better than Gold

1It isn’t smart to get drunk!Drinking makes a fool of you

and leads to fights.

2An angry ruler

is like a roaring lion–

make either one angry,

and you are dead.

3It makes you look good

when you avoid a fight–

only fools love to quarrel.

4If you are too lazy to plow,

don’t expect a harvest.

5Someone’s thoughts may be

as deep as the ocean,

but if you are smart,

you will discover them.

6There are many who say,

“You can trust me!”

But can they be trusted?

7Good people live right,

and God blesses the children

who follow their example.

8When rulers decide cases,

they weigh the evidence.

9Can any of us really say,

“My thoughts are pure,

and my sins are gone”?

10Two things the LORD hates

are dishonest scales

and dishonest measures.

11The good or bad

that children do

shows what they are like.

12Hearing and seeing

are gifts from the LORD.

13If you sleep all the time,

you will starve;

if you get up and work,

you will have enough food.

14Everyone likes to brag

about getting a bargain.

15Sensible words are better

than gold or jewels.

16You deserve to lose your coat

if you loan it to someone

to guarantee payment

for the debt of a stranger.

17The food you get by cheating

may taste delicious,

but it turns to gravel.

18Be sure you have sound advice

before making plans

or starting a war.

19Stay away from gossips–

they tell everything.

20Children who curse their parents

will go to the land of darkness

long before their time.

21Getting rich quick [a] may turn out to be a curse.

22Don’t try to get even.

Trust the LORD,

and he will help you.

23The LORD hates dishonest scales

and dishonest weights.

So don’t cheat!

24How can we know

what will happen to us

when the LORD alone decides?

25Don’t fall into the trap

of making promises to God

before you think!

26A wise ruler severely punishes

every criminal.

27Our inner thoughts are a lamp

from the LORD,

and they search our hearts.

28Rulers are protected

by God’s mercy and loyalty,

but [b] they must be merciful for their kingdoms to last.

29Young people take pride

in their strength,

but the gray hairs of wisdom

are even more beautiful.

30A severe beating can knock all

of the evil out of you!


wesley snipes lil sister.. Keyshia snipes

Added 35 minutes ago · Like · Comment

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      33 minutes ago ·
    • RiRi Lawrence STAY IN DA HOUSE

      32 minutes ago ·
    • Dani B. Folarin Oh he wanna be Wesley Snipes and Foxy Brown at the same time huh?

      28 minutes ago · 1 personLoading… ·
    • Juliet Doris yo tities are trying to touch yo belly button huh?

      16 minutes ago ·
    • Felechia Martin-Holman wesley snipes..may6e, saggy baggy sag bags(chest)…modef!!!!

      15 minutes ago ·
    • Justin Beanie Whitworth Wesley Snipes Hiding from the cops 4 tax fraud again huh?

      3 minutes ago ·
    • Khalidah Kb Burton Leslie Snipes.


I am one of the promoters of Girls Lyme. I was referred to a post on your blog regarding Girls Lyme and I want to clear up a few things.  Let me start by saying initially I was going to ignore it, I have never heard of your site prior to this and after browsing i think I can say we are clearly from two different worlds…much of the language (patios) I could not even understand. The target audience for our event are not the type of people who would be interested in this gossip site: no offense…different strokes for different folks.

I decided to contact you because clearly you were made aware of the event; I’m not sure how or by whom (I would love to know) but I want to ensure that all who are aware of it, whether invited or not , are clear what it is and who it is for.

I thought it was a bit presumptuous, how you quickly made assumptions; no worries, let’s clear them up….

Girls Lyme has nothing to do with the Gay and lesbian community. I laughed when I saw this it would not even have occurred to me that people would think this, but as I said before different worlds.

A little history….. The name simply refers to a group of friends who started lyming on weekends on their veranda/porch, drinking wine and chatting i.e GIRLS LYMING… (I’m going to assume you know what to lime or lyme means) .They began calling themselves the Girls Lyme group and later hosted a couple of successful events (which  I’m sure you would not have heard about)  under that name.

My friends and i thought it would be fun to bring back the event and name it after the girls who initially came up with the concept. Few events cater to women i.e having drinks women want to drink and playing music women want to hear and having men there who women want to mee

would have seen that all the female invites come with a male invite attached for the woman to invite the male of her choice.

The event is about good friends having fun male and female… that is all…

I must say I find some of the comments on your site disturbing, bizarre and ignorant but I guess much of the time that is what gossip is about.   I respect your efforts in doing what you do…i.e running a building a site but I cannot respect the content. To each, his own though.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions

Thanks for your time.



I am sorry Girls Lyme was misinterpreted but the acronym was what blew the whistle for the invitee. I will make a posting that will clear up the matter. For you to say we are from different worlds, that is clear and I have no idea what you view patois as but it is hysterical what you seem to associate our language with even to go as far as associating it with ”worlds” which I am sure we are not from the same one. It doesn’t bother me a bit the opinion or respect you have for the site’s content. Clearly your target audience may not be of Jamaican descent and people from your world do not gossip. I understand that clearly. Thank you for clearing up ”Girls Lyme” with us although upon further viewing of your site it was clear that it was a regular event, maybe you were unable to understand the patois that it was written in when we concluded that it was a regular party and I do hope you are able to understand the dialect I have used in this email.



Summary ——- 1. (S/NF) BRV reaction to the announcement of Castro’s illness and recovery directly mirrored that of the Cuban regime. There is no reason to believe that the fundamentals of the Cuba-Venezuela relationship — with Venezuela providing huge resource flows, and the Cubans providing tens of thousands of “advisors” — will change through the medium term. Castro’s absence from the scene will deprive Chavez of an avuncular presence and a proven crisis manager, which may increase Chavez’ vulnerability. In the event of Castro’s permanent departure from the scene, the mercurial Chavez may become even more unpredictable. Chavez may believe his regime’s survival is tied to that of a Castroite successor government, and under a conceivable set of circumstances might even be willing to deploy Venezuelan military assets in support of a successor regime. Embassy believes this would be an apt moment to warn the BRV against intervening in Cuba during its transition. End summary. Initial BRV Reactions to Castro Announcement ——————————————– 2. (U) Initial Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BRV) reaction to the news of Castro’s illness and temporary hand-over of power has been limited to parroting the Cuban line. Speaking on August 1 in Vietnam, Chavez seemed a bit taken by surprise and uninformed, but said he had talked to Cuban officials who assured him that Castro “would return to his job in some weeks.” The same day, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced that they “had received, with satisfaction, news from Cuban authorities” that Castro was recuperating. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel similarly said that he spoke with his Cuban counterpart Carlos Lage and Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, who assured him that the Cuban leader was recovering normally. 3. (S/NF) Chavez returned to Caracas on August 3, apparently without stopping in Havana. SIMO reports indicate that he had wanted to do so, but the Cubans waved him off, fearing that his presence would undercut their efforts to convey a sense of normality. Chavez got the point; during his August 6 “Alo Presidente,” Chavez said he had learned out that Castro was up and talking, and expressed his confidence that the Cuban leader would be back in action soon. Interestingly, Chavez did not suggest he’d spoken personally to Castro. Too, he engaged in a lengthy digression about his appreciation for being able to meet and work with a hero from his youth. Certainly it was not his intention, but this part of Chavez’ comments took on the tone of an elegy. Speculation on Raul-Chavez Relations ———————————— 4. (C) Regardless of whether Fidel is alive or not, it would appear that Raul will continue to play a larger role than in the past. Public and other sources have included speculation about the lack of chemistry between Chavez and Raul Castro. While we question the reliability of such judgments, because it’s unclear to us the basis for reaching them, they are worth being aware of. Americo Martin, a former Venezuelan Communist close to the Castros in the 1970s, told El Universal that the younger Castro views Chavez with distrust and caution. Former Venezuelan Ambassador and ubiquitous international relations analyst Julio Cesar Pineda told poloff August 8 that he has heard that Chavez is close to FM Perez Roque, and VP Lage, who it would appear are going CARACAS 00002367 002.2 OF 004 to continue to play important roles in Cuba. Exiled Cuban intellectual Carlos Alberto Montaner probably made the most relevant observation in noting that Raul and Chavez lack the emotional ties that bind Fidel and Chavez. What Does it Mean for Venezuela? ——————————– 5. (C) While there are a number of unknowns in the equation, there is no reason to believe much will change in the bilateral relationship in the short to medium term. Both countries derive benefits from the relationship. Cuba benefits from the millions in oil and transfer payments for services rendered; Venezuela benefits from the advice of Castro and tens of thousands of “trainers” and doctors. Apparent Cuban influence in Venezuela has grown dramatically, to the point that opposition Venezuelans sardonically refer to “Venecuba” or “Cubazuela” (both forms are acceptable). Chavez relies heavily on Cuban advisors to implement programs that are one of the keys to his political success. We assess there could be as many as 40,000 Cubans currently in Venezuela, managing, guiding, and implementing Chavez’ social missions (e.g., Barrio Adentro medical program, Mision Robinson literacy program, Mercal state-owned grocery chain, etc.) Rumors swirl about Cubans taking central roles in sensitive government functions, including in Chavez’ personal security, the military, the National Electoral Council, the national identification Office, even land titling offices. None of that is going to change soon. The Bolivarian regime is deriving political and organizational benefit from it, and the Cubans are getting paid hard currency for it. 6. (S/NF) We judge that Chavez will also want to continue Venezuela’s generous petroleum support to Cuba, which we currently estimate at 98,000 barrels per day, worth at least $7 million a day, or $2.5 billion a year. SIMO reporting indicates that Chavez directed that his staff find ways of increasing resource flows to Cuba. We can think of two motivations Chavez might have in increasing cash flow to Cuba: first, to help a friend in need; the one thing he has is cash, and he can give more of it. Second, it may also be true that Chavez is looking to bump up transfer payments in order to increase his influence in Cuba at this critical moment. The economic assistance could become a problem, however, if the egoistic, increasingly intrusive Chavez used it to promote his own candidate in any ensuing power struggle, prolonging the infighting and delaying a democratic transition. How Does Chavez Act if Castro is Debilitated or Dead? ——————————————— ——– 7. (S/NF) Castro’s prolonged convalescence or even death is likely to cause headaches for the region and roil bilateral relations. Some argue that Castro has had a moderating influence on Chavez, and so he’ll really let go if Castro is gone. The predicate seems wrong to us. It’s hard to see much moderation in Chavez’ recent behavior: open interventionism and tendency to pick fights with leaders throughout the hemisphere, his embrace of pariah states (including especially the vote for Iran at the IAEA and the apparent endorsement of the DPRK’s July 4 missile launches), and his government’s relentless assault on basic freedoms within Venezuela. It may be closer to the mark to observe that Castro is one of the few people who could contradict Chavez or give him news he didn’t want to hear. We’ve received numerous reports that Chavez is left surrounded by yes-men, because he simply won’t accept bad news or criticism. The absence of Castro — to Chavez, respected and avuncular — could make the mercurial Chavez even more CARACAS 00002367 003 OF 004 unpredictable and radical. 8. (S/NF) Over time, Chavez will probably move toward assuming the mantle as (in Castro’s words) “my successor to advance social revolution.” Chavez will need to work this issue slowly, as he does not wish to suggest prematurely that Castro is dead and inadvertently cause problems for — or with — any successor Castroite regime. That said, Chavez has neither the intellectual candlepower nor the international environment to replicate Castro’s rise to international prominence. That doesn’t mean he won’t try, and he’ll play his best card — oil wealth — whenever he needs to. And whatever the force of his arguments, his checkbook is going to speak loudly. 9. (S/NF) We should be particularly mindful that Chavez will be a committed advocate of the continuation of a repressive regime in Cuba. Chavez has been on a losing streak, with the electoral results in Peru and (it seems) in Mexico; were Cuba now to turn toward democracy, Chavez would be increasingly isolated as the sole radical leftist in the hemisphere. Chavez may believe that the survival of his regime is tied to that of the Castro regime. 10. (S/NF) There are some even more troubling scenarios that one can play out in this regard. Chavez has said as recently as this April that he’d be willing to spill Venezuelan blood to save the Cuban regime (although he was speaking about a U.S. invasion). Were there to be an internal civil conflict in Cuba, we believe it possible that Chavez would consider intervening militarily on the side of pro-regime elements. It is not clear to us that such an intervention would be militarily effective, but the presence, or even threat, of a Venezuelan force in Cuba would have important implications for Cuba and for us. Perhaps the most likely scenario would have the Venezuelans providing lift capability to loyalist troops; the Venezuelan Armed Force (FAV) does retain some fixed-wing and rotary lift capability. That said, a Venezuelan navy troopship regularly plies between Venezuela and Cuba, and could conceivably be used to move FAV troops to the island. (11. (C) Comment: As noted in previous email traffic, Embassy suggests that this may be an apt time to warn the BRV against intervening in Cuba.) An Achilles’ Heel? —————— 12. (S/NF) These are some fairly gloomy scenarios. We can conceive how Castro’s absence might actually make Chavez more vulnerable. Hugo Chavez is a master tactician, regularly assessing the domestic political situation better and faster than the opposition, and making moves to box in his democratic opponents. What Chavez is less good at is crisis management. To take a recent example, Chavez’ first instinct to go to Castro’s sickbed was wrong, because it would have undercut the regime’s “all is well” line. There are historical examples, of Chavez cracking under pressure. In both the 1992 and the 2002 failed coups, evidence suggests that Chavez lost his nerve at key moments. His military colleagues were willing to fight on in 1992 when he was holed up in the Military Museum, but he surrendered them all. In 2002, a weepy Chavez was reportedly ready to sign the letter of resignation and flee to Cuba. Castro has proved his worth to Chavez as a proxy crisis manager. It was Castro who told Chavez to fight on in 2002, and it was Castro who worked the phones to reassemble a pro-Chavez consensus in the armed forces. In 2004, as the recall referendum approached, it was Castro who conceived and executed the “misiones” plan to buck CARACAS 00002367 004.2 OF 004 up Chavez’ popularity. In Cuba, from the Cuban Missile Crisis to Mariel to the Maleconazo to the Special Period, Fidel Castro has proven himself to be a superb crisis manager. Should Chavez confront a thorny crisis, especially a domestic crisis, he may suffer significantly from the loss of Castro’s steady hand at his back. This, in turn, could be an advantage for us in our efforts to urge a return to full democracy in Venezuela



E.O. 12958: DNG: CO 01/26/2021

REF: A. A: HAVANA 00118
B. B: HAVANA 00697
D. D: IIR 6 902 9698 06 



1. (S//NF) As noted in REF A, the Venezuelan relationship
with Cuba continues to intensify. Thousands of personnel
sent by the Cuban Government are involved in the Venezuelan
health sector and other BRV social missions. Cubans
cooperate extensively with Venezuelan intelligence services.
Cubans may also participate heavily in the BRV's efforts to
naturalize foreigners and provide documentation for citizens,
according to various reports from Embassy contacts. Cubans'
roles in the military are less clear but probably are also
less significant. 

2. (C) Venezuelans' views of individual Cubans are mixed.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to be trying to
promote the involvement of Cubans in Venezuelan society,
although he has proceeded slowly and carefully. Anti-Chavez
politicians have barked up the wrong tree by decrying Cuban
communism and sovereignty violations, issues that simply do
not resonate with poor Venezuelans. While the economic
impact of Cubans working in Venezuela may be limited, Cuban
intelligence has much to offer to Venezuela's anti-U.S.
intelligence services. End Summary. 

How Many Cubans?

3. (S) Although the numbers of Cubans sent by the GOC to
work in Venezuela are significant, the exact figures are
difficult to establish. Embassy officers have noted regular
flights of Cubans--or Venezuelans returning from official
visits to Cuba--at Caracas's Maiquetia airport. According to
a DOD analysis of flight activity, an average of about 350
people arrive on three to five commercial or military flights
from Cuba to Venezuela per day. Most of these flights land
at Maiquetia, but Barcelona and Maracaibo are also common
destinations. Post cannot determine how many Cubans are on
the flights or how many passengers stay in Venezuela
permanently. Airport officials spirit passengers through the
building without stopping in customs or immigration. ONIDEX,
Venezuela's National Office of Identification and
Immigration, reports that it naturalized only 12 Cubans out
of a group of 22,664 persons naturalized in December 2005.
Whether or not they enjoy Venezuelan citizenship, however,
thousands of Cubans have Venezuelan documentation. In
addition to the over 20,000 Cubans involved in the Venezuelan
health sector (see below), less reliable reports indicate
that thousands more are active in the Venezuelan interior.
Manuel Rosales, the opposition Governor of Zulia State, told
the DCM in October 2005 that 20,000 Cubans resided in Zulia
alone. Former National Assembly deputy Pedro Pablo Alcantara
(Accion Democratica) told us in October that Lara State had
the most Cubans per capita in Venezuela. He claimed more
flights from Havana arrived in Barquisimeto, Lara than in 

CARACAS 00000219 002 OF 006 

Caracas. Complicating the matter further are some 30,000
Cuban exiles in Venezuela, the Cuban exile NGO Net for Cuba


4. (C) The BRV created Mision Barrio Adentro (Inside the
Neighborhood Mission) to provide basic health care for
disadvantaged neighborhoods in December 2003, shortly after
signing a bilateral agreement with Cuba to swap oil for
medical services. As of mid-2005, about 21,000 Cuban
physicians, nurses, and support staff along with some 6,000
Venezuelan personnel staffed the mission, according to the
Ministry of Communication. Mission clinics are small,
two-story hexagonal structures that also house two to three
doctors. The BRV provides the clinics' equipment and
reduced-cost medicines. Through Barrio Adentro, the BRV
identifies patients eligible for Mision Milagro (Miracle
Mission), which flies Venezuelans to Havana for cataract
surgery. Anecdotal reporting suggests the care Cuban doctors
provide is often lacking and that many "physicians" are
actually medical students. The BRV has recently begun Mision
Barrio Adentro II, a network of more advanced diagnostic
centers and inpatient clinics to be administered and staffed
mostly by Venezuelans. 

5. (C) Notwithstanding the 90,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil
Venezuela provides Cuba per day on barter terms, Cuban
doctors earn relatively little. According to press reports,
Cuban doctors receive salaries of up to USD 400 per month, a
figure slightly lower than local averages. A Cuban physician
told Post's medical advisor, however, that he received room,
board, and toiletries but that the Cuban Government was
"holding" his salary until he finished his two-year tour.
Some Cuban doctors have "deserted" and fled. A European
diplomat told polcouns in mid-January 2006 that the number of
Cuban asylum requests received by EU missions in Venezuela
had increased over the past few months. A local legislator
with extensive contacts in poor neighborhoods told us in
November 2005 that Cuban doctors complained bitterly that the
Cuban regime held their families hostage while the doctors
relied on local donations to survive. In contrast, according
to REF B, the GOC receives from Venezuela between USD 1,000
to 5,000 for each Mision Milagro cataract operation, which is
comparable to the roughly USD 3,500 that a Venezuelan private
clinic would charge for the procedure. 


6. (S//NF) Sensitive reports indicate Cuban and Venezuelan
intelligence ties are so advanced that the two countries'
agencies appear to be competing with each other for the BRV's
attention. Cuban intelligence officers have direct access to
Chavez and frequently provide him with intelligence reporting
unvetted by Venezuelan officers. Venezuela's Directorate of
Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP), moreover, may
be taking advice from Cuban intelligence on the formation of
a new intelligence service (REF C). Cuban intelligence
officers train Venezuelans both in Cuba and in Venezuela,
providing both political indoctrination and operational 

CARACAS 00000219 003 OF 006 

instruction. They also may work in other Venezuelan
government ministries, unconfirmed sensitive reporting


7. (C) Post has received no credible reports of extensive
Cuban involvement in the Venezuelan military, despite the
Venezuelan Armed Forces' attempts to imitate Cuban military
doctrine and uniforms. According to DAO reports, Cubans
train and advise Chavez' military security detail.
Anti-Chavez military officers have told us that Cubans hold
liaison and personnel exchange positions within the
Venezuelan military formerly held by European and other Latin
American officers. Moreover, a few Venezuelan military
officers--along with some from the Foreign Ministry--undergo
ideological training in Cuba. Chavez has also sent a
military team to Cuba construct a complex of 150 houses,
according to press reports. 

Other Sectors?

8. (S//NF) Cuban involvement in other agencies and missions
is harder to confirm. Cubans have been heavily involved in
ONIDEX, according to various unconfirmed sources. A local
academic with a background in electoral systems told poloff
that Venezuelans trained in Cuba helped expand the national
electoral registry by over two million voters through Mision
Identidad (Identity Mission) in 2003. He added that the
Venezuelan process to receive an identity card was a carbon
copy of the Cuban process. Anti-Chavez military officers
told us in July 2005 that Cubans helped run ONIDEX and
reported that an active duty army colonel was running an
operation to print identity cards for Cubans. According to
an Embassy employee with access to secure areas of Caracas'
Maiquetia airport, Cubans hold supervisory positions at the
airport's auxiliary terminal. Cubans also have established
and continue to service the airport's biometrics equipment,
according to sensitive reports. Some anecdotal sensitive
reporting further suggests Cuban officials had a Venezuelan
officer dismissed for resisting their attempts to take
temporary operational control over a section of the airport
during a visit of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. 

9. (C) Ruben Flores, the editor of a rancher newspaper,
told poloff in early 2005 that Cuban involvement in the
agricultural sector was second only to that in the health
sector. Such a claim may be exaggerated, but Cubans are
likely involved to a great extent. According to the
Agricultural Attache, Cuban officials hold senior positions
in the Ministry of Agriculture and also operate in the
Venezuelan interior. Citing technical experts in the
Ministry, Flores told us in January 2006 that Cuban officials
were helping design Venezuela's "Planting Plan 2006," which
would prescribe the crops to be sown in each region. Jaime
Perez Branger, head of the company that owns cattle ranch and
nature preserve Hato Pinero, told us in January that Cubans
advised the BRV on agricultural productivity and on setting
up cooperatives in such missions as Vuelvan Caras. (Vuelvan
Caras, or "About Face," is a BRV program offering six months 

CARACAS 00000219 004 OF 006 

of job training, after which participants form cooperatives,
often in the agricultural sector.) Venezuela, South
America's only net importer of agricultural products, is also
setting up Cuban sugar mills in Venezuela in the wake of
Cuba's failing sugar industry. 

10. (C) Industry contacts have told the Agricultural
Attache that Cubans helped design and manage Mision Mercal,
the BRV's subsidized grocery program. An Arthur D. Little
consultant told us in February 2005 that a Cuban vice
minister of commerce works with Mercal full-time. Flores
told poloff in January 2006 that ALIMPORT, Cuba's agency that
handles all food imports, was advising the BRV on food
distribution. Venezuela finances some of its own food
imports through a Havana branch of the Industrial Bank of
Venezuela, and Chavez' brother Adan Chavez, the Venezuelan
Ambassador there, may profit illicitly from the loan process,
according to DAO reporting (REF D). 

Venezuelan Views of Cubans

11. (SBU) Cuban citizens' resentment of Venezuelans (REF A)
is not completely mutual. Some Venezuelans, including many
who experienced the infiltration of violent Cuban
revolutionaries during the 1960s, do dislike Cubans. The
average Venezuelan's view of Cubans, however, is more
nuanced. Some poor Venezuelans admire Cubans involved in the
missions for providing free services. Others, while
disapproving of their political system, appreciate Cuban
culture displayed by individual Cubans, especially those
among the exile community. 

12. (SBU) Chavez appears to be trying to promote a friendly
image of Cubans. Cubans have appeared increasingly on public
television, including on Chavez' "Alo Presidente" show.
Images of crossed Cuban and Venezuelan flags have also begun
to appear in Caracas. The polling firm Datanalisis reports
that Chavez' recent attempts to "sell" the Cuban political
model may have increased Venezuelans' rejection of the Cuban
regime from May 2005 (63 percent) to October 2005 (81
percent). (Embassy note: Whether Chavez' promotion of Cuba
is paying off or backfiring is unclear. Answers to
Datanalisis' question, "what do you think of Venezuela taking
the Cuban regime as a model," may reflect a growing sense of
nationalism and uniqueness among Venezuelans--consistent with
Chavez' calls for a "new socialism"--rather than a rejection
of Cubans. Indeed, almost half of the Chavez supporters
polled, who would seem least likely to oppose Cuba, responded

13. (SBU) Despite the increasing publicity, signs of
Cuban-Venezuelan partnership in Caracas are not as ubiquitous
as they apparently are in Havana, and Cubans generally keep a
low profile. Chavez' sense of self-importance may partly
explain why Cuba figures less prominently. The "Bolivarian
Alternative for Latin America" is not a synonym for
Cuban-Venezuelan cooperation in Venezuela because Chavez
pitches it as a movement he has launched throughout the
hemisphere. Chavez features call-ins from Castro during his
public appearances, such as a mid-January 2006 sendoff for
Venezuelans going to study medicine in Cuba. Nonetheless,
Chavez does not part with the spotlight for long. His weekly 

CARACAS 00000219 005 OF 006 

"Alo Presidente" broadcasts routinely run longer than five

The Opposition Has Failed...

14. (C) Some of Chavez' opponents appear to be trying to
inflame a prejudice against Cubans that is uncommon among
Venezuelans. They rant about "Cuban invaders" and
"sovereignty violations" that resonate little with the
Venezuelan poor. Opposition politicians also berate Chavez
for attempting to introduce Cuban communism, although few
Venezuelans believe he will do so. Former opposition
National Assembly deputy Carlos Casanova (Socialdemocrata)
told poloff the public's response to the opposition was "look
around, this isn't communism, chico!" Still, over-the-top
critiques can impede focused criticism. Asked how the
opposition could exploit opposition to Chavez' oil "loans" to
Cuba, Accion Democratica's former international relations
secretary Alfredo Coronil replied to poloff that Cuba was 

planning to intervene in Africa after Venezuela, brushing
aside poloff's remark that Cuba could hardly still afford
adventurism on a Cold War scale. 

15. (C) The political opposition does little to exploit
alleged medical malpractice in Mision Barrio Adentro or to
report on returning Mision Milagro patients' impressions of
Cuba. In fact, much of the opposition remains ignorant of
how such missions work because it does not reach out to poor
neighborhoods for the most part. One anti-Chavez retired
military officer, however, told poloff in June 2005 that
groups of Venezuelan doctors had begun treating people in
poor areas with the support of certain pharmacies. The scope
of the initiative is unclear. 

...But Finally Getting the Picture?

16. (U) Primero Justicia (PJ) has been the only political
party to criticize Chavez consistently for his handouts to
other countries. Promising additional programs to
redistribute oil wealth, PJ presidential candidate Julio
Borges has asked the BRV to explain why ordinary Venezuelans
are not receiving the money sent to Cuba, according to press
reports. With the closure of the Caracas-La Guaira bridge,
other elements of the opposition are also beginning to
contrast BRV gifts abroad with problems at home. An internet
blog site has displayed the amounts spent on foreign
infrastructure next to photos of the crumbling bridge.
During its assembly in mid-January 2006, the Venezuelan
Episcopal Conference criticized grants and loans the BRV had
awarded overseas. 


17. (C) The economic impact of Cubans in Venezuela is mixed
but limited. (Venezuelan subsidies to Cuba, on the other
hand, could eventually pose greater problems for the BRV
(SEPTEL).) By helping the BRV pad its voter rolls and
naturalize suspicious immigrants, Cubans are doing jobs that 

CARACAS 00000219 006 OF 006 

Venezuelan government personnel could and would do in their
absence. Cuban doctors, however, are treating communities
mostly unreached by Venezuelan health services. Venezuela
continues to purchase costly conventional weapons systems
despite the influence on paper of Cuba's "asymmetric" warfare

18. (S//NF) The impact of Cuban involvement in Venezuelan
intelligence could impact U.S. interests directly.
Venezuelan intelligence services are among the most hostile
towards the United States in the hemisphere, but they lack
the expertise that Cuban services can provide. Cuban
intelligence routinely provides the BRV intelligence reports
about the activities of the USG. Cuban dissemination of
ideological propaganda in Venezuela is less of a threat.
Chavez, the revolution's most effective proponent, still
appears to be involving Cubans in public discourse and BRV
projects with some discretion.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 CARACAS 000442 



E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/2034 

CARACAS 00000442 001.2 OF 003 

Classified By: Political Counselor Francisco Fernandez, 
Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 

1. (C) Summary: Embassy Caracas notes a significant number 
of Cuban medical personnel applying to be paroled into the 
United States under the Significant Public Benefit Parole 
(SPBP) for Cuban Medical Professionals outside of Cuba 
(CMPP). During Consular Section interviews in March, Cuban 
Medical personnel affiliated with Chavez's Barrio Adentro 
program complained of poor working conditions, inadequate 
medical supplies, and of constantly being watched and 
monitored by coworkers. As result of the Government of the 
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (GBRV) clamp down on Cubans 
attempting to flee the island through Venezuela, recent 
asylum seekers have complained of having difficulty in 
exiting Venezuela and being forced to pay exorbitant bribes 
to GBRV officials when attempting to leave the country 
en-route to Miami. End Summary. 


2. (S) The Consular Section at US Embassy Caracas began 
accepting applications for SPBP on August 18, 2006. To date, 
the Embassy has received paperwork and forwarded to the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) applications for 739 
Cuban asylum seekers, of which 69% or 510 were approved, 91 
were denied and 138 are pending. Since February of 2009, DHS 
has notified Post that 73 Cuban Medical Personnel Program 
(CMPP) applicants have been approved for parole through the 

3. (S) In 2006 and 2007 Embassy Caracas facilitated travel 
to Miami for program applicants through the issuance of 
transportation letters authorizing Cubans to board US bound 
aircraft. By October 2007, Venezuelan immigration officials 
began refusing to board defecting Cubans on onward flights to 
Miami in an unpredictable and ad-hoc manner. To enhance 
fraud protection due to insecurity of the travel letter, (one 
letter was used by an imposture), Post sought and received CA 
approval to issue YY visa foils instead of transportation 
letters. Having a visa foil in their passports has 
facilitated the departure of most parolees. The Consular 
Section began issuing YY visa foils in February 2009 to 
approved Cuban Medical Parolees. Of the 73 approved CMPP 
applicants in 2009, 43 have been issued YY visa foils, 39 
have successfully passed through immigration and boarded 
their flight to Miami, and two have confirmed plans to travel 
in the near future. Thirty approved applicants have not yet 
confirmed travel plans because they currently are unable to 
travel, do not have the financial resources to leave 
Venezuela, or have been forced to return to Cuba. Two 
applicants were unsuccessful in their attempt to leave 
Venezuela from the Barcelona (Venezuela) airport. Note: Most 
CMPP applicants departing from the Caracas airport have been 
successful in boarding their flight to Miami. Following the 
approval of parole by DHS, CMPP applicants must enter the US 
within 60 days. End Note. 


4. (C) The majority of the CMPP applicants interviewed by 
Post were originally conscripted to work in social programs 
such as Mission Barrio Adentro, a GBRV sponsored program that 
provides health care to city slums and rural communities, or 
similar GBRV poverty reduction programs in medicine, sports, 
and the arts. In its annual 2008 report, the Caracas based 
human rights NGO PROVEA estimated that 14,345 Cuban medical 
professionals were originally assigned to work in Venezuela 
following the inauguration of Barrio Adentro in December 
2003. Currently only about 8,500 Cubans are estimated to be 
employed in social programs across the country. While some 
CMPP applicants told Consular officials they volunteered to 
come to Venezuela, many others have complained of being 
forced (or directed) by Cuban authorities to work in 
Venezuela under President Chavez's social mission programs 
for a period of 1-3 years. 

CARACAS 00000442 002.2 OF 003 

5. (C) Many CMPP applicants have reported that upon arrival 
in Venezuela, Barrio Adentro Mission officials have 
confiscated the passports of program participants to prevent 
their fleeing the mission. According to one applicant who 
was interviewed on January 27, 2009, the coordinator of the 
Cuban medical mission (Barrio Adentro 2, Aragua state) had 
been holding his and his other colleagues' passports since 
April 2008, when another Cuban had abandoned the mission, as 
a "means of preventing other desertions." The applicant did 
not receive his passport back until he went on a scheduled 
vacation in September 2008 to Cuba. Upon his return to 
Venezuela in October 2008 he was not required by mission 
authorities to turn over his passport a second time. The 
CMPP applicant received Significant Public Benefit Parole on 
March 2, 2009, was issued a YY visa foil, successfully fled 
Venezuela, and arrived in Miami on March 16, 2009. 

6. (C) During Consular section interviews in March, Cuban 
medical personnel affiliated with Chavez's Barrio Adentro 
program complained of extremely poor working conditions, low 
pay, limited medical supplies, and of constantly being 
watched and monitored by co-workers. According to one doctor 
who successfully fled on March 10, "All the effort I put into 
my work is not recognized by anyone... I am not well paid and 
only make 715 BsF (332 USD) a month in Venezuela, I want to 
change my life." The doctor told Consular Officers that he 
is forced to attend to 250-300 patients a week and "can only 
use obsolete and inferior Cuban medicine". A rehabilitation 
therapist who successfully fled on March 16 opined, "I feel 
politically manipulated. The system is closing my chances 
and I want to be a better professional. I have a lack of 
equipment and medicine in my job. I want to be a free man. 
I want to be a surgeon specialist." On March 30 one CMPP 
applicant, who managed to escape his mission for several 
hours and was clearly anxious to return before his supervisor 
realized he was gone, told Poloff "They are always watching 
us, checking in with us at random times, asking what we are 
doing and calling us on our cell phones." While noting that 
he has not received any physical threats so far during his 
time in Venezuela, he commented "It is a psychological battle 
that we must endure every day." 


7. (S) The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of 
Venezuela (GBRV) began clamping down on Cubans attempting to 
flee the island via Venezuela in 2007. While many applicants 
have successfully fled Cuba through Venezuela, others have 
been detained upon attempting to depart and presumably 
deported to Cuba. Recent asylum seekers have complained of 
having to pay exorbitant bribes (usually around 1,000 USD) to 
Venezuelan customs officials when attempting to exit the 
country en-route to Miami. 

8. (S) As recently as March 24 a Cuban couple attempted to 
board a flight from Barcelona (Venezuela) to Miami after the 
US Embassy issued YY visa foils for their onward travel. The 
couple paid over 4,600 USD to "a contact" to assist them in 
clearing GBRV immigration. After their flight was delayed and 
a shift change occurred at the airport, the couple was 
questioned by Venezuelan immigration authorities who turned 
them over to the National Guard. The military later 
contacted Cuban officials. The couple was eventually moved 
to a hotel by Cuban "security" and told they would be 
deported to Cuba. The CMPP applicants later escaped their 
captors and fled to the US Embassy, where a local contact 
picked them up and reportedly took them into hiding. The 
traumatized couple told US Consular officers the Cuban 
"police" who detained them were also "Barrio Adentro Mission 
officials". According to the female CMPP applicant, the 
"Cuban police" threatened to rape her and beat up her 
boyfriend. Note: Recent CMPP applicants have reported to 
Consular Officers that after leaving Barrio Adentro, 
occasionally some Venezuelans are willing to help Cubans who 
are in hiding. Little is known about the individuals who 
assist Cuban medical personnel once they abandon Chavez's 
"missions." End Note. 

9. (S) Comment: Due to the risk CMPP applicants have of 
being stopped by GBRV authorities prior to boarding Miami 

CARACAS 00000442 003.2 OF 003 

bound aircraft, some Cuban parolees have considered (or are 
considering) undertaking a cross border overland trip to 
Bogota. While Post does not advise parolees on which route 
(if any) is less risky, the issuance of YY visa foils by Post 
has reduced the probability of GBRV immigration officials 
detecting a parolee prior to his or her departure. Post 
believes, however, that it is only a matter of time before 
GBRV immigration officials become alert to the YY visa foils 
and are able to further tighten the GBRV's clamp down on 
Cubans planning to abandon the social missions and flee the 
country. With the February approval of 73 applicants by DHS, 
(over 25 applicants have been issued YY visa foils in the 
past two weeks alone), and more cases pending approval, Post 
continues to meet the demand of Cuban medical personnel 
hoping to flee Venezuela rather than face the prospect of 
returning to Cuba. End Comment.


Let’s take the time out to remember all those who have passed on from this dreadful disease.




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