Cablegate: Brazil-Unsc: Haiti Pko Update 26 April 2004

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/2014

REF: A. STATE 88207

REASONS: 1.4 (B)(D)

1. (C) Summary. With introduction of the Friends of Haiti draft resolution to the UNSC for discussion and a probable vote this week, Brazil is at an important stage in its planning to deploy a PKO mission. Major issues on the scope now are internal political dynamics, congress' role and operational planning. Once the UN resolution passes, the executive plan for the deployment should move quickly to congress, where the GOB's solid majority and historic precedent suggest relatively quick approval, despite the possibility of some debate. Budget issues are looming large as a prime area of concern. The GOB also needs to speed up its sluggish military operational planning, including committing to send representatives to UN military coordination meetings and offering greater clarity on what equipment and support their forces may need from us. End summary.


2. (C) PolCouns discussed ref a demarche points and Haiti developments with Foreign Ministry UN Division Chief Carlos Duarte on 20 and again on 23 April. Duarte said that Brazil's delegation in New York has been working with the U.S. and other Friends (Canada, France, Chile) to craft a resolution text that will help facilitate Brazil's deployment, even if the resolution's mandate is under Chapter VII. Duarte also said that, following release of the UN assessment team's report on 20 April, Brazil's New York delegation had been approached "on an urgent basis" by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO), requesting details asap on Brazil's contribution and urging closer liaison with the UNDPKO.


3. (C) Marcel Biato (protect), President Lula da Silva's deputy foreign affairs advisor, confirmed to PolCouns on 26 April that the joint MRE-MOD message detailing Brazil's deployment plan is on Lula's desk. Biato opined that Lula would sign off on the deployment plan and move it quickly to congress when the resolution passes. That said, Biato indicated that budget questions are looming large in Planalto's consideration of the deployment and likely would be a focal point of any debates within the executive branch, congress or the press. Biato said that the GOB is estimating a cost of about USD 50 million for the deployment. He pointed out that is roughly the amount of funding Lula may release on an emergency basis to Brazilian states for spending on public security -- a hot issue in the wake of a recent explosion of organized criminal violence in Rio de Janeiro. (Note: Although the UN reimburses on most costs of the PKO, the lag between disbursal of funds by the GOB and reimbursement affects budget decisions in the near term. End note.)

4. (C) PolCouns noted to Biato a recent speech by Lula in which the president insisted that Brazil's PKO contribution be viewed as part of a broad international commitment to social and economic development in Haiti. Biato replied that Lula's support for the deployment remains robust. However, along with concerns noted above about costs and priorities, the GOB may have to deal with other domestic criticisms of the deployment, including questions about Aristide's departure and leftist charges (including from within Lula's PT party) that the deployment will bolster American "hegemony." Biato said Lula needs to show the PKO fits in with the GOB's vision of global social development, and Biato said that language in the current Friends of Haiti resolution draft should help with that concern.


5. (C) Under widely-accepted interpretations of Brazil's 1988 Constitution, the congress must approve the overseas deployment of Brazilian military forces. The MRE-MOD joint message, once signed off by Lula, will be sent to the Congress in the form of an "explanation of motives" ("explicacao dos motivos"). A budget request for the plan is included. The executive branch measure goes first to the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, where the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will assign a sponsor ("relator") who redrafts the executive document into a bill ("projeto do lei"). The Foreign Affairs Committee considers and votes the bill out to the plenary for approval, and that secured, the bill moves to the Senate. Following examination by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, there is a Senate plenary vote. In this case, the bill will almost certainly be placed on the congress' "urgent" track, where it can by-pass other legislation, and the entire congressional process can be completed in a matter of several days, if debate does not stall progress.

6. (C) Senator Eduardo Suplicy, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, told poloff last week that Brazil's congress had never rejected an executive branch proposal for overseas deployment of Brazilian forces. Indeed, while the budget questions and some of the domestic criticisms noted above may well surface in Brazil's congress, the government's solid majority in both houses and historic precedent strongly suggest the measure will pass, and relatively quickly.


7. (C) The factors above point to a window of one to two weeks from the time the UN resolution passes until the GOB gives the final go-ahead for a deployment. However, it is not clear that Brazilian military planning is moving ahead in a manner that would will facilitate rapid deployment once the political order is given. Repeated Mission MLO Chief queries in the past several days to Brazilian military planners suggest the military establishment is moving at a sluggish pace. Brazilian military sources told MLO chief that only after a resolution is passed and Brazil's congress approves a deployment will the military commit to sending representatives to UNDPKO operational planning meetings (such as the one scheduled for Haiti on 2-7 May.) In addition, despite Defense Minister Viegas' request for support and transfer of U.S. equipment to Brazilian forces that deploy to Haiti (ref B), Brazilian liaison officers have yet to indicate when or if the GOB will sign an ACSA agreement to facilitate U.S. logistical support to Brazilian forces, and the MOD has not yet provided a list of specific requirements for equipment.

8. (C) In one effort to accelerate progress, SOUTHCOM J-4 and Brazilian liaison have compiled (on 26 April) a working list of equipment that Brazilian forces may require in Haiti, for DOD to determine whether the items can be made available for purchase to Brazil. (Note: Brazil army contacts indicate to MLO chief that Brazil has USD 400 thousand available in an FMS account. End note.) DOD and SOUTHCOM are also pursuing information on availability of equipment from the UN. Mission DAO is also providing situation reports to the MOD, and has offered secure communication equipment for intelligence sharing.

9. (C) Comment. Possible debate about the budget issue and an evident lack of speed in military planning appear to be the main challenges in the weeks ahead to deployment of Brazilian forces to Haiti. While these are obstacles, the continued commitment of the GOB to the operation, the political force the Lula government enjoys in congress and a certain native Brazilian talent for pulling complex projects together in competent fashion at the last minute suggest DefMin Viegas' timeline of a late June deployment for the bulk of forces (ref C) is possible and likely. Nonetheless, we should continue to encourage the GOB to participate in crucial military planning now, to sign an ACSA agreement to facilitate operational support, and we should be proactive in identifying equipment that could be transferred to Brazilian units in Haiti.


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