Cuba: What do the Cables from Havana Say? (Part I)

Around 506 diplomatic cables of the 250 thousand released by Julian Assange on November 28, 2010 proceed from the American Section with Interests in Havana; but, until February 2011, only 34 messages had been declassified on the official WikiLeaks site.

An analysis of the cables reveals that 97% of the messages sent from this diplomatic branch was between  2006 and 2010, which coincides with the period of illness and the resignation of the former Cuban president Fidel Castro Ruz and the ascension to the presidency of the Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.
Cables enviados desde la Oficina de Intereses de Estados Unidos de La Habana

# of wires by year (source: Elaine Díaz)

For the classification of these cables, the State Department developed a manual in which tags or keywords were defined with their meanings, and year of establishment. In the Cuban case, the majority of the messages are on international political relations (PREL), the internal governmental policy (PGOV) and human rights (PHUM), which correspond with the items most covered by the US in all their diplomatic branches.

# of wires by TAG (source: Elaine Díaz)

Of the messages sent since 1966 to date, terrorism (PTER) has been an increasingly important aspect for the US government, to such a point that the related wires are in the 5th place of relevance. From 1987 until 2010, only 11 messages about this issue had been sent from the Havana; however, according to the White House, the island is among the countries that sponsor terrorism.

A cable dated September 2009 by the chief of Havana Interests Section, Jonathan D. Farrar, talks about how this topic was dealt in the meeting at the Cuban capital between Bisa Williams, sub-secretary of the US State Department, and the Cuban vice-minister of foreign relations, Dagoberto Rodríguez. Williams explained that Cuba would be removed from the list if specific procedures are followed and if a review was completed of the process between both parties. However, two years after the visit, the Caribbean nation continued in the list of the countries that sponsor terrorism.

The chart that WikiLeaks published reconstructs the 10,000 words most used in the content of the messages, identifies the main phrases related with Cuba, among them “Havana” and references to Fidel and Raúl Castro.

Palabras clave en el asunto y el contenido

Keywords mostly used in cables sent from Havana. (Source: Elaine Díaz)

Of the declassified wires to date, 6 correspond to 2006; 4 to 2007; 6 to 2008; 15 to 2009 and 3 to 2010.

*This is the first part of a series on WikiLeaks and Cuba.


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