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Viewing cable 04MADRID4687, DEPUTY FM LEON ON CUBA, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04MADRID4687 2004-12-13 15:03 2010-12-07 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Madrid
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 MADRID 004687 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/09/2014 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM SP
SUBJECT: DEPUTY FM LEON ON CUBA, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, 
BILATERAL RELATIONS 
 
Classified By: Charge Bob Manzanares; reasons 1.5 (B) and (D) 
 
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//U.S.-SPAIN RELATIONS// 
 
7. (C) Leon said that Spain is politically divided at the 
moment, as demonstrated by the PP's decision to adopt an 
aggressive posture towards the GOS in hopes of bringing down 
the government and forcing early elections.  He claimed that 
PP leaders, including former President Aznar and former FM 
Ana Palacio, were trying to use their contacts in Washington 
to shape USG opinion against Zapatero.  The PP's objective, 
he said, is to use bilateral friction between the USG and the 
GOS as part of its campaign to unseat FM Moratinos, and 
eventually Zapatero.  Leon said it was important for USG 
officials, such as A/S Noriega, to understand that even 
comments in seemingly innocuous settings can get picked up by 
the press and have an impact far beyond that intended by the 
speaker. 
 
8. (C) Charge noted that we had been sending an identical 
message to GOS officials, with mixed success.  For example, 
the visit of King Juan Carlos sent an excellent, positive 
message regarding the importance of our bilateral relations, 
but the positive effect had been negated by the simultaneous 
visit of Venezuelan President Chavez to Madrid.  All of the 
good news from the King's visit was drowned out by three days 
of Chavez' revolutionary rhetoric and tirades against the USG 
while standing next to Spanish officials. 
 
9. (C) Leon agreed that the Chavez visit had been a public 
relations failure, adding that the GOS only invited Chavez 
after months of requests from Chavez.  Turning to the King's 
meeting with President Bush, Leon said that there might be 
some "misunderstandings" on the part of the USG regarding the 
GOS.  He said that when King Juan Carlos had raised Spain's 
exclusion from November White House briefings on the Middle 
East to which other European (G-8) countries had been 
invited, President Bush, the King said, expressed surprise 
and reassured the King that Spain would be invited to future 
such meetings. 

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