Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Election Campaign; Argentina's Vote
DE RUEHBU #0608/01 1282039
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 072039Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0983
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000608
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 ELECTION CAMPAIGN; ARGENTINA'S VOTE
AGAINST THE IMF; LULA/CHAVEZ/BUSH; 05/07/08
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's local international stories are focused on new developments
in the Democratic primaries; Argentina's vote against IMF
initiatives; and Lula da Silva's "meddling" in the confrontation
between Hugo Chavez and the US.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- Obama and Hillary cannot break their tie"
Hugo Alconada Mon, daily-of-record "La Nacion's" Washington-based
correspondent, comments (05/07) "The last big night of the
Democratic primaries ended in the same way it began - with Barack
Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton in confrontation and without having
inflicted a decisive blow to the other, which could lead them to the
"... Now, the two will focus on West Virginia next Tuesday. Their
competition will continue through June 3, when primary elections
will end and a period will start during which some Democratic
leaders expect one of the two competitors to step down before the
"... Last night's results revealed that Obama could be some 100
delegates below the necessary number required, while the New York
senator could be 250 (delegates) away...
"... The local economic crisis turned out to be the most important
issue in both Indiana and North Carolina (66%), surpassing the issue
over the war in Iraq (20%9), delayed immigration reform, the
profound problems posed by the medical care or global warming...
"... In the case of Obama, the question is whether he would be able
to win in November, bearing in mind that during the last eight weeks
(and with so much in his favor) he was not able to get rid of
Hillary, he lost in Pennsylvania and has not been able to capture
the white and Hispanic vote. Meanwhile, in Hillary's case, there are
new doubts given that her negative image was reinforced among a
large segment of the electorate and that she also has to overcome a
very steep slide."
- "A new anti-IMF league - Argentina goes with Zimbabwe, Angola and
Pablo Wende, columnist of business-financial "Ambito Financiero,"
writes (05/07) "Argentina is on its way to making up a new league of
countries, which is made up of those countries that oppose any IMF
initiative without caring too much about the issue. The day before
yesterday, the country took a new step in this direction by voting
against a new IMF initiative aimed at managing its investments. 176
countries voted in favor of it. Only a 'select' group voted against
it - Zimbabwe (harassed by hyperinflation and charges of all kinds
against its old dictator Robert Mugabe), Laos, Turkmenistan, Angola
and Argentina are the members of this group.
"At this point, one can already see a line of behavior - just one
week ago, the Argentine Government also voted against the change in
the voting structure at the IMF.
"... The Argentine position triggered irritation at the IMF,
particularly in its head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who, in an unusual
gesture, attended President Cristina Kirchner's inauguration
ceremony last December 10. Nevertheless, the IMF is unlikely to
remain idle. For the time being, it has already made it known that
the IMF will not make any effort to help Argentina in negotiating
its Paris Club debt, as Strauss-Kahn had promised.
"What was most striking to Washington was Argentina's changing
position in a matter of days and, in some cases, in a matter of
- "Lula is revealed to have attempted to moderate the confrontation
between Chavez and Bush"
Eleonora Gosman, leading "Clarin's" Sao Paulo-based correspondent,
writes (05/07) "It was common knowledge that the Brazilian right
wing did not want Lula da Silva to take power in October 2002, and
one could have imagined that it would have pressured even the
military to avoid that 'danger.' However, it is not unusual that
that same group asked the US to intervene in order to prevent the
trade unionist from taking power. This was exactly what happened,
according to what former Deputy Secretary of State for Latin America
Otto Reich told the Brazilian economic newspaper 'Valor.'
"He received such a request dring a short trip to Brazil by
mid-2002... Reich added that 'there were also Brazilians who told us
that Lula would be very dangerous.' However, by then, the Bush
administration had some other urgent affairs to manage - the war in
Afghanistan and the imminent military intervention in Iraq. Reich
acknowledged that, due to these reasons, 'we decided not to get
involved in Brazil; there was nothing to do.'
"... There is another aspect to the story presented by 'Valor'
newspaper - based on about 200 US government documents..., that
demonstrate how Lula da Silva attempted to downplay an open
confrontation between Hugo Chavez and the US."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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