Leaked cable: Washington slams Dominican Foreign Minister
DominicanToday.com - "Exaggerated" was the U.S. Embassy’s term for Foreign Relations Minister Carlos Morales’ reaction to criticism in Washington’s Human Rights Report, released when the country hosted the Rio Group Summit in March 2008, reveals a WikiLeaks cable, reports news source diariolibre.com.

In its most recent document published yesterday corresponding to Dominican Republic, the State Department report cites the country’s serious and persistent problems with crime, beatings and other abuses against suspects and detainees; severe jail conditions and discrimination of Haitian immigrants and descendants.

The filtered cable, drafted by then ambassador Robert Fannin, states that in March 12, 2008, the U.S. Embassy invited Morales to meet and discuss the Rio Summit, but once there, the official immediately and harshly criticized the Report. "Clearly perturbed, but mentioning few details, Morales called the report "very, very bad" and "a low blow."

“We’re here in an electoral campaign - you need to think about who your friends are and who your enemies are… you, my friends are confused (the Ambassador said of Morales)."

In that occasion, the Foreign Relations Minister told the press that the information obtained to draft the Report depended too much on data from nongovernment organizations, including groups headed by activists such as the Catholic priest Christopher Hartley and Sonia Pierre, whom the official called “divisive."

The United States didn’t like Morales’ criticism of the report and of their country in the press, and his allegation that it was "a product of Dominican Republic’s success in the Summit, and that it bothered them (the US)."

The leaked cable said the racial topic was addressed in the meeting with the American ambassador during a United Nations meeting in Geneva, and that Morales slammed the Embassy by stating that "they at least gave us the opportunity to comment; you didn’t do it."

“The vehemence of Morales’ attack on the Human Rights Report seemed exaggerated to us, even when it comes from a Foreign Relations Minister known for his history of aggressive defense of human rights in his country," the Embassy said, in the diariolibre.com report.

For the U.S. diplomat, Morales’s disgust might’ve been set off by the press’ little attention paid to the Summit’s positive results.

Go back | Date: 24 Mar 2011
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