Cablegate: Media Reaction; Thwarted Colombian Hostage Rescue
DE RUEHBU #0029 0081559
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081559Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0014
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000029
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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; THWARTED COLOMBIAN HOSTAGE RESCUE
OPERATION; ARGENTINE FOREIGN POLICY; 01/08/08
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's leading international opinion pieces are related to the
thwarted Colombian hostage rescue operation; and the Argentine
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Emmanuel and diplomatic caution"
Leading "Clarin" editorializes (01/08) "The fiasco represented by
the hostage rescue operation... will compel the Argentine
authorities to revisit their diplomatic guidelines.
"... The operation was aborted due to the guerrillas' refusal to
honor their promise, to which one should add the spectacular
discovery of Emmanuel, who was not being held by the FARC but
protected by the Colombian social welfare system.
"The FARC's attitude ridiculed Chavez and implied a rebuff to the
guarantors who trusted their promises...."The first lesson from this
incident is that Argentine diplomacy should be more careful in the
uncertain arena of regional politics and avoid playing a leading
role that could become counterproductive."
- "Some predictable banning"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, leading "Clarin's" international analyst, writes
(01/08) "Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez decided to make
public through his FM Fernando Araujo that he will not authorize any
further 'humanitarian hostage rescue operation' from foreign
governments just like the one that failed under the leadership of
Venezuelan Hugo Chavez.
"The Colombian President made this decision on the alleged and
already known ground that these kinds of initiatives only favor the
"... Obviously enough, the military solution is the one that is
gaining ground in trying to put an end to the problem posed by the
Colombian insurgency, a policy that Uribe has tenaciously promoted
during the five years of his administration. Venezuelan Chavez
insists on recovering his initiative although his maneuvering margin
is almost nil. And even a domestic negotiation (without the
intervention of third countries) is now a remote possibility."
- "Burying hope"
Business-financial "El Cronista" (01/08) carries an opinion piece by
Sergio Berensztein, political analyst, who opines "The first and
most resounding obstacles met by the Cristina Kirchner
administration have been related to foreign policy, precisely the
area in which the biggest expectations of positive changes vis-`-vis
the administration of her husband had emerged. Between her
surprising overreaction to the 'suitcase gate' and particularly the
failure of the Nestor Kirchner-led 'humanitarian effort' in the
Colombian jungle, the (brand-new?) administration seems to have
buried every expectation of a full re-insertion of the country into
the international community.
"... The important thing now is pointing out that Argentina is today
even more isolated from the world than it used to be in the past -
it is confronted with the only world superpower, ignored by the main
democratic leaders of the world, and left outside the radar of the
complex forces promoting development and progress. To make matters
worse, no one in the Government dares mention the issue of the
country's pending Paris Club debt, much less the IMF and holdouts.
"Foreign policies fiascos are not the only ones. Hope for a gradual
reconstruction of INDEC also seems to have been thwarted."
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