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POSSIBLE INCURSION INTO HAITI OR DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: BOAT "CEIBO"

Dec. 3, 1973, 6:28 p.m.

1. FOREIGN SECRETARY RAYMOND CALLED CHARGE AND DEFATT TO HIS OFFICE AT 10:30 A.M. TODAY (DECEMBER 3) FOR FURTHER DEMARCHE ON BOAT "CEIBO", REPORTEDLY ENROUTE FROM COSTA RICA TO HAITI OR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WITH ARMED HAITIANS AND DOMINICANS ON BOARD (REFTEL). RAYMOND SAID THAT PRESIDENT DUVALIER HAD RECENTLY RECEIVED FURTHER , MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON THE SECRET SECRET PAGE 02 PORT A 02056 040135Z "CEIBO" INDICATING THAT THE BOAT FLIES THE HAITIAN FLAG AND HAS 83 DOMINICANS AND SEVEN HAITIANS ON BOARD (RATHER THAN THE 9 DOMINICANS AND 7 HAITIANS ORIGINALLY REPORTED). HE SAID GOH FURTHER UNDERSTANDS THAT BOAT IS HEADED FOR GONAIVES RPT GONAIVES, HAITI, WHERE PARTY FROM THE "CEIBO" INTENDS TO LAND AND THEN WORK ITS WAY OVERLAND THROUGH NORTHEAST HAITI TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC" TO CREATE DISORDER". IN REPLY TO CHARGE'S QUESTION, RAYMOND INDICATED THAT GOH'S INFORMATION ON THE "CEIBO" CAME FROM DOMINICAN GOVERNMENT SOURCES. HE REPEATED GOH IS CONCERNED TO HAVE LEARNED THAT THE "CEIBO" IS FLYING HAITIAN FLAG. RAYMOND SPECULATED PERSONS ON BOARD WERE COMMUNISTS AND MIGHT STOP IN CUBA. 2. RAYMOND THEN ASKED WHETHER EMBASSY HAD RECEIVED ANY INFORMATION IN REPLY TO HIS DEMARCHE OF DECEMBER 2. CHARGE REPLIED THAT FOREIGN SECRETARY'S ORIGINAL REPORT ON THE "CEIBO" AND REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AND AIR SEARCH WAS TRANSMITTED TO APPROPRIATE USG AUTHORITIES YESTERDAY, BUT AS YET WE HAD NO REPLY. RAYMOND SAID GOH WAS ANXIOUS TO LEARN OF THE "CEIBO'S" WHEREABOUTS BEFORE BOAT REACHES HAITI SO THAT IT MAY BE INTERCEPTED AT SEA. HE SAID GOH HAS ALREADY BEGUN AIR AND SEA PATROLS, INCLUDING DESPATCH OF A PATROL BOAT TO THE AREA OF GONAIVES. AS HE HAS ON PREVIOUS OCCASIONS, RAYMOND CALLED PRESIDENT DUVALIER DURING THE CONVERSATION AND IN PRESENCE OF CHARGE AND DATT TOLD PRESIDENT WHAT HE HAD JUST FINISHED TELLING EMBOFFS. 3. RAYMOND SAID THAT IN VIEW OF REGIONAL SOCCER TOURNAMENT NOW IN FULL SWING IN PORT AU PRINCE AND BEGINNING OF WINTER TOURIST SEASON, GOH CANNOT AFFORD NEWS OF "CEIBO" LEAKING TO PRESS; PUBLICITY COULD HAVE A SERIOUSLY ADVERSE EFFECT ON TOURNAMENT AND TOURIST SEASON. 4. COMMENT: FROM WHAT RAYMOND TOLD CHARGE AND FROM USDAO SANTO DOMINGO 021544Z DEC 73, IT SEEMS APPARENT THAT THE GOH IS RECEIVING WHAT INFORMATION IT HAS ON THE "CEIBO" FROM DOMINICAN GOVERNMENT SOURCES, ALTHOUGH SOME OF THE REPORTS MAY HAVE BECOME GARBLED IN TRANSMISSION (SUCH AS NUMBER OF DOMINICANS REPORTEDLY ON BOARD THE "CEIBO"). SECRET SECRET PAGE 03 PORT A 02056 040135Z 5. ACTION REQUESTED: WOULD APPRECIATE DEPARTMENT'S GUIDANCE ON INITIAL REPLY TO MAKE TO GOH DEMARCHES RE BOAT "CEIBO" SOONEST. IN ADDITION TO QUESTION OF SEARCH FOR AND WHEREABOUTS OF THE "CEIBO", IS THERE ANY INFORMATION FROM COSTA RICA OR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WE COULD PASS ON TO THE GOH CONCERNING THE RELIABILITY OF THE REPORTS ON THE "CEIBO", WHICH NOW SEEM TO HAVE THE GOH RATHER SERIOUSLY CONCERNED. WILSON SECRET NNN