Cablegate: Media Reaction; Latin American Crisis; Secretary Rice To
DE RUEHBU #0291/01 0671219
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071219Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0410
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000291
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; LATIN AMERICAN CRISIS; SECRETARY RICE TO
THE REGION; 03/07/08
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's local papers carry opinion pieces and editorials related to
the latest developments in the confrontation between Colombia,
Ecuador and Venezuela; the role played by Argentine President
Cristina Kirchner in the crisis; and Secretary Rice's upcoming trip
to the region.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Diplomacy should prevail"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (03/07) "Finally, after
almost 24 hours of tense negotiations, the OAS Permanent Council
unanimously approved a resolution that was agreed upon by Colombia
and Ecuador, which has fortunately avoided war...
"... It has been positive that the OAS was able to calm down the
three confrontational governments and that, in line with Brazil's
rapid intervention and efficient proposal..., it has decided to make
up a committee led by OAS secretary general Jose Miguel Insulza...
following a series of consultations with the governments of the
"... We should praise the region's ability to react to this
particular situation... Perhaps it is too soon to say that war has
been avoided through diplomacy, which has lately been relegated by
unilateral attitudes that contribute nothing to such an essential
factor as peace, but it is not too soon to say that the situation
is now more encouraging than the day before yesterday.
"Ecuador's lack of consent for Colombia's military incursion should
not be overlooked as though it was just an anecdote. Unfortunately,
the governments of Correa and Chavez... do not consider this but are
focused instead on their logical defense of territorial
"We in Latin America should also define what we want and we do
not... We are supposed to want democracy, freedom and peace. We are
supposed not to want terrorism or kidnappings or drug trafficking.
If we do not want this, we should not forgive crime by extolling the
- "3 Cs in Caracas - Cristina, Correa and Chavez"
Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal, English-language
"Buenos Aires Herald," writes (03/07) "President Cristina Kirchner's
presence in Venezuela yesterday could be summarized as handling
almost the worst possible trip in almost the best possible way...
"Cristina Kirchner has thus far handled this Venezuelan visit with
more subtlety than her early clash with the US over the Miami court
This easy road also misses an opportunity to occupy the moral high
ground by offering to mediate between the two sides...
"Cristina Kirchner has not gone so far as offering herself as a
mediator but she called emphatically yesterday for 'moderation'...
Her insistence on solving this problem on a multilateral rather than
unilateral basis is obviously a criticism of the Colombian approach
but it might also be understood as a dig at the way Chavez has taken
an incursion into a country not his own almost as a personal rather
than a regional offence..."
- "Rice will travel to the South but will avoid Argentina"
Hugo Alconada Mon, daily-of-record "La Nacion's" Washington-based
correspondent, writes (03/07) "The US State Department announced
that Secretary Condoleezza Rice will travel to Brazil and Chile on
March 13-15, and it termed both countries as 'two strategic regional
"As a consequence of this communiqu, we infer that she will not
"... Rice will be accompanied by Tom Shannon in her trip...
"Official US sources pointed out that the US- Argentine bilateral
relationship is 'an ongoing process,' which includes an eventual
meeting in this capital city between Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernandez
and FM Taiana and Shannon.
"In the following hours, Shannon could decide to make a stop at the
Argentine Government House and San Martin Palace sometime while in
Brazil and Chile or at the end of Rice's trip...
"Nonetheless, even when his trip to Buenos Aires was confirmed,
cautiousness prevails within the Bush administration as well as
among Democrat and Republican representatives for the region. Most
of them place Argentina at a 'sui generis' situation, far from
allied countries such as Colombia... but neither is it an
antagonistic country (like Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua)."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: