Cablegate: Media Reaction; Kirchner-Chavez, Lula-Bush-Tabare, Iran,
DE RUEHBU #0367/01 0571834
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261834Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7374
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000367
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; KIRCHNER-CHAVEZ, LULA-BUSH-TABARE, IRAN,
02/2607; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key stories focus on President Kirchner's ambivalence in his policy
vis-`-vis the U.S. regarding Chavez, President Bush's trip to the
region, with media speculating on biofuels as the main reason for
his visit, and repercussions of Iran's challenge to UNSC ultimatum.
2. OPINION PIECES
- "Kirchner Invites Chavez, Who Will Lead Anti-Bush Rally"
Mariano Obarrio, daily-of-record "La Nacion" political columnist,
writes (02/24) "President Kirchner will receive Hugo Chavez in two
weeks in an attempt to give continuity to the bilateral agenda which
he resumed in Puerto Ordaz and send a strong message of rejection to
the presence of George W. Bush in the region, when he visits Uruguay
".... Both Kirchner and Chavez will organize a bilateral meeting in
Buenos Aires and then, the Bolivarian leader will address a
multitude of picketers in a rally against President Bush.
".... Government House - through Secretary Parrilli - summoned
pro-Kirchner picketers and social movements to welcome Chavez and
next Tuesday they will get together to finalize the details of the
".... The anti-Bush act -- and another rally in support of the
inauguration of this year's sessions in Congress -- takes place in
the framework of the campaign launched by Kirchner in an election
"'It's time to give elections a 'leftist' tinge. Bush has a bad
image here and in the region. Though this doesn't mean we're
breaking ties with the U.S., or anything like that,' said a
".... Of course, Chavez will be the key-note speaker at this rally
in which he will totally reject Bush, in a new 'anti-summit',
similar to the one which took place in Mar del Plata.
".... That hostility towards the U.S. visitor is precisely one of
the reasons why Bush won't step in Argentina again...."
- "Ominous Campaign"
Eduardo Van der Kooy, leading "Clarin" political analyst, opines
(02/25) ".... Oftentimes, Kirchner's silences and gestures are more
valuable than his speeches. This occurs in his relations with
Chavez. The Argentine leader firmly declared in Caracas his duty is
not to control Venezuela's strong-man, as Washington wants. The
Venezuelan needed this concession in front of his people. But U/S
Burns expressed to Secretary Rice his satisfaction with the
guarantees he received in Buenos Aires and Brasilia on Venezuela and
"Chavez again criticized Bush and White House foreign policy. But
during the launch of the first oil well in the Orinoco Basin, he
hailed his country's sales commitments, which include the U.S.
".... This gap between rhetoric and action identifies both Kirchner
and Chavez. Although Kirchner, every now and then, makes other
gestures - such as putting distance with Iran - which tend to tone
down that resemblance and avoid confusion."
- "Kirchner's Constant Ambivalence"
Joaquin Morales Sola, dailyof-record "La Nacion" political analyst,
says (02/25) ".... The major problem with Chavez is not Washington,
as the GOA believes. But rather the answers to some key questions:
are the dollars that the Venezuelan leader lavishly spills on
Argentina the only important issue? Or is it also worth while to
preserve democracy and its institutions around the world?
".... The problem with Kirchner is that his public rhetoric creates
an image of ambivalence in the world while the content of his
private conversations comes late, when the image is already
installed. Close to Kirchner's entourage they say 'there was never
an attitude against the U.S.' But this came too late, because news
of Kirchner challenging the U.S. had been released worldwide...."
Marcelo Cantelmi, leading "Clarin" international editor, opines
(02/26) "... Lula's visit to Uruguay is directly linked with Bush's
regional tour. The Brazilian is trying to stop his colleague Tabare
-- tempted by a hardly feasible agreement with the U.S. - from
taking a step which will cause serious and irreversible damage to
Mercosur... Bush, who no longer has the power to make these trade
deals, will meet with both during a visit whose only and strategic
goal are biofuels. Those who believe that, with this trip, the White
House changes its agenda and rediscovers Latin America, lose track
of Washington's interests. Lula seems pretty clear about his own."
- "Iran Challenges the West"
An editorial in independent "La Prensa" reads (02/26) "Iran has
decided to challenge Western powers. It disregarded UN ultimatum and
the theocratic regime not only refused to call off its uranium
enrichment process but decided to increase it, according to a tough
IAEA report. This forecasts another confrontation in the world's
most dangerous region.
".... The ball is back in the UNSC court. Once again, Russia and
China's attitude is a question mark, because it seems there are no
divisions between the U.S. and Europe in this case. An Iranian
nuclear bomb doesn't seem to be convenient for any superpower. But
the gist of the problem is how to persuade, with civilized means,
the ayatollahs that having WMD is bad business in the long run. The
recent and successful negotiations with North Korea - another
irresponsible State - open a window of hope."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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