Search

 

Cablegate: Undersecretary Glassman's October 1 Meeting with President Uribe

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3747/01 2881320
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141320Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5060
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1165
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ OCT 9710
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 6638
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 7331
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 4629
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 003747

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/15/2017
TAGS: PHUM PGOV CO ECON PREL PTER ETRDEC EC BL VE
SUBJECT: UNDERSECRETARY GLASSMAN'S OCTOBER 1 MEETING WITH PRESIDENT URIBE

Classified By: Political Counselor John S. Creamer. Reason: 1.4(b,d)


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (C) President Alvaro Uribe told Undersecretary for Public
Diplomacy and Public Affairs James Glassman on October 1 that
he appreciated President Bush's efforts to obtain
congressional passage of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug
Eradication Act (ATPDEA) but voiced concerns over the impact
of the U.S. financial bailout plan on Colombia's economy.
Uribe stressed that Colombia remains committed to its model
of security cooperation, democracy, and private investment
despite growing economic and political uncertainty in the
region. He praised U.S. initiatives to use demobilized FARC
members to discourage violent extremism in Colombian
universities. Uribe said the GOC's demobilization and
reintegration programs are successful, but face challenges in
creating jobs and combating recidivism. Uribe welcomed two
new initiatives bulding on the internet network Facebook's
experience in Colombia to mobilize civil society. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Participants:

U.S.:
-----

Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James
Glassman
Ambassador William R. Brownfield
Adnan Kifayat, Senior Advisor to Undersecretary Glassman
Jared Cohen, S/P
Julie Chung, POL notetaker

Colombian:
----------

President Alvaro Uribe
Vice Foreign Minister Maria Clara Isaza
Frank Pearl, High Commissioner for Reintegration
Jorge Mario Eastman,Presidential Advisor for Communications
Patricia Cortes, MFA

----------------
ATPDEA Extension
----------------

3. (C) President Uribe told Undersecretary Glassman on
October 1 that he appreciated President Bush's efforts in
support of a congressional extension of the Andean Trade
Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Uribe said he
thanked Secretary Rice by telephone yesterday. He voiced
concern that a global credit crunch and U.S. financial
problems would adversely impact Colombia's economy. Despite
various challenges, Colombia remains deeply appreciative of
U.S. support and is committed to working with the USG to
promote democratic security, investment, and social cohesion.

-------------------------------
Concerns over Regional Problems
-------------------------------

4. (C) Uribe said the regional political climate is
complicated and warned that democratically-elected leaders
could easily slide into dictatorship. He noted that former
Bolivian President Carlos Mesa told him recently that while
most of Latin American seems unconcerned, Bolivia is
teetering on the brink of disaster. Besides the hydrocarbon
conflict, Bolivia faces a major challenge in trying to
balance the indigenous majority's demand for economic justice
against the minority's desire for greater autonomy. Uribe
said the GOB will need to assess its strategy carefully if it
wants to attract foreign investment. He noted that Venezuela
has experienced prosperity in recent years due to oil
production, but forecast a "grim" economic future as oil
production stagnates, prices fall, and President Hugo Chavez'
policies block private investment. This will be disastrous
for Venezuela. It will also hurt Colombia, which exported $5
billion to its neighbor last year, mostly in labor-intensive
manufactured goods and food products.

5. (C) In Ecuador, Uribe said President Rafael Correa's
victory in the September 28 constitutional referendum will
simply accelerate the slide to socialism. Ecuador is a deeply
divided country, and Correa faces strong opposition from the
media and business community. He predicted that Ecuador's
constitutional assembly will likely make bad decisions,
including limiting press freedom and privatizations, during
the transition to a new legislature. In this environment,
Colombia's model of security, investment, and democracy is an
important alternative and will need continued U.S. support.
U/S Glassman recognized Colombia's important role in the
hemisphere and agreed its model is a positive force in the
region. He also expressed shared concern over Venezuela and
Ecuador, commenting that private capital might be able to
shape their governments' behavior in the long run.

----------------------------------------
Demobilization and Reintegration Working
----------------------------------------

6. (C) Uribe said the GOC's demobilization and
reintegration program continues to be a success despite being
difficult and expensive. Over 48,000 former fighters have
demobilized or deserted, 13,000 of whom were members of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) or the National
Liberation Army (ELN). He said paramilitary groups have been
dismantled, and the new criminal bands do not fight the FARC
or ELN. The GOC estimates 3500 members of new illegal groups
are involved in narcotrafficking, including some relapsed
paramilitaries. Uribe stressed that the educational programs
and vocational training continue smoothly, but added that the
reintegration program faces challenges in creating jobs for
the demobilized. High Commissioner for Reintegration Frank
Pearl said the program has created 2800 jobs--including 600
in the private sector and 800 through business ventures.
Still, of the 21,000 demobilized with jobs, 70% work in the
unstable, informal sector.

7. (C) Uribe congratulated U/S Glassman's planned visit
later that day to Vista Hermosa in Meta department. Formerly
a hotbed of FARC violence and coca cultivation, Vista Hermosa
is now the center of GOC efforts to permanently retake land
from FARC control. The GOC faces challenges in meeting
popular demands for better infrastructure, as well as
improved health care and education. Still, Uribe said the
GOC provides relief to local residents through the "Families
in Action" and the "Family Forest Ranger" programs. The
latter encourages communities to work collectively for drug
eradication. For example, once the United Nations High
Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR's) certifies that that a
farm is drug-free, each family receives $2000 per year.

----------------------------
War of Ideas: FARC and Youth
----------------------------

8. (C) U/S Glassman explained the U.S.initiative to connect
demobilized FARC members with the online networking Facebook
group that united youth worldwide against the FARC. To
combat the romantic notions of the FARC held by many
Colombian youth, demobilized FARC will address students at
universities to explain the realities of terrorist groups and
their deceptive recruitment tactics. The Colombian Facebook
group will also share its experience at an international
conference of similar youth organizations to strengthen
ground-up efforts to combat violent extremism. Uribe praised
the idea and expressed confidence that despite challenges,
Colombians would not allow its path of security, democracy,
and peace to reverse course.

9. (U) U/S Glassman has cleared this cable.
BROWNFIELD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC