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Viewing cable 09THEHAGUE404, NETHERLANDS: WHA PDAS KELLY'S JUNE 25, 2009

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09THEHAGUE404 2009-07-07 13:01 2011-01-25 17:05 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
VZCZCXRO5216
RR RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHTC #0404/01 1881350
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 071350Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2995
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000404 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2019 
TAGS: PREL NL BL NU CU VE
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: WHA PDAS KELLY'S JUNE 25, 2009 
MEETING AT THE DUTCH MFA 
 
THE HAGUE 00000404  001.2 OF 002 
...

215474

2009-07-07

09THEHAGUE404

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL



C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000404 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2019 
TAGS: PREL NL BL NU CU VE
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: WHA PDAS KELLY'S JUNE 25, 2009 
MEETING AT THE DUTCH MFA 

THE HAGUE 00000404 001.2 OF 002 


Classified By: Political Deputy Eric Falls for reasons 1.5 (b,d) 

1. (U) June 25, 2009; 8:45 am; The Hague, Netherlands. 

2. (U) Participants: 

United States 
------------- 
Craig Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, WHA 
Eric Falls (Embassy notetaker) 

Netherlands 
----------- 
Laurent Stokvis, MFA Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs 
Peter Potman, Chief, North American Affairs 
Walter Oostelbos, Chief, South American Affairs 
Jan Jaap Groenemeijer, Senior Policy Advisor 

3. (U) Summary: In a cordial, 45 minute meeting, WHA 
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelly and the Dutch MFA 
Director Stokvis discussed Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, 
Venezuela, and other issues. The Dutch emphasized their 
support for recent American efforts to expand dialogue with 
Latin America. 

Cuba 
---- 

4. (C) PDAS Kelly noted the President,s message that there 
exists a moment of opportunity for improving relations in the 
Western hemisphere. The President has announced several 
steps related to Cuba, and Cuba and the United States will 
resume migration talks on July 14 in New York, the first such 
talks in five years. 

5. (C) Stokvis praised U.S. policy developments, noting it 
was very important for the U.S. position in the hemisphere. 
He added that the Helms-Burton Act creates a horrible 
situation for companies facing EU action if they don't 
participate in Cuba trade, and U.S. penalties if they do. 

6. (C) Stokvis emphasized the EU,s strong support for 
dialogue. In accordance with EU policy, the Dutch are trying 
to have a dialogue, but Cuba wants a guarantee that there 
will be no meetings between GONL officials and Cuban NGOs. 
Again in accordance with EU policy, the Netherlands cannot 
accept this precondition. Therefore, the bilateral dialogue 
is blocked. Cuba is treated as a political issue -- human 
rights is the primary thing for us -- as the Dutch do not 
hold substantial economic interests in Cuba. Northern Europe 
takes the same position as the Netherlands, but the Swedes 
will have a difficult time managing diverging EU opinions 
when they take on the EU presidency in July. In Cuba, policy 
is unlikely to change while Fidel remains in power, and there 
are unlikely to be any results on political prisoners. 

Nicaragua 
--------- 

7. (C) Kelly stated the Millennium Challenge Corporation 
(MCC) follows established governance indicators, and the MCC 
cut support to Nicaragua due to the problems with the 
municipal elections. President Ortega is following President 
Chavez,s playbook of blaming the United States for various 
internal problems. As a result, U.S. embassies in a few 
countries are trying to engage with all sectors despite host 
government pressure to self-censor and avoid a whole range 
of normal activities. 


8. (C) Stokvis said that while the Netherlands has been a 
long-time donor in Nicaragua, the Dutch cut budget support to 
the GON after the recent voting fraud and FM Santos,s 
refusal to offer guarantees to support democratic reform. 
The Dutch froze 6 million euros in budget support in 2008, 
and 12 million euros in 2009. The Dutch are concerned that 
while they have worked to move the EU to cut budget support, 
international financial institutions continue to assist the 
GON. However, Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation 
Koenders does not intend to raise this issue publicly, but 
will instead push the issue quietly in order to maintain 
influence in Nicaragua. 

Bolivia 
------- 

9. (C) Stokvis said that the Dutch give 42 million euros 
Q9. (C) Stokvis said that the Dutch give 42 million euros 
annually toward Bolivian development, with total, lifetime 
contributions near 1 billion euros. However, while they have 
good relations with Bolivia, it does not mean that they are 
able to influence President Morales. Regarding U.S. 

THE HAGUE 00000404 002.2 OF 002 


relations, the Dutch support recent U.S. overtures to Bolivia 
as the (best) way forward. The GOB MFA Director General 
told the Dutch he was not happy being at loggerheads with the 
Americans, but the Dutch believe nonetheless that there is 
deep GOB resistance to closer bilateral relations. 
Regarding counterdrug efforts, the Dutch believe DEA can be 
heavy-handed, but the EU cannot and does not want to replace 
U.S. programs. Stokvis urged the return of a U.S. ambassador 
to Bolivia, though the United States should move slowly and 
carefully. 

10. (C) Kelly responded that the United States would welcome 
Brazil-EU-U.S. cooperation on this issue. Brazil is keenly 
interested in Bolivia to ensure gas supplies for Sao Paolo 
and limit drug trafficking. There will be a private USG-GOB 
dialogue on June 29-30. (Note: The meeting was subsequently 
pushed back. End note.) It is positive that President 
Morales appears uneasy about growing drug trafficking in 
Bolivia and does not appear to want to lead a narco-state. 
More troubling is the fact that Mexican cartels may be moving 
south. (Note: Oostelbos agreed, noting that he had heard 
from Peruvian officials that they are concerned about the 
presence of Mexican cartels. End note.) Kelly encouraged EU 
messages of concern about the drug trafficking. 

Venezuela 
--------- 

11. (C) Stokvis began stating, we look carefully at 
Venezuela because it is a neighboring country to the 
Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which are part of the Kingdom 
of the Netherlands. Venezuela sees the Netherlands Antilles 
as an unsinkable U.S. aircraft carrier. The Dutch 
regularly explain to the GOV that U.S. ship visits to Curacao 
are not a threat, but there still exists a certain suspicion 
from time to time. (Note: Stokvis added that the Dutch 
look carefully at U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier clearances, 
but otherwise offer automatic clearance to U.S. ships. End 
Note.) As a general rule, the Dutch want to maintain good 
relations. For example, the Dutch have ongoing contracts to 
upgrade the Curacao oil refinery, which is leased by 
Venezuela,s petroleum company, PVDSA. Good relations are 
also important for tourism -- for example, visitors to 
Willemstad buy Venezuelan goods. There is practical 
cooperation between the GONL and GOV on counternarcotics. 
Nonetheless, it is proving to be exceptionally difficult to 
get into discussions with the GOV. Within Venezuela, the 
economic difficulties are getting worse, particularly with 
ongoing nationalizations. Poverty and medical care are so 
problematic that even the basic care provided by Cuban 
doctors is well received. It is clear Chavez is becoming 
more autocratic and will stay a long time, although human 
rights in Venezuela are not bad. Although the Dutch have 
increasing worries about Venezuela, they continue to seek 
opportunities for dialogue. 

12. (C) Kelly responded that Washington will send Ambassador 
Duddy back to Caracas, and that Washington was also looking 
for opportunities for dialogue. At the same time, we will 
make our principles clear, for example on freedom of 
expression. The opposition party Mayor of Caracas has been 
completely undercut by Chavez, who has restricted the 
mayor,s authority so that he cannot even manage the city,s 
firefighters. The mayor said that the U.S. statements on 
freedom of the press were well received. 

Other Issues 
------------ 

13. (C) Stokvis said the GONL-USG agreements on Forward 
Operating Locations in the Caribbean will be extended, 
QOperating Locations in the Caribbean will be extended, 
although the MFA prefers to leave the renewal process as it 
is because parliament will otherwise ask questions and raise 
tensions with Venezuela. 

14. (C) Stokvis requested that the United States share 
information on the pathways to prosperity initiative, and 
Kelly promised to follow up. Kelly added the United States 
intends to host a fall event on female entrepreneurs in Latin 
America and would like to get the EU involved. 

15. (U) This cable was cleared by PDAS Kelly. 
GALLAGHER