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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Anti-Us Feeling in Argentina; Us-Latin

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1257/01 1791446
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281446Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8528
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001257

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; ANTI-US FEELING IN ARGENTINA; US-LATIN
AMERICAN TIES; IRAN; 06/28/07

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

- "Argentina, one of the countries that most reject the US"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," comments (06/28) "The fact that George
W. Bush is rejected in Argentina is little surprising, although the
broad dimension of said rejection is amazing. The Pew Center
revealed that 'Argentina's opinion about the US is worse than that
of all other countries surveyed outside of the Middle East.'

"... The reasons for this are obvious and also shared by a majority
of the 47 countries surveyed in the Pew Center's latest and more
thorough annual study. Reasons are 'the global war on terror' (which
is only supported by 9 per cent of Argentines), the multiple human
rights violations denounced in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other
centers, and particularly, the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

"Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said 'I believe
Iraq will enter history as the largest disaster of the US foreign
policy.'

"The difference between Argentina and the other countries surveyed
is the scope of rejection of the US - a majority does not agree with
the US unilateralism, its alleged democratic ideals, its business
practices, its investment, or the role it plays when time comes to
deal with, for instance, world 'inequities' or global warming.

"... Argentine mistrust also extends itself to other world leaders
and their countries, such as China and the Russia of Vladimir Putin.
Even more, local mistrust also reaches Venezuelan leader Hugo
Chavez."

- "Washington, increasingly farther away"

Business-financial "BAE" (06/28) carries an opinion piece by Peter
Hakim, the President of Inter American Dialogue, who writes
"Disappointment over the US-Latin American relationship is mutual.
The anti-US feeling has appeared in every Latin American country.
They resent the Bush administration's blunt unilateralism and
condemn Washington's contempt of international institutions and
norms. According to a recent opinion survey among Latin American
elites, 86 per cent of them disapprove of Washington's handling of
the conflicts all over the world.

"Only in Cuba and Venezuela is there open hostility towards the US,
and most Latin American governments still seek to have closer ties
to the US, through free trade deals, migration, and security
assistance deals even when many of them no longer consider the US a
fully reliable partner nor do they want to be its partners. The
leaders of the region are absolutely aware of the US overwhelming
political and economic power. And they are pragmatic enough to be
determined to have good ties with the sole superpower. However, they
see it as a nation that rarely consults others, that reluctantly
cedes and reacts badly when other countries criticize its actions or
oppose them.

"Many in the region do not find the US current human rights defense
very believable...

"In spite of their disagreement and dissatisfaction with the US
policy in the region, most Latin American governments want to
strengthen their ties to the US. However, the Bush administration
has demonstrated neither the determination nor the required ability
to implement policies aimed at obtaining the support of the other
hemispheric nations."

- "The most challenging crisis"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," opines
(06/28) "Iran is bleeding through the Islamic revolution's deepest
wound - its deficient economic planning... It is a surprising
paradox - Iran has the second largest oil reserves in the world and
is the fourth world exporter, but its refineries are deficient both
due to the negligence of its bureaucracy and the blockade imposed on
it. This means that Iran imports almost half of its daily
consumption of 73 million liters of oil. It has a two-sided problem
- it purchases oil at international prices although it sells it in
the domestic market five times cheaper in order to fulfill
Ahmadinejad's promise that oil would ever be for the people.

"The rupture of this promise explains the people's violent reaction
last December when it turned its back on him in a blunt defeat in
municipal elections due to inflation getting out of control.
However, it is not only numbers we are talking about. The core of
this crisis is the management of a country that is the focus of
international pressures due to its huge and conflictive influence in

the Middle East and its nuclear plan, which is sparked by its energy
dependence... There are many fronts and perhaps the current one is
the most complex and unpredictable one."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

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