Cablegate: Media Reaction; Lula to the Us; Argentine Debt Holdouts;
DE RUEHBU #0616/01 0891745
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301745Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7697
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000616
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; LULA TO THE US; ARGENTINE DEBT HOLDOUTS;
IRAQ; 03/30/07; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Leading international stories today include Brazilian President
Lula's upcoming trip to the US to meet with President Bush; a letter
from the leaders of the House of Representatives Western Hemisphere
Subcommittee to Treasury Secretary Paulson urging action by the USG
to defend the rights of Argentine debt holdouts; and the US Senate
setting a deadline for US troop withdrawal.
2. OPINION PIECES
- "Lula travels to the US to discuss ethanol among other issues"
Carlos Turdera, Sao Paulo-based correspondent for daily-of-record
"La Nacion," writes (03/30) "For the second time in less than one
month, Brazilian President Lula will meet with his US counterpart,
George W. Bush, tomorrow at Camp David... And this time, according
to Brazilian FM Celso Amorim, the common agenda 'will not include
taboo issues' and 'will not be focused on ethanol,' which was the
prevailing issue during their March 9 meeting in Sao Paulo.
"Now, three months after his presidential re-inauguration, Lula will
start tomorrow his second term in office with an ambitious move in
Camp David, where he will talk about the four pillars of his new
foreign policy - unblocking the Doha Round, creating a world
bio-fuels market, working on Latin America's integration, and
adapting the UN to the 'geopolitics of the 21st century,' this last
issue being related to Brazil's aspiration to obtain a permanent
seat at the UN Security Council.
"Camp David, where no Latin American president has been received
after the visit of Mexican Carlos Salinas de Gortari in 1991, will
be the scenario in which Bush will deal with Brazil's concerns
linked to agricultural issues. According to US Assistant Secretary
for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon, Bush does not want to
'ethanolize' his ties to Brasilia.
"While a Republican senator proposed to remove tariffs on ethanol
imports, his initiative will not have much future due to the US
lobby in favor of corn alcohol interests... Therefore, Bush's
maneuvering ability will be little. His power to sign deals will
expire today, and he will have to report to Capitol Hill on the
signature of any deal."
- "The US Congress pressures (Argentina) about holdout bondholders"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
comments (03/30) "For the first time the US Congress has started to
officially pressure Argentina in favor of holdout bondholders (the
ones who were left out in the country's debt restructuring
"In a letter addressed to US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the
influential president of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee,
Democratic Representative Elio Engel, and its VP, Republican Dan
Burton, expressed their 'increasing concern over the fact that
Argentina continues refusing to pay at least a small amount on the
10 billion dollars it owes to American investors after the biggest
default in history.'
"... The fact that the letter is signed by Engel and Burton, this is
to say by a Democrat and a Republican, is a proof that concern over
this issue is bipartisan.
"In the letter, the two leaders of the Subcommittee expressed their
concern that Argentina's moves could set a dangerous precedent...
"The US Representatives' letter proves that the US Congress' lobby,
American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), which is stepping up pressure
on Capitol Hill in favor of holdout bondholders and vulture funds,
has started to have some impact although it was repeatedly
underestimated by Argentine government officials...
"This lobby was favored by the negative impact on Washington of
Chavez's anti-Bush rally in Argentina."
- "The US Senate set a deadline for troops in Iraq"
Leonardo Mindez, on special assignment in leading "Clarin," penned
(03/30) "Tension between the White House and Capitol Hill, which is
dominated by the Democratic opposition, was heightened yesterday
when the US Senate half approved its draft bill for the
122-billion-dollar emergency funding of the war in Iraq and
Afghanistan while pointing out that the troop withdrawal should
start within four months and end on March 31, 2008.
"... However, US President George W. Bush is enraged - he urgently
wants some legislation granting more funds for troops under no
"... For the White House, the dispute over the war in Iraq is one of
many open fronts. Yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was
forced one more step towards 'the abyss' for having fired eight US
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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