Cablegate: Alleged Us Banking Espionage; Middle East; Colombian
DE RUEHBU #1454/01 1792013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 282013Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5063
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001454
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: ALLEGED US BANKING ESPIONAGE; MIDDLE EAST; COLOMBIAN
ELECTIONS; KIRCHNER-MORALES SUMMIT; WTO DOHA ROUND; ALLIANCE BETWEEN
BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA; EXPORT OF BOLIVIAN COCA TO ARGENTINA 06/28/06;
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's key international stories include allegations of USG banking
espionage; the situation in the Middle East; the implications of
Colombian President Uribe's re-election; the summit to be held
between Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and Bolivian President
Evo Morales; the run up to the WTO Doha Round; the alliance between
Brazil and Argentina; and the export of Bolivian coca to Argentina.
2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
- "Bush lashes out at The New York Times for having revealed the
banking espionage plan"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
comments (06/28) "Aware that an attack is always the best defense,
US President George W. Bush harshly criticized The New York Times
newspaper for having revealed the White House's secret plan to spy
on international financial transactions without a judicial order.
"Furthermore, during a hearing at the US Senate, the White House
fervently defended the annexes Bush added to all legislation...,
whereby Bush has the right to review, interpret or ignore
legislation based on national security reasons, which some senators
"In fact, what is being debated is whether Bush is doing it in the
name of security, or as an abuse of power."
- "The fire"
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," writes
(06/28) "Reality confirms the warning made by brilliant historian
Eric Hobsbawn some years ago, that the Middle East is currently the
most serious humanitarian conflict.
"This confrontation has fed global hatred in the Muslim world which
has deepened by the allied quest in Iraq. It too is a disastrous
consequence of the Israeli/ Palestinian territory dispute.
"The latest incident, which was triggered by the kidnapping of an
Israeli soldier, occurred precisely when Hamas agreed to implicitly
acknowledge the existence of a Jewish State..."
- "The Uribe model"
Business-financial "El Cronista" carries an opinion piece by Nicolas
Echavarria, former Colombian Ambassador to the EU and head of
Uribe's election campaign, who writes (06/28) "A wave of leftist
movements have allegedly prevailed in Latin America. However, Alvaro
Uribe's reelection in Colombia may have not only started the
reversal of this trend, but perhaps it has also revealed to both the
conservative and liberal political parties within the hemisphere a
way to move forward. This will soon be tested on July 2nd with the
Mexican presidential elections.
"... While Uribe is an ally of the US, he has managed to obtain the
support of Fidel Castro, who seems to have abandoned his support for
armed struggles in Latin America and now prefers instead, the road
to victory through elections.
"Uribe's second presidency creates hope... while giving impetus to
the harassed pro-free market democratic forces in Latin America."
- "Kirchner's summit with Evo and his support for Lula are gestures
that have the same purpose"
Eduardo van der Kooy, political columnist of leading "Clarin,"
comments (06/28) "Unstable conditions in the region and the world's
concerns, will probably turn the summit between Argentine President
Nestor Kirchner and Bolivian President Evo Morales into their most
important meeting since Morales took power.
"... The deal between Kirchner and Morales for the supply of gas
removes the potential gas deficit problem between Argentina and
"... Kirchner also supported Lula's re-election platform. The policy
is based on Buenos Aires and Brazil remaining the focus of the
"... When the prospect of a Caracas-La Paz-Buenos Aires axis fades
away, the ties between the Argentine and Brazilian administrations
will become clearer."
- "Mercosur joins the WTO against farm subsidies"
Alejandro Bercovich, economic and political columnist of
business-financial "El Cronista," writes (06/28) "Without great
expectations, Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana left for the
Geneva WTO meeting, which WTO head Pascal Lamy has labeled as
"According to Argentine Foreign Ministry sources, the only
difference with previous WTO ministerial summits will be that
Mercosur will have a unified position against US farm subsidies and
European barriers on the entry of food. Other than that, no one
expects a deal to deepen world trade liberalization before the end
of the year.
"The ministers of the 149 WTO member countries will seek to reach a
consensus on farm and industrial tariffs as well as subsidies."
- "Alliance with Brazil"
An editorial in conservative "La Prensa" reads (06/28) "In a clear
gesture of support, the Argentine president supported Brazilian
president's decision to run for re-election...
"... The US and EU consider both Lula and Kirchner the natural
leaders of the region vis-`-vis the uncertainty unleashed by leaders
such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.
"At critical times for the Lula administration, high-ranking USG
officials made public statements supporting the Brazilian president.
According to the USG officials, the turbulence created by suspected
bribes to legislators and the use of illegal funds to finance
election campaigns has not had a real impact on the economy...
"The positive US-Brazilian bilateral relationship will lead the
Argentine government to follow the same road in search of a panorama
of predictability and mutual confidence, which will increase
potential investors' confidence in the region."
- "Export of Bolivian coca"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (06/28) "During a
demonstration of coca growers, Bolivian President Evo Morales said
that in his next meeting with President Nestor Kirchner, he will ask
Kirchner to legalize the export of Bolivian coca leaves to
"... If the final destination of coca leaves is not properly
controlled, Argentina could be used in drug-trafficking.
"If Argentina decides to accept Evo Morales' offering..., it should
ensure the required controls and registration so it can prevent
coca leaves from having an illegal purpose."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website