Cablegate: Media Reaction; Bush-Putin Summit; Us-Spain Disagreement
DE RUEHBU #1071/01 1511526
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311526Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8286
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001071
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; BUSH-PUTIN SUMMIT; US-SPAIN DISAGREEMENT
OVER POLICY ON CUBA; CHAVEZ AND PRESS FREEDOM; 05/31/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Major international stories today include President Bush hosting
Russian President Vladimir Putin in July amid tensions over US plans
to build a missile shield in Europe; US Secretary Condoleezza Rice's
trip to Spain, which is aimed at underscoring disagreements with the
Zapatero administration over the West's foreign policy on Cuba; and
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's authoritarian measure to cancel
the RCTV license.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Bush and Putin will meet on July 1"
Leonardo Mindez, Washington-based correspondent for leading
"Clarin," penned (05/31) "In a climate of increasing tension between
Washington and Moscow reminiscent of Cold War times, Presidents
George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin agreed to hold a two-day meeting
aimed at smoothing points of disagreement.
"The summit will take place July 1-2 at Bush Senior's summer
residence in Kennebunkport, Maine. Tony Snow, the spokesperson of
the White House, justified the
choice of this family setting, based on the good relationship
between the two presidents, who 'openly disagree on many things' but
who, in face to face meetings, 'are brutally honest in speaking
"This is why, while Bush and Putin will meet next week at the G8
meeting in Germany, they will reserve their points of disagreement
for the July summit... Russians have publicly complained about US
military moves in Eastern European countries, which Moscow still
considers its backyard. In concrete, the US 'anti-missile shield'
project, which includes the setting up of a radar system in the
Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, has gotten on
the Kremlin's nerves."
- "The US and Spain, confronted over policy on Cuba"
Silvia Pisani, Madrid-based correspondent for daily-of-record "La
Nacion," writes (05/31) "US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will
arrive tomorrow in Madrid with the purpose of emphasizing the two
opposed views exhibited by Western countries regarding the future of
Cuba - on the one hand, the pressure wielded by Washington. On the
other hand, the Spanish socialist government defends the questioned
'dialogue' with the regime.
"... Right now, the Spanish socialist government has taken the first
step in its policy of rapprochement with the Cuban regime - the
first round of the questioned 'dialogue on the respect for human
rights,' promoted by Spanish FM Miguel Angel Moratinos.
"One of the questioned points of that round is that Cuban dissidents
are not taking part in it...
"The second criticized aspect is the fact that the government of the
island does not admit the existence of political prisoners.
Paradoxically enough, the Spanish government has not only denounced
but also asked for the release of those prisoners.
"... Ties between the USG and the (Spanish) socialist government
have never been good, particularly ever since Rodriguez Zapatero's
suddenly decided to withdraw the Spanish troops from Iraq.
"The Bush administration did not like either the Spanish president's
determined support for Democratic opponent John Kerry...
"The difficult relationship between both governments could enter a
new stage following this first encounter to take place tomorrow."
- "Chavez restricts press freedom"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (05/31) "After 53 years on
the air, Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) was replaced by an official
channel following President Hugo Chavez's decision not to renew its
"The closure of the channel was widely rejected by Venezuelans and
served to demonstrate the authoritarian style of the Chavez
administration, which is determined to silence all criticism against
it and increase control on the mass media...
"The decision not to renew the RCTV's license is one of the many
examples of coercion used by the Chavez administration against the
country's independent media. It is also patent blackmail against the
remaining Venezuelan media that are not aligned with the official
"... Then, it becomes obvious that President Chavez is abusing his
regulatory authority to punish the mass media for its critical
posture vis a vis his administration. This is a serious retreat from
freedom of expression, which some intolerant governments damage
through measures that are not in line with a democratic society."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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