Cablegate: Five New Ministers Sworn in; Cabinet Shuffle
DE RUEHBR #0555/01 0891413
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301413Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8522
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6017
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4675
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6813
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 6157
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 6427
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 4101
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 9501
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000555
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV BR
SUBJECT: FIVE NEW MINISTERS SWORN IN; CABINET SHUFFLE
REF: A. BRASILIA 457
B. BRASILIA 501
1. (U) With the March 29 swearing-in of four new ministers
and the reassignment of one, President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva seems to have completed the overhaul of the cabinet
that is to serve him in his second term. Lula created a new
cabinet post for the new government spokesman and director of
government communications. The appointee for the new
ministry, Franklin Martins, participated in the 1969
kidnapping of Charles Elbrick, the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil.
A last minute surprise was the transfer of the Labor
Minister to the Social Security Ministry, reportedly in order
to ensure changes that could not be entrusted to someone from
outside the president's Workers Party (PT).
2. (U) Franklin Martins is the new minister for press and
communications (not be confused with the Minister of
Communications, Helio Costa.) His official title is
"Minister-chief of the Secretariat of Social Communication of
the Presidency of the Republic." The ministerial level job
is a new one, and Martins replaces presidential spokesman
Andre Singer. Martins is a nationally known veteran
journalist and commentator. He was a member of the M-8
leftist underground group that organized and carried out the
kidnapping of Ambassador Charles Elbrick in 1969. Martins
has no party affiliation.
3. (U) Miguel Jorge, a businessman formerly with the
Santander Group, is the new Minister for Development,
Industry and Foreign Trade. He has no party affiliation.
4. (U) Luiz Marinho was transferred from his position as
Labor Minister to become the new Minister for Social
Security. He is a member of the PT.
5. (U) Carlos Lupi, president of the Democratic Labor Party
(PDT) is the new Labor Minister. Earlier press reports had
him pegged for the Social Security Ministry, but March 30
reporting says Lula decided to put Marinho in Social Security
because a minister from outside the PT might not carry out
the reforms Lula wants.
6. (U) Senator Alfredo Nascimento, from Amazonas, is the new
Transportation Minister. He belongs to the Party of the
Republic (PR). He was previously Transportation Minister
from March 2004 to March 2006. As he takes leave from the
Senate he is replaced by his alternate, Joao Pedro Goncalves
da Costa, of the PT.
7. (SBU) In spite of persistent expectations that Defense
Minister Waldir Pires would be replaced by former Chamber of
Deputies President Aldo Rebelo, it appears the cabinet
shuffle has halted, at least for a time.
8. (SBU) Lula will next make changes at the top of
pari-statals and other state entities, rewarding and coopting
members of parties that make up his coalition. Political
columnist Denise Rothenburg reported on March 30 that the
Presidential Palace has warned the Brazilian Democratic
Movement Party (PMDB) leadership that Lula will be watching
the PMDB voting record in Congress as he selects the next
batch of directors for organizations such as Eletronorte,
Eletrobras, Petrobras, and the Caixa Economica Federal (a
state-owned savings bank).
9. (U) A complete listing of the new cabinet follows below.
Agrarian Development: Guilherme Cassel (PT, incumbent)
Agriculture: Federal Deputy Reinhold Stephanes (PMDB, new,
vice Luiz Guedes Pinto). Sworn in on March 23.
Central Bank President: Henrique Meirelles (no party
Cities: Marcio Fortes (PP, incumbent)
Civil Household: Dilma Rousseff (PT, incumbent)
Communications: Senator Helio Costa (PMDB, incumbent)
Comptroller-General: Jorge Hage (PT, incumbent)
Culture: Gilberto Gil (Green Party - PV, incumbent)
Defense: Waldir Pires (PT, incumbent)
Development, Industry and Trade: Miguel Jorge (no party
affiliation, new, vice Luiz Fernando Furlan). Sworn in on
BRASILIA 00000555 002 OF 002
Education: Fernando Haddad (PT, incumbent)
Environment: Marina Silva (PT, incumbent)
Finance: Guido Mantega (PT, incumbent)
Fisheries: Altemir Gregolin (PT, incumbent)
Foreign Relations: Ambassador Celso Amorim (no party
Health: Jose Gomes Temporao (PMDB, new, vice Agenor Alvares).
Sworn in on March 16.
Institutional Relations: Walfrido dos Mares Guia (PTB,
reassigned from Minister of Tourism, vice Tarso Genro.)
Sworn in on March 23.
Institutional Security: General Jorge Armando Felix (no party
Justice: Tarso Genro (PT, reassigned from Minister for
Institutional Relations, vice Marcio Thomaz Bastos) Sworn in
on March 16.
Labor: Carlos Lupi (PDT, new, vice Luiz Marinho). Sworn on
on March 29.
Mines and Energy: Silas Rondeau (PMDB, incumbent)
National Integration: Federal Deputy Geddel Vieira Lima
(PMDB, new, vice Pedro Brito) Sworn in on March 16.
Planning, Budget and Management: Paulo Bernardo (PT,
Racial Equality: Matilde Ribeiro (PT, incumbent)
Science and Technology: Sergio Rezende (Brazilian Socialist
Party - PSB, incumbent)
Secretary-General of the Presidency: Luiz Dulci (PT,
Social Communication: Franklin Martins (new, no party
affiliation, vice Andre Singer). Sworn in on March 29.
Social Development: Patrus Ananias (PT, incumbent)
Social Security: Luiz Marinho (PT, reassigned from Minister
of Labor, vice Nelson Machado). Sworn in on March 29.
Solicitor-General of the Union: Jose Antonio Dias Toffoli
(PT, new, vice Alvaro Ribeiro Costa) Sworn in on March 12.
Sports: Orlando Silva Junior (Communist Party of Brazil -
Tourism: Marta Suplicy (PT, new, vice Walfrido dos Mares
Guia). Sworn in on March 23.
Transportation: Alfredo Nascimento (PR, new, vice Paulo
Sergio Passos). Sworn in on March 29.
Women's Policy: Nilcea Freire (PT, incumbent)