Cablegate: Argentina: Country Clearance for Codel Shelby
DE RUEHBU #0307/01 0701813
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101813Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0428
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0018
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0002
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0176
RUEHWD/AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK 0002
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0013
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 0008
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000307
DEPARTMENT FOR H AND RM/F/DFS/FO/AA/CAA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PTER SNAR ECON EFIN BEXP AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR CODEL SHELBY
REF: STATE 22705
1. Post warmly welcomes and grants country clearance to Ambassador
Richard Shelby and members of his delegation to travel to Argentina
for the period March 23-26, 2008. The purpose of the visit is to
have bilateral discussions with senior Argentine government
officials on a range of financial, economic, trade, and security
issues. Post will provide meet and greet assistance at airport
March 23 and transportation throughout the visit. Agenda and
administrative details are being coordinated with Army Legislative
Liaison LTC Craig Greene. Post would appreciate receiving details
of security clearances held by members of the traveling party.
2. Embassy point of contact will be ECON Counselor Doug Climan, who
can be reached at (5411) 5777-4747, direct line 5777-4609. Email is
ClimanDP@state.gov. Cell phone 15-6-602-7329. Embassy address: Av.
Colombia 4300, Embassy phone 54-11-5777-4555; Embassy fax
54-11-5777-4212. Embassy hours: 8:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
3. Visas: Visitors are reminded that Argentina requires visas in
U.S. diplomatic and official passports for official travel. Persons
traveling on official business and carrying diplomatic or official
passports who arrive without a valid visa may be denied entry and
sent back to point of origin. The Embassy is unable to secure entry
of travelers who arrive without visas.
4. Airport tax: All American visitors, including those holding
official or diplomatic passports are required to pay the airport tax
when departing Argentina. For international flights, the tax is
US$18 per passenger (VAT-exempt) or peso equivalent, payable in
5. Administrative support: We have received Codel fund cite to pay
for direct costs of the visit. Each agency, organization, or
visiting delegation will be charged for the actual costs attributed
to their visit and will be advised of this action. Direct charge
costs include, but are not limited to: American and LES staff
overtime, field travel-lodging and M&IE by Embassy employees,
vehicle rentals, long distance telephone calls, equipment rentals,
office supplies and all other costs that are directly attributable
to the visit.
6. Threat assessment:
a. Political violence/terrorism: Liaison with host government police
and security forces indicate there is little threat to U.S. citizens
(official visitors, business visitors, tourists) from indigenous
terrorist organizations in Argentina. There are no violent domestic
groups currently active in this country that are specifically
targeting U.S. interests. However, given the presence of members of
and support for extremist international terrorist groups such as
Hizbollah in the tri-border region of Argentina (Misiones Province),
visitors here cannot discount the possibility of terrorist activity,
to include random acts of anti-American violence.
b. Crime: Petty street crime in the city of Buenos Aires and the
immediate suburbs continues to be a problem for residents and
visitors alike. Burglaries in the more fashionable suburbs have been
a particular problem. Visitors to the city of Buenos Aires should
be aware of problems with hotel security (i.e. thefts from room) and
pickpockets or purse snatching on the streets and public
transportation (buses and trains). Pickpockets often work in pairs
and employ a variety of ruses to victimize the unsuspecting visitor.
In recent years, most crime affecting visitors has been
non-violent; aggravated robberies, shootings, etc., while not
completely unheard of in the city of Buenos Aires were, nonetheless,
uncommon. Recently, however, incidents of armed invasions of
restaurants, shops and residences by criminal groups are being
observed with greater frequency, and as a result, it is recommended
that due caution be exercised when traveling about the city.
However, in general, the crime level in Buenos Aires is less severe
than in large U.S. cities.
7. Exchange Facilities:Post will provide Codel members
accommodation exchange at Codel hotel site. The Argentine Peso,
which is currently exchanged at a floating rate, is the official
currency.Travelers checks may be accepted by hotels but are not
widely accepted by other businesses or establishments.There is a
wide network of ATMs that honor U.S. issued ATM/Debit/Credit cards
issuing funds in pesos.Travelers are reminded to exercise the same
caution when using an ATM as one would in the United States.There
is a bank providing exchange services inside the Embassy, as well as
an ATM.Please note that ATMs in Argentina limit the amount taken
per withdrawal to 300-350 pesos or approximately USD $95-$110;
however, you may take out multiple withdrawals in a single day up to
the limit set by the bank issuing your ATM card.
8. Embassy access: State Department employees should bring their
State ID cards/building passes to Buenos Aires to facilitate access
to the Embassy. If other visitors need unescorted access to the
Embassy, please provide security clearance information in writing
via cable or by bringing a letter signed by the appropriate
authority. Visitors whose clearances have not been verified must be
escorted at all times in the Embassy.
9. Telephone calls: Visitors should bring a fund cite or credit card
to cover the cost of official international and in-country long
distance telephone calls. International calling cards are
10. Laptop computers/digital cameras: Laptops/palm pilots, cellular
phones and other electronic devices may not be brought into the
Embassy without the prior approval of the Regional Security Office.
Personally-owned laptops/palm pilots may not/not be used in the
Embassy. USG-owned laptops may only be used in controlled access
areas (CAA) if the user certifies that the computer has been
continuously under the personal control of a cleared American
throughout transit. If this requirement is not met, the laptop can
only be used outside the CAA. USG-owned palm pilots are under the
same restrictions as cellular phones and other electronic devices,
and may not be utilized within the CAA. At the Embassy, all
USG-issued or personal cellular phones must be left outside the CAA.
Use of cellular phones outside the CAA is not restricted. It
should be noted that if a traveler is bringing a cellular phone into
the country, Argentine law requires the traveler to declare the
phone, including its value, when filling out the customs and
immigration declaration form.
11. Mandatory personal security training: All personnel requesting
country clearance to perform duty for 30 days or more at an overseas
location must have completed the mandatory personal security
training ("Serving Abroad for Families and Employees" (S.A.F.E.)
course) conducted at the FSI, prior to their travel.
12. For further general information regarding travel to Argentina,
travelers should consult the Department of State internet site at
http://travel.state.gov/ which includes the latest consular
information sheet for Argentina.
13. We look forward to meeting and working with you.
14. To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website
at: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires.< /a>