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Cablegate: Midle East and a Deal for a Cease Fire; Ambassador Wayne;

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1765/01 2191941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071941Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5478
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001765

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MIDLE EAST AND A DEAL FOR A CEASE FIRE; AMBASSADOR WAYNE;
US-URUGUAYAN FTA; THE US AND LATIN AMERICA; CUBA; TRI-BORDER; WTO
DOHA ROUND; 08/07/06


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Weekend papers heavily cover the implications of the war in the
Middle East and a US-French deal for a cease fire at the UN; a
likely FTA between the US and Uruguay; current ties between the US
and Latin America; the situation in Cuba; alleged support for
terrorism at the Tri-border; and the aftermath of the WTO Doha
Round.

Leading "Clarin" reports on the upcoming post-graduate international
seminar on US politics, culture and social movements organized by
the Fulbright Committee and held at San Andres University.

2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES

- "France and the US reach a deal at the UN for a cease fire"

Maria Laura Avignolo, on special assignment in Beirut for leading
"Clarin," writes (07/06) "France and the US agreed on a UN Security
Council's draft resolution calling for a full ceasefire between
Israel and Hezbollah...

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"Hezbollah's disarmament remains the focus of the problem and it is
not being tackled in this draft resolution but in another one.
Lebanon is not willing to humiliate Hezbollah through its
disarmament, as demanded by the US, because it could trigger civil
war in the country.

"It is time for diplomacy to act but Lebanon warned that Israel may
not get at the UN what it did not obtain in the field. This is why
clashes and command operations will ferociously continue until there
is a clear winner."

- "Calculations"

Telma Luzzani, international columnist of leading "Clarin," comments
(08/06) "The drastic US change is amazing. Only last week, George W.
Bush and Tony Blair disqualified the French proposal and excluded
the term 'ceasefire' from their plan for the Middle East.

"What happened, then? The Qana massacre, which occurred while
Condoleezza Rice was in Jerusalem, increased world criticism of
Israel and troubled the US. However, some other facts are indicating
that it is smarter to put an end to this war. So far, the Israeli
army has not obtained any of its military objectives. On the
contrary, Hezbollah is in a position of exhibiting some victories.
First, it demonstrated that it can attack Israel. Secondly, it
questioned the myth that Israel is invincible. Third, and possibly
the most worrying fact for the West, it is increasing its leader
sheik Nasrallah's power among Muslims... This is why peace is
required."

- UN - The US seeks to remove support from Chavez"

Business-financial "Ambito Financiero" reports (08/07) "The new US
Ambassador to Argentina, Earl Anthony Wayne, will take over during
the first days of November.

"This means that the current US diplomat, Michael Matera (former
Ambassador Lino Gutierrez's number two until just five days ago),
will have time until September to convince Nestor Kirchner not to
support Venezuela's candidacy for a seat at the UN Security Council
and to support Guatemala instead. This is a pretty pointless
mission, since the Argentine Government, just like the rest of
Mercosur, will vote for Hugo Chavez...

"Argentine Government officials have talked about some
're-launching' of the US-Argentine bilateral ties, which were
somewhat impaired after the Mar del Plata Summit of the Americas.

"... According to the Argentine Government, the arrival of the new
US diplomat is good news. The Foreign Ministry officials praise
Wayne's professional profile and the fact that he is an expert in
trade and economic negotiations, which is precisely what the
Kirchner administration wants to reinforce.

"... Argentine Foreign Ministry negotiators presented Wayne as an
expert in the most important global negotiations that Argentina has
ahead with the big economic blocs - mainly, a potential reduction of
farm subsidies... Wayne tackled this issue on two different
occasions - as US Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian
Affairs and as US representative at the EU in Brussels... The only
antecedent about Wayne's opinion regarding Argentina's trade problem
is some comment he made on the issue in 2003. During a visit to the
country as an envoy of the Bush administration, he defended the
signature of a deal between the IMF and Argentina. He guaranteed


that the US president would support a three-percent surplus on the
GDP when the IMF was asking for more than 4 per cent, but, in
return, Wayne insisted that the country should not abandon FTAA
negotiations, which happened during the Mar del Plata SOA in
November 2005.

"Argentina also expects Wayne to pressure on another issue in which
he is an expert - the defense of US corporations' IPR."

- "A Uruguayan wink to the US"

Leading "Clarin" reports (08/06) "Uruguayan Economy Minister Danilo
Astori is getting ready to start holding a round of bilateral
negotiations with USG officials with the purpose of paving the way
for a possible FTA.

"Astori pointed out that the purpose is to make progress on a 'broad
FTA' and that during next week he will receive a group of USG
officials to start negotiations.

"The possible signature of an FTA between the US and Uruguay will
probably put an end to a conflict among Mercosur partners. Brazilian
FM Celso Amorim warned last month that 'a country may not be within
Mercosur and negotiate bilateral deals with other countries.'

"Beyond the irritation caused by the issue, Uruguayan President
Tabare Vazquez asserted that the tension unleashed by an FTA will be
solved in October."

- "Castro, Chavez and the hatred of the Empire"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an op-ed story by political
columnist Mariano Grondona, who opines (08/06) "... If hatred of the
new empire tends to prevail in our region today by extolling
dictators Castro and Chavez, this blinding passion may not only be
attributed to the US President's unilateralism. Latin America itself
should also be blamed for it because of its renowned 'theory of
dependence,' according to which we are worse off because the US is
better off. However, we should acknowledge that we should be blamed
for our lack of development.

"On the other hand, it is also true that a good number of Latin
American countries follow neither Castro nor Chavez, but they
silently hold an increasing number of successful trade associations
with the new empire.

"Then, hatred of the new empire, which may be so harmful, comes from
concurring blames. With Bush, the US shows the unpleasant face of
imperial Jano. Latin America finds in this unpleasant face the best
excuse for its own shortfalls. Both blames together pose an
extraordinary danger. With Bush, Americans run the risk of losing
the world. With Castro, Chavez and their sympathizers, Latin America
runs the risk of losing democracy."

- "The US gets irritated with Mercosur due to its support for Chavez
at the UN"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
comments (08/05) "The purpose of supporting Venezuela at the UN
Security Council, which was officially announced by Argentina and
its Mercosur partners in the Statement of the Cordoba Summit,
unleashed concern and irritation not only in the Bush administration
but also among Democratic leaders.

"Last week, Democratic representative Tom Lantos, Democratic leader
at the House Foreign
Relations Committee, sent a letter to President Nestor Kirchner and
the other Mercosur leaders urging them not to support Venezuela's
candidacy at the UN General Assembly. An unidentified legislative
source told 'Clarin' that Lantos' letter wanted to make it quite
clear that Chavez irritates both political parties in Washington.

"... Actually, Venezuela's entry into Mercosur is more irritating
from a political viewpoint rather than from an economic one. The US
believes that if Venezuela enters the UN Security Council for the
2007-08 period, it will hinder draft resolutions and statements
proposed by US diplomacy, which call for consensus or unanimity to
be approved.

"... The problem of the US is that it has now much less influence on
Argentina and Brazil to be in a position to threaten to veto its
financial support at the IMF. Its pressure cannot be accompanied by
some sort of economic sanction. This is why the US Department of
State does everything it can to maintain a cordial relationship with
the Argentine Government in spite of the fact that it disapproves of
its alliance with Chavez."

- "The US redoubles its pressure about Cuban elections"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," comments (08/05) "The USG redoubled
yesterday its pressure for Raul Castro and other figures of the
regime to call free and democratic elections in Cuba, regardless of
Fidel Castro's plans to sustain his regime on the island.

"... Far from the rumors launched by Havana on the alleged
preparations for a military invasion, the US is in an awkward
position regarding some news it has awaited for more than 40 years -
the US does not know what is happening with Fidel Castro, and
everyone, even George W. Bush, are starting their vacations or
election campaigns.

"... The US' biggest challenge in its effort to influence Cuba's
future is Hugo Chavez. According to Wayne Smyth, a former USG
diplomat in Havana, who is now at the Center for International
Politics in Washington, Hugo Chavez is interfering by giving aid to
Cuba, and not only this, he is also forming an alliance with Cuba."

- "The US - businessmen against the embargo"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (08/05) "The US business community has always been against
the White House's embargo on Cuba and now more than ever. With the
Cuban economy increasing by eight per cent (according to the CIA),
and Raul Castro favoring the economy of the country just like China
did, US businessmen do not want to lose the business that could be
created and are closely monitoring the situation.

"Tom Mouhsian, expert in Cuba at the powerful US Chamber of
Commerce, told 'Clarin' 'We still do not know the direction Cuba
will take, but we are obviously interested in the lifting of the
embargo.'"

- "The US - fearful similarities between the Middle East and Cuba"

Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by international analyst
Oscar Raul Cardoso, who opines (08/05) "One of the most acute
international features nowadays is that every time the US decides to
dive into a new international crisis..., then the entire world has
to find a way to get rid of the trick.

"... To some extent, Lebanon has marked an additional paradox.
Israel has never demonstrated its willingness to implement a special
alliance with the US based on fears that this would lessen its
autonomy. But now Olmert has taken the Israeli army to a position in
which it no longer knows whether it is defending the nation or doing
the dirty work of the 'Bush's revolution' in the region...

"The problem now is that Bush is recommending carrying out a new
mission in Cuba and that he believes, as some other times, that this
divine dictate annuls the enforcement of the international
legislation protecting the island's sovereignty and makes
insignificant the price of merging another country into the kind of
chaos that Washington identifies these days as 'delivery pains.'"

- "The US again claims support for Hezbollah at the Tri-Border"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
comments (08/05) "In view of the military escalation in the Middle
East, the US is implementing new measures to prevent Hezbollah and
other terrorist groups from being funded from the Tri-Border.

"Daniel Glaser, US Treasury Assistant Secretary, 'We are fully
convinced that this is the case.' 'We believe there is enough
evidence.'

"Among the measures that have been implemented, the Homeland
Security Department sent Argentina a team of experts to train a
'trade transparency unit.' This unit will gather and analyze
information related to commercial transactions in search for
irregularities that could hint money laundering operations. This
will be carried out in spite of Argentine Interior Minister Anibal
Fernandez's objections."

3. EDITORIALS

- "The future of Cuba"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (08/07) "After having led
a 47-year iron-handed dictatorship, Fidel Castro was made to
delegate his power to his brother Raul... Some sectors envision the
possibility that Castro will have to leave power forever in the not


too distant future.

"Those who fervently wish that Cuba will find a road or transition
toward democracy admit that this possibility will not be an easy
one...

"However, the difficulties ahead should not discourage the people of
Cuba, both those residing on the island and those who are exiles,
from undertaking the so-long expected democratic reconstruction."

- "Extremism and future in the Middle East"

Leading "Clarin" editorializes (08/05) "The analysis of the conflict
in the Middle East should fully take into account the threat posed
by Hezbollah not only to Israel and Lebanon but for the Arab
countries...

"... Hezbollah and its foreign supporters have confirmed that they
prioritize confrontation as a way to obtain power, or at least
feeding the Muslims' extremist currents.

"This is why the strategy of Israel and the Western powers should be
oriented not only to guaranteeing Israel's current security, but
also to creating conditions to discourage the extension of
fundamentalism...

"Even when acknowledging Israel's right to defend its territory, the
extent and features of its offensive may contribute to generating
support for extremism. Measuring the extent of this is crucial to
attain long-term peace in the region."

- "Farm subsidies round"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (08/05) "... Whether WTO
Director Pascal Lamy's decision to abandon WTO negotiations meant
the freezing of WTO Doha Round or some revival could be expected,
still remains to be seen...

"... The points of disagreement concerning Argentina are related to
farm liberalization. In this field, we agree with the US regarding
the reduction of market access tariffs. However, we disagree on the
low reduction of farm subsidies."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

MATERA

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