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Cablegate: Argentine Congress Condemns U.S. Allegations,

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2372 3541847
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 201847Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9947
INFO RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1642
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002372

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CJAN SNAR KJUS ASEC VE AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINE CONGRESS CONDEMNS U.S. ALLEGATIONS,
NESTOR KEEPS ON GOING, AND A KEY WITNESS CLAIMS
ANTONINI-WILSON WAS AT THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE ON AUGUST 6

REF: (A) BUENOS AIRES 2360 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) Summary: The Kirchner-controlled Congress moved with
exceptional alacrity December 19 to repudiate the U.S. for
offending Argentina, and former president Nestor Kirchner
continued to berate the USG, but singling out former WHA A/S
Roger Noriega for vitriol. Meanwhile, according to press
reports, an Argentine prosecutor confirmed that she had
testimony from a key witness placing Antonini-Wilson at the
presidential palace two days after his $800,000 suitcase was
intercepted. End summary.

Congress Takes Action
---------------------

2. (SBU) The Argentine Congress, where President Cristina
Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK) has a strong majority in both the
Senate and Chamber of Deputies, voted December 19 to
"repudiate" the U.S. for affronting Argentina in connection
with the Miami arrests of Venezuela's unregistered agents.
The Congress criticized the USG for failing to extradite
Antonini-Wilson and instead "mounting a harmful intelligence
operation that sought to damage the institution of the
presidency of our nation." The Chamber approved the
resolution by a vote of 128 to 64 (17 abstentions), and the
Senate voted 51 to 16 (one abstention) to approve. None of
the opposition voted for the resolution. The opposition
instead sought, but failed to win, the interpellation of FM
Taiana, presidential chief of staff Alberto Fernandez, and
Justice Minister Anibal Fernandez.

Kirchner Keeps on Going
-----------------------

3. (SBU) Former president and First Gentleman Nestor Kirchner
resumed his harsh criticism of the USG. At a year-end event
for municipal governments, Kirchner criticized the USG's "bad
attitude," alleging it sought through the media "to wear down
recently inaugurated governments to keep them from joining
forces." He called on all Argentines to "defend and help"
the maligned CFK. According to "La Nacion," Kirchner's "main
target" was former WHA A/S Roger Noriega. Kirchner said "the
Guantanamo case made certain sorry officials like Noriega
nervous" and blamed him for "doing nothing but putting
stumbling blocks in my way since he was always opposed to
Latin American integration." Kirchner then criticized
Argentina's political opposition for "not having any ideas,"
and claimed Elisa Carrio, the runner-up in the October 28
presidential election, was "an employee of Noriega" not
worthy of debating.

Antonini-Wilson at the Palace
-----------------------------

4. (SBU) Several major media outlets began reporting December
20 that Argentine prosecutor Maria Luz Rivas-Diez claimed
that Victoria Beresziuk, a GOA employee who was aboard the
August 4 flight carrying the $800,000 suitcase from Caracas,
had testified that two days later she saw Antonini-Wilson at
the presidential palace, Casa Rosada. According to
Beresziuk's testimony, Antonini-Wilson was spotted at a
signing ceremony in Casa Rosada on August 6 (the day of
Chavez's visit to Argentina).
WAYNE

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