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Cablegate: First Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; U.S. Support Of

VZCZCXYZ0018
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1969/01 2431939
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311939Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5736
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001969

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: FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE KATRINA; U.S. SUPPORT OF
ARGENTINA'S CLAIM AGAINST TWO VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDS; HURRICANE
ERNESTO; ARGENTINA'S DECISION NOT TO SEND TROOPS TO LEBANON;
08/30/06;


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's local dailies lead with the first anniversary of Hurricane
Katrina; Hurricane Ernesto; the US Government's amicus curiae filing
supporting Argentina's claim against two venture capital funds
seeking to opt out of the terms under the GOA's debt swap deal; and
Argentina's decision not to send troops to Lebanon (daily-of-record
"La Nacion's" editorial forcefully criticizes the GOA decision not
to send peacekeeping troops to Lebanon).

2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES

- "One year after Katrina (hurricane), Bush promises help in New
Orleans"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (08/30) "... (With respect to the USG's response to Hurricane
Katrina), US President George W. Bush acknowledged that authorities
'fell short of accomplishing their duties', and he promised 'we are
dealing with what did not work.'

"... Aware of the fact that legislative elections are getting closer
and that this first anniversary of the hurricane is not good for him
or the G.O.P. candidate, US President Bush's tone started to change
during a mass at Saint Louis de Jackson Square church, during which
he said 'a lot has been done, but there is still a lot to be
done.'"

- "Possible favorable ruling for Argentina in the case of embargoed
reserves"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
comments (08/30) "After the hearing in New York, the Argentine
Government expects the Federal Court of Appeals to decide that the
embargo of 105-million-dollar Argentine Central Bank reserves
(obtained by two venture capital funds last January) is not valid...
As a matter of fact, yesterday Argentina received the support of the
US Federal Reserve and the US Department of Justice.

"... What is in question is whether the 105 million dollars the
Argentine Government had deposited in the New York Reserve...
belonged to the Central Bank reserves or whether those funds were
transferred to the Argentine Treasury when the country's debt to the
IMF was paid back. In the first case, the reserves cannot be
embargoed... But, in the event the Government was in possession of
the funds when making the payment of its debt to the IMF, reserves
can be embargoed.

"... The US Federal Reserve argued that, according to its records,
the funds were deposited in the Central Bank account and, therefore,
they belonged to the Central Bank and not to the Argentine Treasury.
Thus, these reserves cannot be embargoed.

"For its part, Attorney Serrin Turner, from the US Department of
Justice, said that for the USG, the IMF is so important that its
loans have to be treated differently from other kinds of loans."

- "US on alert vis-`-vis the arrival of Hurricane Ernesto"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (08/30) "Last night, one year
after Hurricane Katrina, the US was getting ready to receive its
first 2006 weather challenge with tropical storm Ernesto...

"The Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, asked residents in the area of
the hurricane to take precautions because, according to the National
Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm could get stronger before reaching
shore.

"The authorities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, among other cities,
preventively ordered the opening of refuges, the closing of schools
and the immediate evacuation of those living in houses that are
still being repaired due to the damage caused by the last hurricane
season.

"... Bush took responsibility for the mistakes made during the slow
and incomplete reconstruction of the last twelve months and he added
that his administration is 'solving what was wrong,' although most
Americans fear that this effort could also take a long time.

"According to a Rasmussen Reports opinion survey, only 36 per cent
of Americans believe that emergency services are better prepared to
face these kinds of disasters than they were last year."

3. EDITORIALS


- "Lebanon will not have Argentine peacekeeping forces"

An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion" reads (08/30) "The
Nestor Kirchner administration's decision not to send troops to the
UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon is a clear step backward for
Argentina, which contradicts the decade-long active participation of
Argentine military in international peacekeeping forces.

"Argentina has always reacted positively to UN requests for members
of the Armed forces to join multinational troops stationed in areas
of conflict.

"... UN peacekeeping forces cannot be taken as an issue of
convenience or selfishness. The participation of a country is a
clear sign of its honest commitment...

"The Argentine decision is a mistake, and it is aggravated by the
country's affinity with regimes of the region that are at odds with
the defense of peace, such as the Chavez administration."

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

MATERA

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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