Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Election Campaign; Un Antiterrorist
DE RUEHBU #0632/01 1331905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121905Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1018
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000632
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; UN ANTITERRORIST
PLAN; LEBANON; BOLIVIA; 05/12/08
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend newspapers carry international editorials on presidential
candidate Barack Obama's chances of winning US presidential
elections; the progress made under the UN's antiterrorist strategy;
the chaotic situation in Lebanon; and the referendum in Bolivia.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Is the US ready to vote for a black president for the first time
in its history?"
Ana Baron, leading "Clarin's" Washington-based correspondent, writes
(05/11) "When US Democratic primary elections started in Iowa,
Barack Obama received a lot of enthusiasm by presenting himself as
the candidate who would overcome racial factors and ideological
barriers. Looking for a new post-racism US, without division between
white and black people, without the left or right wing, thousands of
youth and new voters aligned with him and created an unparalleled
movement in the recent history of the US.
"Nonetheless, almost six months later, the question Obama had
managed to avoid in the first stage of the election campaign is
again the main focus of attention in the US political scenario - can
a black man win the US presidential election?
"... Just like Powell, Obama's family is not a typical US
Afro-American family, with slave ancestors in the country or who had
participated in the '60s civil rights movement such as Jesse Jackson
and Al Sharpton...
"... Jeremiah Wright's statements have contributed even further to
raising the racial specter in a country where there are still sons
of slaves and where until only 40 years ago, black people were not
able to attend the same schools or same bars white people attended.
When Wright stated black people should say 'God curse America,' due
to the prevailing racism in the country, Obama said he does not
share his view.
"However, if the candidate has reached this point in spite of the
color of his skin, why shouldn't he reach the White House? No
analyst seriously dismisses the possibility. On the contrary, every
recession in US history has been followed by a change in the ruling
political party, and to this, one should add a war with less than
30% popularity rate."
- "The UN launches an antiterrorist plan"
Conservative "La Prensa" carries an opinion piece by Emilio
Cardenas, former Argentine Ambassador to the UN, who writes (05/11)
"On September 8, 2006, the UN General Assembly formally approved the
'World Strategy against Terrorism'... This year, starting in
September, the UN General Assembly will examine in detail how much
progress the strategy has made.
"... Obviously enough, there is much to do in our region... in this
regard. Looking only at what happens at the porous borders between
Colombia and Ecuador or Venezuela after no less than 42 years of
intense guerrilla activities, it is apparent that the governments of
those countries still have much to do... The governments should be
held liable for their omissions, particularly when they are
compelled to act. Ecuadorian Defense Minister Wellington Sandoval's
excuses are useless that 'protecting' Ecuador's borders with
Colombia would be a 'huge and expensive effort'. If Ecuador cannot
do it alone, it should call for the cooperation of its neighboring
country or the region, or the international community. 'Leaving
things just as they are' is not an option because this would simply
favor the FARC. It is striking that the recent resolutions and
statements made by the OAS and the 'Rio Group' about the serious
incidents on the Ecuadorian-Colombian border did not specifically
mention UN rules and actions in this respect. It is strange because
it would seem that for some reason they preferred to turn their back
on them or 'distance themselves' from the UN. It is not serious."
- "Lack of responsibility"
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," comments
(05/10) "Lebanon is the ringside of a gigantic confrontation between
Iran and the Shiite theocracy sponsoring Hezbollah, on the one hand,
and the US, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Sunnis who confront
Tehran... This irresponsible game explains the relentless failure of
every attempt to elect a consensus president for the last seven
months. The problem here (like the Palestinian case with Hamas) is
that it is not possible to have a real government without the
participation of Hezbollah, one of the major political parties of
the country and not the only armed militia in Lebanon. Exclusion
impedes finding a way out of the conflict and fuels violence, which
is the worst way to handle the crisis."
- "A revoking referendum that would not put an end to the conflict"
Ignacio Colo, international columnist of daily-of-record "La
Nacion," comments (05/10) "Following the Santa Cruz referendum,
Bolivia's political situation is out of order..., which jeopardizes
Evo Morales term in office as well as that of the governors.
"The one-million dollar question now is whether this unexpected
measure will serve to solve the political crisis in which Bolivia
has been bogged down for months? Everything seems to indicate that
it will not and that perhaps it could worsen it.
"Undoubtedly, the main target of congressional opposition is Morales
himself. Ironically, he had submitted this proposal some months ago
in another context, without imagining that it would reappear at the
worst moment of his term in office.
"... Currently, Bolivia is immersed in a crisis in which two visions
of the country are at odds... The revocation of Morales' mandate
would considerably deepen the crisis...
"If Morales and the governors are confirmed, in three months' time
Bolivia will be in a similar situation..., although more
"In this regard, the referendum on revoking Morales' mandate is far
from being a way of making progress and building bridges between the
government and the regional opposition."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: