Cablegate: Ruling On Guantanamo; Mexican Elections; Wto; Kirchner To
DE RUEHBU #1487/01 1842038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 032038Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5111
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001487
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: RULING ON GUANTANAMO; MEXICAN ELECTIONS; WTO; KIRCHNER TO
VENEZUELA; US-PERUVIAN FTA; INDIA; US SURVEILLANCE OF BANKS; MIDDLE
EAST; FULBRIGHT PROGRAM 07/03/06;BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international stories include the US media reaction to the
US Supreme Court's ruling on Guantanamo; the implications of the
Mexican election; Argentine President Kirchner's trip to Venezuela;
the US-Peruvian FTA; US-Indian ties; alleged USG surveillance of
banks in Argentina; the situation in the Middle East; and the
2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
- "US media praise the ruling on Guantanamo"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record "La
Nacion," writes (07/01) "By invalidating Guantanamo military courts,
the US Supreme Court of Justice made it clear that it is no longer
willing to be a 'puppet' of the Bush administration. While the
ruling did not deem indefinite arrests in the Cuba base to be
illegal, no one expected a court of predominately Republican members
to dare inflict such a blow to US President Bush's post-September 11
"Yesterday, the most influential newspapers 'The New York Times" and
'The Washington Post' applauded the US Supreme Court's independent
- "Why are Mexican elections crucial"
Centrist newspaper "Perfil" carries an opinion piece by prestigious
political columnist Rosendo Fraga, who opines (07/02) "The
significance of the Mexican presidential election is one related to
the US... Calderon's victory signifies continuity for Washington and
possible deepening of NAFTA's integration policy...
"On the other hand, Lopez Obrador's victory, whose political party
opposes NAFTA... expressed doubts as to the prospects for
integration plans. Mexico is one-third of Latin America, but for
Washington it represents two-thirds, in economic, migration and
"The secondary importance of these elections is regional and it is
related to the impact of the Hugo Chavez political phenomenon in the
sub-hemisphere. While Lopez Obrador has distanced himself from the
Venezuelan president and Chavez has avoided making public statements
in his favor, the victory of the PRD candidate would generally
confirm the tilt to the center-to-left wing or populism in the
region... Instead, a victory of Calderon would reveal that Chavez'
aspirations for leadership do have a limit."
- "Mexico - elections no longer involve passion"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
writes (07/03) "... The idea that the Mexican future is a problem
for US interests rather than for Latin America is generally
accepted. Even with their differences the last three presidents,
Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo and Vicente Fox all
believed that Mexico's luck is directly related to Washington.
"... If one had to choose Mexico's single most important historical
development of the latest 25 years it would have to be the support
for the FTA...
"The FTA has its domestic parallel in the Mexican power structure...
The Mexican economic power is wedged between the order imposed by
Washington and the unlimited greed of some powerful groups.
"... In this framework, the harassment of the FTA and domestic
groups make it so that even Lopez Obrador's future actions become
limited. However, it is also true that Mexican patience with the
economic model has worn out, just as it has in other Latin American
societies, and this too can be an issue for the winner of Mexican
- "Lopez Obrador, between Lula and Kirchner"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an opinion piece by contributor
Andres Oppenheimer, who writes (07/01) "... If Lopez Obrador wins,
he will not be a Chavez. He will most likely be a combination of
Brazilian President Lula and Argentine President Kirchner. He will
embody Lula's economic pragmatism and Kirchner's mercurial
"The good news is that Lopez Obrador would add Mexico to the
increasing number of countries in the region with governments led by
a 'reasonably responsible' left wing... The bad news is that being
'reasonably responsible' in a world in which China, India, and
Eastern Europe are attracting Wall Street, while increasing at
spectacular rates, is no longer enough to win new investment, create
lasting jobs or drastically reduce poverty."
- "The WTO fails and the (Argentine) Government prioritizes
Business-financial "El Cronista" (07/03) reports "Multilateral
negotiations that were held to eradicate the wealthy countries'
agricultural protectionism suffered from stagnation during the last
weekend and will be resumed full steam within two years, as long as
the WTO does not lose its role as arbiter in the international
exchange of goods and services.
"The 60 ministers who had traveled to Geneva in order to discuss the
issue had to leave on Saturday one day before they were scheduled to
depart, empty-handed and blaming each other for the failure of the
- "Kirchner seeks to broaden deals with Venezuela"
Business-financial, center-right "InfoBae" reports (07/03) "Today,
President Nestor Kirchner will travel to Venezuela to hold an
extraordinary Mercosur session, in which Venezuela's entry into
Mercosur will formalized.
"However, the president's visit will also have a bilateral
dimension. Both presidents will attempt to increase trade deals
focused on industrial development.
"The agenda will also include the possibility of increasing
financing from the Venezuelan government."
- "Peru ratifies free trade pact with the US"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald's" "World Trade"
supplement reports (07/03) "Congress overwhelmingly voted to ratify
a free trade pact with the US early Wednesday, rejecting claims the
treaty will hurt Peru's farmers by flooding the Andean nation with
subsidized cotton, rice, corn and potatoes.
"Lawmakers voted 79-14, with six abstentions, to approve the deal,
which the outgoing government of President Alejandro Toledo reached
with Washington late last year."
- "India's 'special circumstances'"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" carries an opinion
piece by contributor Gwynne Dyer, who opines (07/03) "'The deal we
made with India was under special circumstances,' said US Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice in Pakistan on 28 June, dodging a question
about why Washington is absolving India of its nuclear sins while
leaving its old ally Pakistan unshriven. After all, India and
Pakistan both tested their nuclear weapons in the same month in
1998. What did Rice mean, 'special circumstances'?
"She meant hat India is the US' new ally in the region, and much
more important in US strategy nowadays than Pakistan. The military
agreement signed by India and the US in June of last year is the
'special circumstances' that make it necessary to exempt India from
US-anti-proliferation law. The new alliance will be crippled if it
doesn't, so the Bush administration also signed a nuclear deal with
India last July and promised to push it through Congress."
- "USG suspected of spying on local banks"
Marcelo Bonelli, economic columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(07/02) "Some foreign and national banks having activities in the
local financial system have reportedly been spied on by the US
"The operation involved the banking movements of the customers of
those banks, wire transfers, and particularly phone-banking
"... Reportedly, the operation was made within the framework of the
White House anti-terrorist program. It was intended for spying on
international financial transactions without a judicial order."
- "Mexico will choose its president"
An editorial in conservative "La Prensa" reports (07/03) "Today,
some 71 million Mexicans will vote for their new president... Poorly
implemented free-market reforms have been destructive in the
hemisphere, they were never able to reorganize societies on freedom
and the rule of law or a truly capitalistic system.
"However, Lopez Obrador will not give any advantage to his
compatriots by scaring away investment, confronting Washington to
improve his domestic image, or destroying the monumental opening and
transformation of the Mexican economy that is now one of the most
dynamic economies of the hemisphere, even surpassing Brazil. A
humanitarian liberalism should be implemented... Whoever wins, will
create an ideal opportunity for Argentina to rebuild diplomatic
ties, which were weakened in the Mar del Plata Summit of the
- "Intransigence leads to war"
Leading "Clarin" editorializes (07/03) "The Israeli attack against
the Gaza Strip is one more step in an escalation of violence that
could very well unleash a humanitarian tragedy and an overall
conflict, if the involved parties do not agree to negotiations.
"... All calls for cautiousness and negotiation will not have an
impact while the parties refuse to get involved in some form of
negotiation... If this does not happen, the state of war will
continue and the Palestinians will suffer the greatest."
- "Fulbright scholarships, 50 years later"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (07/03) "The legislation
creating the Fulbright Program was approved in 1946, but the reasons
why it was passed remain intact...
Under approval of this legislation, some 300,000 scholars have
received support; they have traveled around the world and exchanged
deep and rich experience. Among them, there are 35 Nobel award
"... One knows how many misinterpretations and international
conflicts have arisen when people do not learn how to live together
and accept the culture of others in peace. This is why this
praise-worthy task has contributed to the building of a fairer world
that has more harmony and solidarity."
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