Cablegate: Media Reaction Us-North Korea; Future Us Ambassador To
DE RUEHBU #1388/01 1731910
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221910Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4969
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001388
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 MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION US-NORTH KOREA; FUTURE US AMBASSADOR TO
ARGENTINA EARL ANTHONY WAYNE; RESIGNATION OF DUSTR ROBERT ZOELLICK;
US-BOLIVIAN FTA; US-MERCOSUR; US-ARGENTINA; LATIN AMERICAN POPULISM;
IRAQ; ARGENTINE JUDICIAL SECURITY; MONEY LAUNDERING; MIDDLE EAST
06/20/06; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend newspapers cover the escalation of tension between the US
and North Korea; the future US Ambassador to Argentina, Earl Anthony
Wayne; the resignation of DEPSEC Robert Zoellick; Bolivian President
Morales' alleged willingness to sign an FTA with the US; Chacho
Alvarez' statements about Mercosur, Uruguay and the US; the US
perception of Argentina as a moderating element in South America;
the return of populism in Latin America; US President Bush's
recovery in opinion surveys; Argentine judicial security; the status
of Argentine anti-money laundering legislation; the situation in the
Middle East; and US officials receiving information that Al Qaeda
operatives had plans to gas NY subways in 2003.
2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
- "Alarm over North Korean missiles"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" reports (06/20) "The escalation of
tension between the US and North Korea reached alarming levels
yesterday when it was made public that Pyongyang had finished
refueling a long-range missile and that it could eventually bring a
nuclear warhead within reach of the US.
"According to experts, this indicates that North Korea's first test
of this kind in eight years could be imminent, which the White House
termed a 'provocation.'"
- "The new US Ambassador will arrive in September"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
comments (06/20) "The new US Ambassador to Argentina, Earl Anthony
Wayne, will arrive in the country in September, that is to say after
the US summer vacation.
"According to US diplomatic and legislative sources, the obstacles
to his nomination have already been removed. The US Senate will
reportedly confirm him within ten days.
"Yesterday, Mike Matera, a US Department of State official, left the
US for Argentina, and he will preside over the embassy after the
departure of the current US Ambassador Lino Gutierrez and until
Wayne arrives in the country.
"Wayne's agenda in Argentina will be full of economic issues... He
will focus on the investment climate, the expansion of bilateral
trade, and FTAA promotion."
- "Latin America loses an ally in the Bush administration"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" reports (06/20) "Latin America lost an
ally and one of the most moderate voices within the Bush
administration after Deputy Secretary Robert Zoellick announced his
"Zoellick has a thorough knowledge of Latin America (and
particularly of Argentina), and ever since he took over, Zoellick
attempted to downplay US diplomatic rhetoric vis-a-vis Caracas,
Brasilia, Buenos Aires and Mexico."
- "Evo wants to discuss an FTA with the US"
Conservative "La Prensa" reports (06/19) "According to Bolivian
Minister of Production and Micro-enterprises, Celinda Sosa, Evo
Morales is willing to negotiate an FTA with the US in a notable
change in its foreign and economic policy.
"Sosa said that a Bolivian committee is working on a joint proposal
with 'big, mid-sized and small producers,' who are pushing to have
negotiations with the US. Sosa said to the media 'We are wiling to
negotiate an FTA with the US that will benefit productive
- "Alvarez: 'Mercosur is the only State policy'"
Lucas Colonna, on special assignment in Montevideo for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," reports on an interview with Chacho
Alvarez, who says (06/18) "... 'Uruguay is not negotiating a deal
with the US but is trying to make progress on an FTA that will
improve the insertion of its economy in the US, an issue that is not
"... Regarding Venezuela's entry into Mercosur, Alvarez said 'There
can be within Mercosur one country that is politically confronting
the US, but this antagonism is not transferred to the entire bloc,
because Mercosur does not have one common foreign policy.'"
- "Unparalleled opportunity for Kirchner"
Joaquin Morales Sola, political columnist of daily-of-record "La
Nacion," comments (06/18) "... Does Kirchner represent some hope of
South American contention for Washington? Some say in Washington 'We
wish Kirchner could help us with Chavez, but we do not perceive that
intention.' Instead, they accept that the Argentine president played
a moderating role in the Bolivia of Evo. When it comes down to
Venezuela, Washington trusts Lula more than Kirchner...
"... Regarding Lavagna's candidacy, Europe and Washington have
received Lavagna's possible candidacy as a contribution to the
opening of democratic debate. Lavagna is not the most appreciated
Argentine economist by Washington... However, the official
insistence in relating him to alleged US strategies is noteworthy.
Argentine Ambassador to Washington, Bordon, and high-ranking US
State Department government officials, definitely denied that
Lavagna met with Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs Tom
Shannon while Lavagna was in the US."
- "Populism threatens to return to Latin America"
Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by Fernando Henrique
Cardoso, former Brazilian president, who writes (06/18) "... The
threat posed by the return of populism to Latin America, and more
specifically to South America, will not bring easy alternatives.
"In the '90s, we conceived of South American economic and political
integration as based on democracy and a market economy.
"The groundwork of the entire building could be undermined if
populism returned to the country, disguised as a left wing movement,
bringing with it the game of old and personal rivalries instead of
institutional cooperation among countries."
- "Bush's strategy to move on"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
writes (06/17) "... Everything that occurred during last week in the
life of the US president seems to be part of an elaborate
choreography, which was developed to revive the administration's
damaged power. And, actually, this political ballet is giving him
something of what he was searching for.
"According to the most recent opinion surveys, Bush's downfall not
only stopped but his popularity rate showed signs of a recovery.
"Regarding Iraq, news is even better... According to a Gallup
opinion survey, 48% of Americans believe now that their country
'will probably ' or 'surely' win the war against the Iraqi
resistance. This implies a 17-point recovery vis-`-vis last April.
"... However, any circumstantial revival in the actions of the Iraqi
resistance and an increase in the signs of an imminent civil war...
could delete the current, sweet news."
- "Realities and styles vis-`-vis investors"
An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (06/18) "... The evolution of
the Argentine economic situation has boosted investment, and
according to business opinion surveys, there are plans for
investment in the future. However, the incorporation of foreign
investment has not been really important due to some discouraging
"... For a positive investment climate, opportunities of
profitability are indispensable, but a friendly attitude of
authorities toward investors is also crucial.
"And the current price accords policy can also discourage
- "The struggle against money laundering"
An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (06/19) "... Argentina has
started to attend to the problem posed by money laundering, but the
weak legal steps taken have not been supported by an attitude of
commitment in the struggle against money laundering...
"This situation has led the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) to
ask for amendments to the current legislation in force...
"One pending point is the analysis of the eventual inclusion of
terrorist financing as a crime, which is meaningful in the
international scenario. Another point is the functioning of the
Financial Information Unit."
"Fighting money laundering is crucial in the struggle against crimes
such as narco-trafficking, terrorism and corruption. Argentina is
late on this issue, as pointed out by international institutions."
- "Humanitarian crisis in Palestine territories"
An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (06/20) "The Gaza Strip is
going through a humanitarian crisis that affects the most vulnerable
Palestinian people and, as a consequence, the possibilities of peace
in the region.
"... The confronted Palestinian factions, the governments directly
involved in the conflict, and the Western powers should seek a
formula to reduce tensions and agree upon some peaceful alternative
for living together in harmony.
"All of them, to greater or lesser extent, should be blamed for the
current humanitarian crisis and the violent consequences that this
could bring in a perhaps immediate future."
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