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Cablegate: Ambassador's Meeting with Brazilian Workers' Party

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000698

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR SOCI BR US
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH BRAZILIAN WORKERS' PARTY
PRESIDENT JOSE GENOINO


Classified By: POLOFF RICHARD REITER, REASON 1.4B AND D.

1. (C) SUMMARY. On March 9, Ambassador Danilovich met with
Jose Genoino, the President of Brazil's Workers' Party (PT)
and the PT's Secretary for International Relations, Paulo
Ferreira. Genoino noted that the PT is now celebrating its
25th anniversary and has evolved into a modern nationwide
institution that, after two years in power, is engaged in the
country's challenging social agenda. Genoino agreed with the
Ambassador's comments on the importance of US/Brazil dialogue
both on areas of agreement and on differences. Clearly
involved in the day-to-day issues of the Lula administration,
he thanked the Ambassador for the excellent meetings arranged
in Washington (including with the Secretary and the National
Security Advisor) for President Lula's Chief of Staff, Jose
Dirceu. The Ambassador agreed that Dirceu's meetings were
productive and expressed hope that the GoB will take the next
steps to reinvigorate the FTAA talks. The Ambassador offered
to assist the PT in developing contacts with US political
parties. END SUMMARY.

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JOSE GENOINO - PT PRESIDENT
---------------------------
2. (C) On March 9, Ambassador Danilovich met in the embassy
with Jose Genoino, President of Brazil's Workers' Party (PT).
Genoino was joined by the PT's Secretary for International
Relations, Paulo Ferreira. Like President Lula, Genoino's
biography is a window onto Brazil's recent history. Born in
the impoverished interior of Ceara state, he migrated to Sao
Paulo and became active in union politics. He joined the
Communist Party of Brazil and in the 1970s was captured by
the military dictatorship while involved in guerilla
activities in the Amazon jungle. He was tortured in prison
before being released in 1979. In 1980, he co-founded the
Workers' Party and served five terms in Congress. He is now
among the PT's most moderate leaders and is one of Lula's
closest confidants.

IMPORTANCE OF DIALOGUE
----------------------
3. (C) The Ambassador stressed that while our two countries
may have different approaches on issues, and that there may
be anti-American sentiment from some sectors, we have many
common values and goals, so it is important to maintain an
open dialogue to coordinate and cooperate on those areas.
Genoino responded that the PT has great respect for the US,
and has no anti-American philosophy or agenda. He agreed
that cooperation is essential and looks forward to a
continued dialogue with the Ambassador and the USG.

STATE OF THE WORKERS' PARTY
---------------------------
4. (C) Genoino told the Ambassador that, aside from losing
city hall in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, the PT did quite
well in last October's municipal elections and has a presence
in all 5,500 of Brazil's municipalities. Now celebrating
its 25th anniversary, the party has matured into a national
institution and is growing stronger at the grass-roots level.
He also noted that after two years in power and GoB fiscal
austerity, the Lula administration --and the party-- are
redoubling their efforts on economic development and the
social agenda.

WARM WELCOME IN WASHINGTON FOR BRAZILIAN OFFICIALS
--------------------------------------------- -----
5. (C) Genoino thanked the Ambassador for the fact that
Lula's Chief of Staff Jose Dirceu had excellent meetings in
Washington (including with Secretary Rice and NSA Hadley).
Genoino added that Dirceu's trip, along with Luiz Dulci's
(Secretary General of Lula's Presidency) trip this month to
speak at US universities, exemplifies the PT's desire for a
good --and broad-- exchange with the US. The Ambassador
agreed that Dirceu's meetings were successful, highlighting
his discussion with Secretary Rice on Brazil's role in
serving as a constructive voice in the region. Genoino noted
that the Workers' Party policy recognizes the importance of
external dialogue, particularly constructive contacts with
the US, as well as a role as a mediator in regional affairs
--to include the possibility of exerting a moderating
influence on Chavez. The Ambassador said that he was happy
that Dirceu made a strong statement in support of the FTAA,
and that he hopes Foreign Minister Amorim will support the
FTAA as well. (Note, Genoino was not to be drawn out on the
perceived role of Amorim and the Foreign Ministry in slowing
FTAA talks, over the objections of others in the Lula
administration and the Brazilian private sector who strongly
support an accord.)

CHALLENGING DOMESTIC AGENDA
---------------------------
6. (C) Turning to domestic affairs, Genoino said that the PT
is also focused on Brazil's social agenda, confronting the
challenges of unemployment, income disparity, rural and urban
violence, and crime in general. He said the task is to
strengthen democracy while addressing social problems.
Genoino observed that Brazil's democracy is but 20 years old,
so there remains a need to consolidate democratic
institutions while promoting economic development.
Politically, the PT is looking to strengthen the
administration's performance in the remaining two years of
Lula's term, and to that end is now working to solidify the
PT's coalition of allied parties. The Ambassador noted that
with economic improvement, the GoB might now be in a position
to direct more resources to the social agenda. Genoino said
that elements of the PT's agenda have already been addressed
in Congress in the past two years in the series of reforms
(tax, pension, judicial, etc.) already passed. But that
there is still a lot of work to be done, for example, on
infrastructure and elsewhere.

7. (C) In response to the Ambassador's question about who
Genoino would most like to see run against Lula in the 2006
elections, Genoino said Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin
(PSDB) is the most likely opponent. He added that Brazilian
politics are evolving into two large and loose coalitions:
one led by the PT and the other by the PSDB.

PARTY RELATIONS
---------------
8. (C) Genoino said that the Workers' Party has good
relations with other parties around the world, including in
Japan, Europe, and elsewhere. But to date, it has not
developed a strong relationship with either of the main US
parties. The Ambassador said that as a political appointee,
he would be glad to assist in facilitating meetings for the
PT in the US, but that he might prove more useful with the
Republican party, with whom he has more contacts. Genoino
and Ferreira will remain in touch with the embassy to pursue
these contacts.
DANILOVICH

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