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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Argentine Foreign Policy; Plan Mexico;

VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2131/01 3021442
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291442Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9592
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002131

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; ARGENTINE FOREIGN POLICY; PLAN MEXICO;
CHAVEZ AND BOLIVIA; 10/29/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Weekend major international stories are related to the foreign
policy of the future Argentine government; Plan Mexico; and
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's threat to intervene militarily in
Bolivia in the event someone attempts to "oust" Bolivian President
Evo Morales.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "A place in the world"

Santiago O'Donnell, international analyst of left-of-center "Pagina
12," writes (10/28) "... Saying that the world does not care who
will be elected Argentine president is a cliche. As in every cliche,
there is something true, but it is also true that Argentine
(presidential) elections are particularly important to neighboring
countries... Perhaps, the most interested is Bolivian President Evo
Morales. The Kirchners' have supported his ambitious transformation
process in Bolivia at all levels...

"Clearly enough, Chavez is the political leader that most separates
Cristina Kirchner from Lavagna and Carrio. An important official
foreign policy counselor (not the FM) said that Chavez's adversaries
in Argentina and overseas overestimate how dangerous he is,
allegedly. 'The world changed, guerrillas are no longer an option in
the region. Who will Chavez destabilize? What is so bad about him?
That he meets with the Iranian president? Putin also does so, and
many other presidents. When Americans tell us to stop doing business
with Chavez, I answer Why don't you stop doing business with Chavez?
Venezuela has 14,000 Citgo oil stations in the US. No one in the
world takes seriously Chavez's alleged threat.'

"... The Argentine election will not change the center-to-left trend
adopted by the region in recent years, regardless of the nuances of
the liberal bloc formed by Mexico, Colombia, Peru and some
Central-American countries. Argentina will further its cooperation
with the US in the antiterrorist struggle, its conflict with Iran,
its commitment to Mercosur, and the search for new markets. As far
as the US is concerned, while it is bogged down in Iraq, it will
continue to disregard the region. Europe will continue like it is.
Asia is still far and the Middle East is 'burning iron' that no one
wants to touch.

"... Cristina Kirchner marked the style of her future foreign policy
when she took a campaign event in Mar del Plata to recall the legacy
of the summit held in the city, in which the US-promoted FTAA was
defeated by Mercosur. Temperamental and challenging with her
opponents, seductive and curious among friends, with Madres and
Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo as her emblem, keeping the country's
alliance with Chavez and Lula and sending some winks to the business
world, Cristina Kirchner will impose her personal style by
maintaining her husband's geopolitical alignments."

- "The border under surveillance"

Gustavo Sierra, international columnist of leading "Clarin," opines
(10/28) "The US-Mexican border is plagued with sensors, TV cameras,
infrared visors, surveillance satellites and even Indian guides that
are able to read fingerprints on the sand. In spite of all this
paraphernalia, the border remains porous.

"Now, Washington will be sending to Mexico a 1,4 billion dollar aid
package for furthering its struggle against the drug trafficking
between Texas and Mexico...

"... Many in Mexico believe that it would be much more effective to
use those funds to raise the guards' salaries, and improve the
selection of police officers and the general welfare of the
inhabitants of the border. It is already proved that high technology
cannot relieve hunger.

"The US, instead, intends to provide something similar to Plan
Colombia, in which 5 billion dollars have been spent during the last
decade to fight drug trafficking with not result whatsoever. The
plan is in fact a counter-insurgent campaign that has not put an end
either to drug trafficking or guerrillas.

"... Perhaps, the 1.4 billion dollar package should be used to look
for the real roots of the problem. For some business to yield 23
billion dollars a year (according to the National Drug Intelligence
Center at the US Department of Justice), there should be strong
power on both sides of the border that is willing to provide
shelter, and that power should be immune to infrared detectors."

- "More threats from Chavez"

An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion" reads (10/29)
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has aggressively and in many ways
violated the region's principle of non intervention in the domestic
issues of other countries.

"His firebrand rhetoric seems unlimited. Just a few days ago, he
pointed out from the Cuban city of Santa Clara, on his 'Alo
president' radio program, that if someone attempts to 'oust' Evo
Morales, he will not remain idle. He even added that he is willing
to 'use machine guns' and he then labeled that probable intervention
a 'machine gun-Vietnam' in Bolivia.

"Chavez's threatening statement, which suggests the use of weapons
in a country that is not his own, deserves unanimous repudiation
because, in addition to Venezuela's remarkable arms race, it implies
a clear threat to regional peace and security, which should concern
us all..."

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

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