Cablegate: Media Reaction; Brazilian Foreign Policy; Russia;
DE RUEHBU #1120/01 1581500
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071500Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8351
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001120
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; BRAZILIAN FOREIGN POLICY; RUSSIA;
US-ARGENTINE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP; 06/07/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Major international opinion pieces discuss Brazil's "realistic"
foreign policy; Russia's authoritarian style of government; and
prospects for the US-Argentine bilateral relationship.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Venezuela is involved in Brazil's strategic game"
Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by Fabian Calle, professor
of International Relations, Universidad Di Tella-UCA, who writes
(06/07) "According to realistic international principles, the
countries having the largest capabilities and/or playing an
important role in the strategic agendas of major powers have greater
margins to maneuver to enforce double standards in their foreign
policies while taking actions and issuing statements that could
impose high costs on other countries.
"This long standing warning becomes a useful tool in analyzing the
relationship between the Argentine and Brazilian governments and
Venezuela's Bolivarian government and also in observing the latest
disputes between Caracas and Brasilia.
"... The current conventional knowledge about an idyllic
relationship between Brazil and the US, which includes alleged
irreversible tension between Lula and Chavez, is far from reflecting
the complexities of the reality.
"... Perhaps a positive step in bridging the gap between facts and
perceptions is the recent article by Mark Falcoff, renowned expert
from the G.O.P., warning about how mistaken it is to view Argentina
as a country substantially influenced by Chavez.
"Just as mistaken as this, would be not to notice Brazil's
interesting strategic game which consists of using Venezuela to put
a brake on the US, while taking advantage of its ties to the
superpower to keep Chavez and his petro-dollars at bay."
- "Russia and human rights"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (06/07) "The Russian
Federation's ties to the Western countries is going through a
difficult time, so much so that the country's internal situation is
perhaps the weakest since Cold War times.
"On the one hand, there is the tension triggered by the unresolved
issue of the gas supply to the EU. On the other hand, we find
serious problems in bilateral ties to nations once behind the Iron
Curtain, such as Poland, Georgia, Estonia and Lithuania. To this,
one should add the threats to and spats with the US due to the
deployment of an antimissile shield in Europe, this being a
consequence of the concern sparked by Iran's military power and its
disturbing nuclear program...
"But, probably, what most concerns the international community is
the Russian Government's authoritarianism, - the persecution of and
restrictions imposed on political opponents, the pressure on
journalists and their lack of safety, the direct or indirect control
of mass media, and the subsequent restriction on freedom of
expression, and recently the harassment of NGOs devoted to
protecting human rights and civil and political freedoms.
"... Nothing of all this should be silenced. Otherwise, things will
continue as they are now, which increasingly distances the Russian
Federation from the essential foundations of democracy."
- "Neither a carnal nor a conflictive relationship"
Luis Rosales, political consultant and head of FURP (Fundacion
Universitaria del Rio de la Plata), opines (06/07) "... In political
and strategic terms, the US-Argentine relationship, while cordial
and respectful, has never been optimal.
"... The decade of a 'carnal' relationship with the US proved that
this road did not lead to major results other than Argentina's
designation as a major, non-NATO ally and an increase in the meat
quota sold - an disproportionate concession in exchange for a small
benefit, which vanished when the conservative Bush administration
removed its support during the agonizing conclusion of the
"The other extreme, a tense and distant relationship, does not seem
a smart option either. Only countries like Venezuela, which is
submerged in a sea of oil, can disregard the White House without
fearing the consequences of retaliation.
"The road to be followed is that of the most advanced democracies in
the world - a relationship of mutual respect and convenience. Every
issue is independently treated without any automatic alignment. For
example, the global war on terrorism unites all civilized
democracies while the ways to handle this issue can vary...
"The challenge is making an agenda that serves both sides and that
includes issues that will let Argentina negotiate with a little more
power in defending its interests... Now that there will be a
political change in the two countries, there is an interesting
opportunity to reshape the bilateral relationship. If two women end
up ruling the countries..., perhaps gender solidarity will
contribute to understanding. However, even if the presidents
continue being men, they will have to seek a middle ground between
the useless promiscuity of a 'carnal' relationship and the also
useless tension of constant clashes."
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