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Cablegate: President Lula Reiterates Brasilia's Support For

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PP RUEHQU
DE RUEHPU #0795/01 1542104
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 022104Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8293
INFO RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 1936
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0168
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PORT AU PRINCE 000795

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2018
TAGS: PREL ECON HA BR
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT LULA REITERATES BRASILIA'S SUPPORT FOR
HAITI DURING BRIEF STOP IN PORT-AU-PRINCE

Classified By: Ambassador Janet A. Sanderson, reason 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary. Brazilian President Ignacio Lula da Silva
visited Haiti for seven hours on May 28. meeting at length
with President Preval and other senior Haitian officials. He
reiterated his nation's support for Haiti and announced that
it would build a major dam for the generation of
hydroelectric power. Lula pressed Preval on the current
political vacuum here, but got only limited assurances on the
status of PM-designate Manuel in return. The Brazilian leader
also underscored his nation's intention to continue its
participation in MINUSTAH, announcing that an additional 100
engineers would be dispatched to Haiti. Lula took Preval to
visit the Brazilian troops currently serving in Haiti. The
two sides signed six cooperation agreements, highlighting
Brazilian assistance in ag development, education, health,
and social issues. Subsequent to the visit, Preval told me
that he was very pleased with the trip. End Summary.

2. (C) The seven hour visit of Brazilian President Luiz
Ignacio Lula da Silva to Port-au-Prince on May 28 was, by all
accounts, a major success. Both Haitian and Brazilian
officials tell us that they are pleased with the outcome of
the long-awaited visit, noting that the two sides were able
to move closer on key issues. In addition to the one-on-one
presidential meeting, the visit included a ceremony where the
two sides signed six cooperation agreements, a quasi-press
conference, and a joint visit to Brazilian troops serving
with MINUSTAH. The agreements included accords on visa
reciprocity, technical and educational cooperation,
establishment of an experimental agricultural station, and an
agreement on agricultural security planning. The two sides
also agreed to develop a means to combat violence against
women. Lula, who traveled with ten of his ministers, appeared
in a jovial mood, often throwing his arms around his Haitian
host. Following the accords ceremony, Preval (as is his wont)
waffled on whether the two should speak to the press, but
gave in when the Brazilian delegation observed that their
president was already talking to the assembled journalists.

3. (C) Brazilian Ambassador Igor Kippman (protect) told me
that the two leaders hit it off well, their one-on-one
meeting running an hour, much longer than scheduled.
According to a read-out he received from Brazilian FM Amorin,
the session in Preval's private office was warm and
congenial. Lula "very, very diplomatically" broached the
issue of Haiti's long-delayed senatorial elections and
expressed Brazil's concern about the continuing political
vacuum in Haiti. Preval said that he was cautiously hopeful
Bob Manuel would be confirmed as Prime Minister, but said he
foresaw a fight ahead. He was evasive about his own efforts
on Manuel's behalf. Preval committed to go forward with
elections, but offered no time frame. The two further
discussed concessional financing, agricultural development
and the current food crisis. Lula pledged to work with the
donor committee at the FAO meetings in Rome to help Haiti
out, noting that he is hosting a two hour meeting on Haiti
along the margins of the Rome session. Preval pressed Brazil
to provide Haiti with infrastructure support, including
roads.

4. (C) Kippman reported that in the broader meeting, Preval
pressed Lula for "tractors, not tanks" (a familiar turn of
phrase) to address Haiti's economic development needs. While
expressing appreciation for Brazil's important contribution
to MINUSTAH, Preval said the threat to Haiti has changed over
the past year. Haiti now faces a socio-economic challenge,
rather than a security crisis. He urged MINUSTAH to take on a
significant development element and asked Brazil to lead the
way. Lula offered to build a hydro-electric dam over the next
three years nad committed to plussing up the Brazilian
military engineer contingent here by 100 members. Kippman
will travel to Brasilia shortly to begin technical
negotiations on the dam project and will be joined in
mid-June by Haitian officials from the Ministry of Public
Works, Ministry of Agriculture and EDH. Preval will then
visit Brasilia on August 13 to sign the final agreement for
the dam. Lula and his delegation also agreed to examine ways
to broaden his government's support for Haiti's health and
education sectors and will be shoring up its school canteen
program. (Note. As an aside, we note that the Haitian
delegation at this session was short a Prime Minister,
lameduck PM Alexis having called in sick at the last moment.
Bob Manuel remained in his office for the day. According to
Kippman, the lack of a PM made for some uncomfortable moments
around the meeting room as the two delegations waited for
their principals to emerge. End Note.)


PORT AU PR 00000795 002 OF 002


5. (C) In a brief meeting with the diplomatic corps after the
press conference, Lula - with Preval at his side - said that
he would use the FAO Rome Meeting to highlight the current
food crisis' impact on Haiti. Drawing on what were clearly
prepared talking points, he told me he wanted to underscore
to the participants that biofuels were not taking food out of
the mouths of the poor. Instead science offered the
possibility of increased production to feed the world. Lula
added that he wanted to make sure that the world clearly
understood that the crisis was not due to recent shifts to
biofuels.

6. (C) Following lunch, the two presidents visited the
Brazilian base near the airport, a stop that Lula insisted
that his host make. (Kippman says Preval tried to duck the
visit, but was unable to do so.) The next day, Haitian
newspaper readers were treated to pictures of the two
presidents in Brazilian military berets, Preval
looking decidedly uncomfortable. UN SRSG Ambassador Hedi
Annabi, who accompanied the two presidents to the base,
reported that the Brazilian President told his troops that
Brazil remains committed to the mission here "as long as
MINUSTAH needs us." He furthermore committed his country to
mobilize the Latin neighbors. The Brazilian Minister of
Defense also told Annabi that he wanted to make it
"absolutely clear" that Brazil would remain engaged
militarily; there was no question of pulling out.

7. (C) Along the fringes of Preval's meeting AID/LAC AA Jose
Cardenas (reported septel) the following day, Preval told me
that the Lula visit had gone "very, very, very well." He
noted that the Brazilians are moving quickly to address
Haiti's electrical problems, which he hoped will make some
impact on the country's deteriorating electrical grid. He did
question if Brazil can put together the hydro-electrical
project by the time he arrives in Brasilia August 13, but
expressed optimism that Lula would deliver.
SANDERSON

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