Cablegate: Middle East; Triple Border; Wto Doha Round; Us-Argentine
DE RUEHBU #1593/01 1992056
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 182056Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5262
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001593
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: MIDDLE EAST; TRIPLE BORDER; WTO DOHA ROUND; US-ARGENTINE
DEAL TO FIGHT MONEY LAUNDERING ACTIVITIES; 07/18/06
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Leading international stories today include the war in the Middle
East; the US Senate's attempt to pass a resolution intended to
create an antiterrorist task force on the Triple Border between
Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil; and the US-Argentine deal to fight
money laundering activities.
Daily-of-record "La Nacion," conservative "La Prensa,"
business-financials "Ambito Financiero" and "InfoBae" and
left-of-center "Pagina 12" cover the signing of a deal between US
Ambassador Lino Gutierrez and the head of the Argentine Tax Board
Alberto Abad to further the struggle against money laundering
2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
- Stop it"
Left-of-center "Pagina 12" carries an opinion piece by the winner of
the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who opines
(07/18) "I have always supported the Jewish people, who suffered the
Holocaust, segregation, torture and death...
"I have repeatedly pointed out that the Israeli people have a right
to exist, but the Palestinian people also have the same right, and
they are currently being oppressed and massacred by the State of
"... We all know that not all the Israeli people agree with the
policy carried out by the Israeli government, which is supported by
the US and the silence of the European governments, this makes them
accomplices to the horror unleashed in the Middle East...
"... It is crucial that the international community act by stopping
the craziness of the governments before it is too late."
- "Middle East in the dark"
Mercedes Lopez San Miguel, columnist of left-of-center "Pagina 12,"
writes (07/18) "The escalation between Israel and Lebanon is not a
focused tragedy. It will have a negative impact on the entire
region. Israel will always be supported by the US, and the images of
its attacks and invasion of Lebanon will distance Arabs and Muslims
all over the world. However, for many of them there will always be a
link between the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq, the
war in Afghanistan and the war on terrorism.
"... In the meeting of the eight wealthiest countries two blocs were
distinguished vis-`-vis the explicit call for a quick cease fire in
the Middle East - Russia and France favored it, while the UK, the US
and an ambiguous Germany led by conservative Angela Merkel were
opposed. Bush and Blair defended Israel's right to defend itself
from Hezbollah and its sponsors, Iran and Syria.
"... It is likely that security will worsen in the Middle East,
there will be controversy in the West for some time, and all aspects
of the global fight on terrorism will be revisited."
- "The mania of rowing against rationality"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
writes (07/18) "In 1984, the bright US historian Barbara Tuchman
published her book 'The March of Folly,' in which she attempted to
demonstrate a daring theory. At moments of crisis, governments often
row against the current of rationality even when it will assure the
defeat of their interests.
"... George W. Bush is the one who offers the best case study for
Tuchman's theory. He hindered a G8 blunt communiqu, he did not
obtain the text he wanted and he did it without thinking of a
Lebanese, Jewish or Palestine life. He was barely grateful for
having 'sold' his impracticable 'war on terrorism.' He opposed
using the resource of a blue helmet force... and he limited himself
to arm-wrestling with Vladimir Putin in an attempt to demonstrate
that Washington is more powerful than Moscow. The outcome was a
shameful tie (between Putin and Bush) in which Putin spit the
victory of the communiqu on Bush.
"In the meantime, the most radicalized wings of Hezbollah and Hamas,
are excelling. The crisis is desperately asking for someone who will
deny Tuchman's theory."
- "Triple Border - they ask in the US for the creation of an
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (07/18) "The US Senate could approve a resolution enabling US
President George W. Bush to ask the OAS to create an anti-terrorist
task force to act on the Triple Border between Argentina, Brazil and
"The resolution, which was approved by the US House of
Representatives and turned over to the Senate, was made public
yesterday by the newspaper Folha from Sao Paulo.
"... The resolution is not binding - this means that the Bush
administration is not legally bound to implement it, however, it is
a strong political sign."
Daniel Santoro, political columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(07/18) "According to spies, ever since the September 11 attacks,
'there are more CIA agents than terrorists on the Triple Border.'
However, Arab sectors in Ciudad del Este and Foz de Iguazu send
money to Hezbollah-related foundations.
"Since 2001, there is a committee made up by the US, Argentina,
Brazil, Paraguay, which coordinates investigations on money
laundering. This is why the US diplomacy seems inclined not to
accept this project, which would also be rejected by most Latin
- "Lula asks Bush to ensure the success of the Doha Round"
Business-financial "El Cronista" reports (07/18) "Brazilian
President Lula urged US President George W. Bush to make 'political
decisions, whatever they are,' to successfully complete the WTO Doha
Round negotiations. Lula was referring to the need for lowering farm
subsidies implemented by developed countries to protect their
"Lula offered the US president the possibility to establish an
alliance regarding oil and energy renewable sources."
- "US-Argentine deal against money laundering activities"
Business-financial "Ambito Financiero" reports (07/18) "Argentina
and the US signed a deal that will allow the two countries to have
information from its custom houses on imports and exports. The
purpose is detecting illegal activities, such as money laundering
and trade triangle transactions that could imply fiscal evasion.
"In a press release, the US Embassy emphasized that the program will
investigate into, and try to impede against the money laundering
activities conducted through the traffic of merchandise. It is a
highly efficient technique in the fight against money laundering
which is carried out in the international exchange of goods.
Information obtained at the ports of entry and departure of exports
and imports will be subject to comparison in order to verify that
said data is the same information reported in the statements
submitted to the authorities.
"Ambassador Gutierrez said that the implementation of this program
is a 'fundamental step in the fight on crime and in preventing
illegal activities in foreign trade.'"
- "The US is concerned over alliances made by Hugo Chavez"
Conservative "La Prensa" reads (07/18) "The outgoing US Ambassador
to Argentina, Lino Gutierrez, said that the US is 'very concerned
about the situation in Venezuela and about the alliances Mr. (Hugo)
Chavez is seeking,' although he pointed out that 'no one may
criticize Argentina for seeking the best economic ties it can.'
"While he acknowledged that in the framework of the Fourth Summit of
the Americas held last November in Mar del Plata, 'there was some
disagreement on the hemisphere's view of free trade,' he also
underscored that 'the Argentine Government cooperated in an
impressive way' to facilitate the participation of US President
George W. Bush.
"The US Ambassador said that the US-Argentine relationship 'has been
strengthened' 'in many aspects' during recent years, and he
emphasized 'the very good dialogue' held with the government."
- "Control against tax evasion is reinforced"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion's" "Economic and Business" supplement
reports (07/18) "Illegal exports between Argentina and the US will
instantaneously be controlled thanks to a deal that was signed
yesterday between the two governments in order to detect tax evasion
and money laundering operations.
"The deal, which was signed between the head of the Argentine Tax
Board, Alberto Abad, and US Ambassador Lino Gutierrez, will
implement the Trade Transparency Unit, which will serve to 'ensure
international trade' between the two countries.'
"... US Embassy sources emphasized that this initiative will
reinforce the struggle against money laundering through the traffic
of merchandise, which is a central concern for Washington."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website