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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Bush Speech On Cuba; 10/25/07

VZCZCXYZ0395
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2098/01 2981347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251347Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9550
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002098

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; BUSH SPEECH ON CUBA; 10/25/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's leading international stories focus on US President Bush's
speech on Cuba.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Bush creates a world fund for the Cuban transition"

Ana Barsn, leading "Clarn's" Washington-based correspondent, writes
(10/25) "In an address to the US-Cuban community in Miami..., US
President George W. Bush said yesterday that the US will only lift
its embargo on Cuba when a democratic system is established on that
'tropical gulag.'

"Ignoring that after 40 years this policy has failed..., Bush urged
the international community to support the Cuban opposition and he
announced the creation of an International Fund for Cuban Freedom,
which will be implemented once a democratic government takes over in
the reconstruction of the Cuban economy.

"... The truth is that every time Cuban-American representatives
stood up and strongly applauded, not a single Ambassador (except for
the one from Malta), applauded."

- "Bush calls Cubans to rebel themselves"

Hugo Alconada Mon, daily-of-record "La Nacisn's" Washington-based
correspondent, comments (10/25) "In his most blunt statement on Cuba
in the last four years, US President George W. Bush launched
yesterday a controversial call to the armed forces and security
forces of the 'dying regime' to ally themselves with democratic
dissidents to put an end to the 'tropical gulag' led by Fidel
Castro, his brother Ral and their entourage...

"... Bush's speech occurred while there is still speculation on
Fidel Castro's health and his brother Raul's leadership now that
several academics and analysts blame the White House for having been
left out of the transition started in July 2006.

"... Bush chose to ask the international community to contribute to
the Cuban transition, with which Spain and other Latin American
countries seek greater integration...

"US criticism was mainly focused on the Rodrguez Zapatero
administration, but also on some Latin American governments and the
OAS. Bush said that the opening should be promoted by dissidents and
accepted by the members of the status quo, as happened in the Soviet
Union."

- "A trivial reason for the threat"

Hugo Alconada Mon, daily-of-record "La Nacisn's" Washington-based
correspondent, writes (10/25) "Why George W. Bush's address on
Cuba?..

"US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutirrez said it was because of
scheduling issues.

"However, it is more interesting to wonder why the White House
insists on a trade embargo that is rejected by the international
community and that Democrats want to make more flexible. Why (is the
US) so tough on Cubans while it is so flexible, for example, with
Chinese Communists?

"Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America Thomas
Shannon said: 'For some of us, the differences are fairly obvious.'

"Honestly enough, there are some differences. Among others, the
openness to China promoted by then president Richard Nixon allowed
the US to give the Soviet Union a headache.

"The second difference is obvious. Cuba is 150 kilometers from
Florida. As many repeat in this capital city, it is in the
superpower's 'backyard,' which turns the island into a matterof US
domestic as well as foreign policy.

"This is due to its geographic location and its symbolic value after
decades of ideological confrontation, but also due to the political
importance acquired by the exiled Cuban community in the US with the
passing of years as their electoral influence in Florida become
increasingly decisive for presidential elections.

"... In this context, Bush reaffirmed the trade embargo and the
diplomatic confrontation, far from any attempt to dialogue, like
Ronald Reagan held with Mikhail Gorbachov. Bush gave this address
now because the White House wants Cubans to take the first step by
opening up to democracy, releasing political prisoners and honoring
freedom. Bush drew this line again yesterday and Gutierrez followed
suit."

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

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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