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Cablegate: Spain: Enrique Iglesias On Iberoamerican Summit

VZCZCXRO8687
PP RUEHLA
DE RUEHMD #2708/01 2971650
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241650Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1140
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0454
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0289
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1022
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0558
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0980
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 2172
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0159

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 002708

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/23/2016
TAGS: PREL SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN: ENRIQUE IGLESIAS ON IBEROAMERICAN SUMMIT
AND TROUBLES IN IBEROAMERICA


Classified By: Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d).

1. (C/NF) SUMMARY. The Ambassador discussed the upcoming
Iberoamerican Summit in Montevideo with Iberoamerican
Secretary General Enrique Iglesias (protect) on October 17.

SIPDIS
Iglesias also spoke about the friction between Uruguay and
Argentina, what it would mean if Raul Castro represents Cuba
at the Summit, Venezuela's loss of support among its
neighbors, Brazilian President Lula, and Mexico's problems.
END SUMMARY.

-- The Iberoamerican Summit --

2. (C/NF) Over breakfast at the Ambassador's residence on
October 17, Iglesias told the Ambassador and DCM that his
first year as Iberoamerican Secretary General has been busy.
Now it is even busier as he and the Secretariat staff prepare
for the Summit in Montevideo on November 4-5. He lauded the
high level of attention that Spain lavishes on this forum,
noting that the King, President Zapatero, and new MFA
Secretary of State for Latin America Trinidad Jimenez will

SIPDIS
lead a big Spanish delegation to Montevideo. He also said
that Spain was giving the Secretariat good support, including
a staff of 25. Iglesias said that Spain wants this forum,
where it is a big player and everyone is together at the
table, to be successful. He said that the annual summit
might seem like overkill but is an important way to tie
together the many activities that go on throughout the year.
While Uruguay is working hard on the Summit preparations,
Iglesias said, it is going to be a complex event that will
test the host. Not only is Uruguay itself facing particularly
difficult relations with Argentina, but there are fires
burning all over Latin America.

-- Uruguay --

3. (C/NF) Speaking as an Uruguayan, Iglesias said that
Uruguay feels besieged by Argentina. He lamented that the
Entre Rios border crossing is closed again, and asked how
Mexicans would feel if the US closed the US-Mexico border.
Iglesias said that Argentine President Kirchner is being
overly aggressive and has become the most hated man in
Uruguay. With Brazilian President Lula no longer being
helpful in resolving the dispute and Kirchner the source of
the problem, a fairly leftist Uruguayan government is being
driven towards the US, with which it is keen to deepen trade
ties.

-- Cuba --

4. (C/NF) On Cuba, Iglesias said that he has heard that Raul
Castro might represent Cuba at the Montevideo Summit, but
hasn't confirmed his attendance. Iglesias said that it would
be an important sign if Raul were given external exposure at
an international forum like this. Nonetheless, Iglesias said
that he isn't sure that the Cubans are ready for Raul to be
seen as the head of state. While Iglesias hasn't met Raul, he
knows the other key players in the current triumvirate: Vice
President Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez
Roque. He judged that while Perez Roque just spews the party
line, Lage is trusted by Raul and "a guy that you can talk
to."

-- Venezuela --

5. (C/NF) Iglesias said that everyone in Latin America is
concerned by the behavior of Hugo Chavez, who is becoming
increasingly megalomaniacal. Iglesias said that over the
years he has spent a lot of time with Chavez, and has
recently seen more mistakes and incompetence. He noted that
Chavez's UNGA speech destroyed a lot of his support within
Latin America. Iglesias said that Chile finally decided to
abstain from the UNSC vote out of frustration with Chavez's
support of Bolivian outposts on the Chile-Bolivia border.

-- Brazil --

6. (C/NF) According to Iglesias, Chavez's financing of seven
or eight additional outposts on the Brazil-Bolivia border is
now encouraging Lula to turn his back on Chavez. Iglesias
seemed confident that Lula would win the second round of the
presidential election. He said that a recently re-elected
Lula might begin to actively seek to contain Chavez, might
well look for a stronger relation with Mexico, and might even

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reach out to the US on trade.

-- Mexico --

7. (C/NF) Iglesias worried about the situation in Mexico,
which has not been able to consolidate the democratic gains
that came with the election of Fox. He said that the
instability and lawlessness in Oaxaca are of real concern,
though the recent PRI victory in the gubernatorial race in
neighboring Tabasco is a positive sign. Iglesias said that
Lopez Obrador would have been a bad president but his
post-election behavior has been so horrible that he is
definitively finished in Mexican politics.
AGUIRRE

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