Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us-Argentine Ties; Colombian Hostage
DE RUEHBU #0073/01 0221320
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221320Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0088
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000073
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; US-ARGENTINE TIES; COLOMBIAN HOSTAGE
RELEASE OPERATION; US SUBPRIME CRISIS IMPACT ON ARGENTINA; 01/22/08
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international stories are related to the implications of the
US-Argentine incident; the current status of the rebellion method in
the aftermath of the Colombian hostage release operation; and the
impact of the US sub prime crisis on Argentina's economy.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Among clamors and the succulent K(irchners)' patrimony"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an op-ed piece by columnist
Fernando Laborda, who writes (01/20) "... President Cristina
Kirchner is somewhat calmer over what may happen in Miami regarding
the implications of the suitcase gate. The Argentine Government now
expects to put the country's ties to the US on a safe track again,
which the authorities themselves contributed to impairing...
"On the road to easing tension, now there is speculation that the
restrictions imposed by the Argentine Government on US Ambassador
Earl Anthony Wayne's agenda (which went down so badly in Washington)
could be lifted...
"The Government also expects to make some progress on the approval
of the appointment of the Argentine Ambassador to Washington, Hector
Timerman. This should not be at risk bearing in mind that, after
all, Argentina is not included among the US foreign policy top
priorities. Our little strategic importance should not justify a
confrontation with the US, which currently has to tackle some other
- "US-Argentine thaw"
Leading "Clarin" carries an opinion piece by political columnist
Julio Blanck, who writes (01/19) "US Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne's
public reappearance at a ceremony in homage to Raoul Wallenberg, a
Swedish diplomat who helped many Jews during the Second World War,
could be understood as the first sign of a thaw in the US-Argentine
"The (Argentine) Government, which expects the approval of Hector
Timerman's appointment as the new Argentine Ambassador to the US,
prefers to downplay the issue, perhaps because it does not want to
appear as backtracking.
"Cristina Kirchner has always wanted to have a closer relationship
to the US than her husband did... She held meetings with hyperactive
Ambassador Wayne before taking office while Nestor Kirchner never
met with him while in office.
"Truly enough, circumstances many times change the leaders' wishes.
And the Argentine Government's closeness to Hugo Chavez in the FARC
hostage release operation contributed to an unwanted delay in the
- "Colombia - the continuation of war by some other means"
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," writes
an op-ed piece (01/19) "The FARC hostage release operation left a
provocative enigma - whether the rebellion method is definitely
"There is some prevailing inclination to simplify the Colombian
confrontation between a criminal group and the rule of law. However,
neither the small ELN nor the more organized FARC are drug cartels
exclusively devoted to the production and trade of drugs. The issue
is more complicated than this...
"... The Colombian guerrilla is some faulty consequence of the
bloody wars waged between liberals and conservatives during the
first half of the 20th century, but even more sordid that this, it
is an outcome of the reiterated murder of any ideological position
challenging the power of those two political parties...
"... The kidnapping of a group of tourists just a few hours after
the release of Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez (if this was
performed by the FARC at all, as claimed by the Colombian
Government) seems to indicate some inward rupture between those who
would agree to some historical opening sponsored by Cuba and
Venezuela and those guerrillas who are reluctant to such an opening
- not an emphasis on the wrong strategy."
- "Rocked or rock"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" (01/22)
editorializes "Yesterday's four percent fall in the Merval share
index comes immediately on top of a general consensus among economic
experts here... in the last few days that Argentina is largely
immune from the global economic upheavals sparked by the sub prime
crisis in the US...
"Apart from Argentina's fiscal solidity and the point that
Argentina's cash-down housing culture frees it from the sub prime
vulnerability which is the most visible cause of the US crisis...,
this assumption of Argentine immunity is basically grounded in faith
in continually strong commodity prices. But two vital factors needed
to be added to the equation, one of which undermines this argument
and the other reinforces it. Those who trust in sturdy commodity
prices overlook the fact that the foreign exchange to pay them does
not ultimately come from Asia but from the developed world - fully
half of Chinese exports go to the US, the EU and Japan, thus making
these commodity prices ultimately US-dependent... The assumption
that current commodity price levels can survive a US recession is
thus open to question even if it is also true that the roots of
Asia's growth are probably more demographic than cyclical."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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