Dear friends in the US, Canada, Mexico, Africa and Europe
As you may already be aware, Ricardo Alarcon, President of the
Cuban parliament and a delegation from that body are being denied
visas to enter the US to attend a meeting by invitation of the Inter-
Parliamentary Union (UIP) at the United Nations in New York.
The conference in New York is scheduled for the 30th of August
through September 2. In other words, it is due to open tomorrow.
The US State Department is denying the visas on the grounds that
the UPI does not constitute an official forum of the United Nations.
Actually, the United Nations is coordinating efforts to have the UPI
meeting at its site as part of its preparations to hold the Summit of
As you may recall, the US State Department, in their zeal to
continually provoke and harass the Cuban government, played
similar games in preventing President Fidel Castro from attending
a WTO meeting in Seattle, last year. The harassment was also
repeated in the Elian Gonzalez case when the State Dept. delayed,
denied and ultimately granted permission for doctors, schoolmates
and others to visit the child in the US. In this instance, the US
State Department is blatantly violating its obligations as the host
country of the UN headquarters.
Needless to say, our congressional representatives need to be
contacted with strong protests over this latest US provocation.
However, I urge the Cuba solidarity groups worldwide to PROMPTLY
mobilize and launch an international protest with the appropriate
individuals and bodies of the UN with the objective of having that
body take effective action to prevent the US from interfering with
Hitherto, the UPI has held more than 100 conferences without
ever having a single member be prevented participation.
The 105 conference of the UPI, (with origins dating back to 1889)
will be held in Havana, Cuba on April 2001. Spokesmen for the
Cuban government have stated that no one will have problems
obtaining Cuban visas for the parley since that nation maintains
an open door policy towards all countries.
Carlos Balin~o Institute
P. O. Box 621912
Oviedo, Florida 32762-1912
Visit the Carlos Balin~o Institute web site at:
Subscribe to http://www.egroups.com/files/cbiacs
Congressional switchboard: 202/225-3121.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[2201 C Street, NW, Washington DC 20520]
SECRETARY MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
CHARLES SHAPIRO, CUBA DESK: