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Cablegate: Garcia Linera "Cautiously Optimistic" After

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R 191737Z SEP 06
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0616
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6102
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3420
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7280
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4537
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1799
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1837
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1771
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4016
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4434
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9003
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002538

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COMMERCE FOR JANGLIN
TREASURY FOR SGOOCH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EINV ECON PREL PGOV BL
SUBJECT: GARCIA LINERA "CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC" AFTER
WASHINGTON VISIT


1. (SBU) Summary: Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera told a
leading La Paz businessman September 16 that he was
"cautiously optimistic" after his September 11-13 trip to
Washington, as some U.S. officials seemed to look favorably
on Bolivia's push for an extension of the Andean Trade
Promotion and Drug Eradication Act. Garcia Linera reportedly
pressed Iberkleid and other private sector representatives to
immediately schedule follow-up meetings but later accepted
recommendations to delay a trip until after U.S.
congressional elections. End summary.

2. (SBU) Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera told a leading
La Paz businessman September 16 that he was "cautiously
optimistic" after his September 11-13 trip to Washington.
According to Marcos Iberkleid, an influential voice in the
GOB's trade policy debates and Bolivia's largest private
employer, the vice president characterized his meetings with
U.S. executive and legislative branch officials as
"productive" and said he believed some might be willing to
support Bolivia's push for an extension of the Andean Trade
Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), set to expire
December 31. While the vice president reportedly understood
that securing an extension would be difficult, he believed he
successfully presented Bolivia's case to Department of State
and other officials.

3. (SBU) Iberkleid told Econoff September 18 that Garcia
Linera pressed private sector representatives to immediately
schedule follow-up meetings but later accepted Iberkleid's
recommendation that businessmen delay their trip until after
U.S. congressional elections, when congressmen might be
willing to turn their attention to trade issues. Iberkleid
said he planned to spend several weeks in Washington in
November to lobby key members of Congress.

4. (SBU) Comment: Garcia Linera may consider his trip a
success, but he stopped short of any serious commitment to
discussions of a long-term trade arrangement, preferring
instead to focus on a less than certain ATPDEA extension.
End comment.
URS

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