Viewing cable 06PORTAUPRINCE1379
Title: PREVAL SAYS CARICOM WILL SUPPORT VENEZUELA FOR

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06PORTAUPRINCE13792006-07-31 14:18:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Port Au Prince
VZCZCXRO5862
OO RUEHQU
DE RUEHPU #1379 2121418
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311418Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3648
INFO RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 1149
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0991
RUEHQU/AMCONSUL QUEBEC 0530
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L PORT AU PRINCE 001379 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/27/2016 
TAGS: GT HA PREL
SUBJECT: PREVAL SAYS CARICOM WILL SUPPORT VENEZUELA FOR 
UNSC SEAT 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Janet Sanderson for reason 1.4 (b/d). 
 
¶1.  (C)  Summary:  President Preval asserted to A/S Shannon 
July 25 that CARICOM had adopted a common position in support 
of Venezuela's bid for a UNSC seat.  Preval judged that 
Guyana had softened its opposition to Venezuela, clearing the 
way for a CARICOM consensus.  Shannon explained that 
Guatemala, a small state that plays a constructive role in 
the international communinity represents a more qualified 
candidate than Venezuela which, has demonstrated it is a 
disruptive force in international institutions.  He urged 
Preval to consider Haiti's position carefully and to support 
Guatemala.  Preval made no commitments, and lamented that 
"this is a fight between big boys" that Haiti would prefer to 
avoid.  End summary. 
 
¶2.  (C)  At the end of a wide-ranging meeting on other topics 
July 25 (septel), WHA A/S Shannon asked President Preval for 
Haiti's position on the open GRULAC seat on the Security 
Council.  Clearly uncomfortable, Preval abruptly changed the 
topic for several minutes before finally asserting that 
CARICOM had decided on a common position in support of 
Venezuela. 
 
¶3.  (C)  A/S Shannon recalled that CARICOM had not taken a 
formal position on the UNSC race, but rather set criteria for 
its decision.  Preval insisted that indeed there is a 
consensus, although he described it as one of "very reserved 
support for Venezuela."  He said that Belize continued to 
object to Guatemala because of their border dispute, while 
Guyana had now softened its opposition to Venezuela.  Preval 
said that Guatemala's position on banana exports also had 
been an important factor in CARICOM's decision to back 
Venezuela.  Preval quipped that CARICOM's position "had 
nothing to do with Petrocaribe," and laughed. 
 
¶4.  (C)  Shannon pointed out that it is unfortunate that a 
decision on UNSC representation that should be made within 
the GRULAC will instead be made by the entire General 
Assembly.  The U.S. thought that Guatemala had been 
well-positioned to win support.  It is a small country in a 
region in which such countries have had few opportunities to 
serve on the UNSC.  It has extensive experience with the UN 
though its own peace process and collaboration on economic 
development.  Guatemala also hosts a peacekeeping training 
center and has contributed to PKOs worldwide, recently losing 
eight peacekeepers in Congo.  Guatemala has a record of 
commitment to the UN, to democracy, and to human rights.  In 
contrast, Venezuela offers none of this.  Instead, it tries 
to use international institutions to advance its own narrow 
agenda. 
 
¶5.  (C)  Preval joked awkwardly that Venezuelan President 
Hugo Chavez is the "best friend" of the United States because 
he has frightened voters in democracies elsewhere in the 
Americas to reject populist candidates.  Shannon explained 
that Guatemala had the support of the North and Central 
American countries, while Venezuela had the South American 
countries, with the Caribbean perhaps split.  As a result, 
the rest of the world would effectively choose this 
hemisphere's representative on the Council.  Shannon sketched 
a scenario in which votes for the UNSC seat will split the 
world into two broad camps:  democracies in Europe, Asia, and 
Africa backing Guatemala, while tyrannies in Asia, Africa, 
and the Middle East support Venezuela.  Shannon underscored 
that the UNGA vote will be by secret ballot.  He said that 
CARICOM countries should vote independently and urged that 
Haiti carefully consider its position and support 
Guatemala. 
 
¶6.  (C)  Preval made no commitment.  He lamented that "this 
is a fight between big boys" that Haiti would prefer to 
avoid.  His principal advisor, Bob Manuel, took careful notes 
throughout the discussion, particularly as Shannon presented 
the arguments in favor of a vote for Guatemala. 
 
¶7.  (C)  Comment:  Preval will try to avoid breaking what he 
believes is a CARICOM consensus in favor of Venezuela, when 
Haiti only returned to full member status in the organization 
earlier in the month after a two-year gap.  Nevertheless, he 
also realizes that his most important donors have lined up in 
support of Guatemala's candidacy.  We will continue to 
encourage Preval to weigh the importance of this vote for the 
good order ofthe UNSC and the UN Mission deployed in Haiti. 
Given his inherent caution, we expect that he will pursue 
what he perceives the safest course--probably an abstention. 
SANDERSON