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Cablegate: South American Summit

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #3324/01 3421501
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081501Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1594
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6368
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3692
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7561
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4812
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2064
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2137
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4262
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4701
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9286
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 003324

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON BL
SUBJECT: SOUTH AMERICAN SUMMIT

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The Second Summit of the Community of South
American Nations (CSN) is scheduled to take place December
8-9 in Cochabamba. Reports differ on how many presidents
will attend, but on December 7, the GOB claimed that 11 South
American presidents have confirmed their attendance, although
we understand from embassies in La Paz that President
Kirchner of Argentina and Uribe of Columbia will not come.
On October 2, President Morales announced his proposal for
the summit, which advocates establishing "South American
citizenship;" creation of an energy commission for energy
integration and a South American development bank;
depenalization and industrialization of coca; and
establishment of a common voice to "defend against
globalization and liberalism." South America's presidents
will arrive in Cochabamba at a time of heightened social
tension, with over 1,000 people nationwide protesting
Morales' heavy-handedness in the Constituent Assembly.
Indigenous peoples and up to fifty leftist, social groups
will be hosting a parallel summit in Cochabamba called the
Social Summit for the People's Integration. Given the
current unrest, Morales is clearly concerned about how his
peers will view the summit, and is planning to mobilize over
4,000 police officers (with the armed forces on alert) to
assist with security. End Summary.

-------------------------------
Attendees at this Year's Summit
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) Reports differ on how many presidents will attend,
but on December 7, the GOB claimed that 11 South American
presidents have confirmed their attendance, although we
understand from embassies in La Paz that President Kirchner
of Argentina and Uribe of Columbia will not come. Mexico and
Panama will send delegations to attend as observers.
Several regional and international organizations such as
CARICOM, MERCOSUR, CAN, the UN, and the EU have also been
invited.

-----------------
Morales' Proposal
-----------------

3. (SBU) On October 2, President Morales announced his
proposal for the summit, which advocates establishing South
American citizenship; creation of an energy commission for
energy integration (including hydrocarbons nationalization)
and a South American development bank; depenalization and
industrialization of coca; and establishment of a common
South American voice to promote "fair commerce that will
overcome liberalism" and to defend against globalization and
a uni-polar world. The proposal also suggests that CSN
presidents work towards a "treaty which will make the CSN a
real South American block on a political, economic, social
and cultural level."

--------------------------------------------- -----
Turmoil Everywhere -- Three Strikes and Who,s Out?
--------------------------------------------- -----

4. (SBU) South America's presidents will arrive in
Cochabamba at a time of heightened social tension with over
1,000 people on hunger strikes nationwide protesting Morales'
heavy-handedness in the Constituent Assembly. Until late
December 5, Cochabamba was also suffering from two work
stoppages -- a transportation workers strike and a
small-businessmen strike. The two strikes crippled
circulation within the city, raising the fear that the summit
would be disrupted. Transportation workers agreed to suspend
the strike for the summit. Small business owners also called
off their strike, but there remain a few angry strikers who
have decided to stage a fake "crucifixion" in the main
square. In addition to the political turmoil, Cochabambinos
(residents of Cochabamba) have been forced to battle standing
water and thick mud, the result of recent heavy rains, to
re-beautify meeting venues.
---------------
Parallel Summit
---------------

5. (SBU) Indigenous peoples and up to fifty leftist social
groups will be hosting a parallel summit in Cochabamba called
the Social Summit for the People's Integration. Estimates
are that over 3,000 people will attend the alternative
summit. The themes of the Social Summit are very similar to
those proposed by President Morales. A key goal of the
parallel summit's organizers is the strengthening of popular
resistance to "neoliberalism" and free trade agreements
including the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The summit
will also serve as a platform to promote the Peoples Trade
Agreement between Bolivia, Cuba, and Venezuela. According to
press reports, both President Morales and Venezuelan
President Chavez plan to attend and speak at the alternative
summit.

-------
Comment
-------

6. (SBU) Given the current unrest, Morales is clearly
concerned about how his peers will view the upcoming summit,
and is planning to mobilize over 4,000 police officers (with
the armed forces on alert) to assist with security. Army
Commander and MAS ally General Freddy Bersatti has tried to
downplay the arrangements as normal security measures that
are taken when heads of state visit Bolivia. End Comment.
URS

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