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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Argentine Presidential Candidate Cristina

VZCZCXYZ0014
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1536/01 2201358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081358Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8850
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001536

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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; ARGENTINE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CRISTINA
KIRCHNER ADDRESS TO THE COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAS;
ARGENTINE-VENEZUELAN TIES; 08/08/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Leading international stories today include the implications of
Argentine Presidential Candidate Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner's
address to the Council of the Americas; and the impact of current
Argentine-Venezuelan ties on Argentina's foreign policy.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "The difficult balance between Chavez and the idea of a better
relationship with the US"

Eduardo van der Kooy, political columnist of leading "Clarin,"
writes (08/08) "Cristina Kirchner has started to 'walk along the
difficult road' her husband Nestor Kirchner created during his years
of government - a constant political and economic relationship with
Venezuela (with occasional ups and downs) as well as a proper
relationship with Washington that has always been clouded at all
levels by Hugo Chavez's rapprochement.

"How can both factors be combined in Argentina's foreign policy? How
can they be balanced? The senator has begun to seek some response to
this real question. It is advisable to recall that neither of the
Kirchners has biases against Washington. The two of them dislike the
Bush administration. Kirchner decided to freeze his relationship
with the Republican leader following their incident at the 2005 Mar
del Plata SOA, and he will end his presidency in this way. However,
in the event Cristina wins the presidency, the first half of her
term will coincide with the last half of the Bush administration.

"... Cristina's address to the Council of the Americas focused on
the country's remarkable economic recovery of recent years...
Chavez's stay in Buenos Aires was short and discreet - he had the
clear purpose of not putting the official presidential candidate
into trouble. However, neither of those gestures is still enough to
dispel doubts.

"... Cristina is reported to have talked in front of Chavez... about
the need to make an effort to improve the relationship between
Washington and Caracas, which many times prevents the Argentine
Government from implementing initiatives with the US and the main
cities of Europe... The caudillo confessed there is no possibility
of negotiation with Bush, but that the horizon could be better in
the event Democrats take power... However, this would be too long
for Cristina. She and her husband believe that the sustainability of
the country's economic growth will be determined by an improvement
in the quality of foreign investment, much of which is hindered by
Washington's political opinion. Other investors are mistrustful
because the country has not recovered its international financial
reliability...

"Perhaps, Kirchner's advice to Chavez to smooth his impaired ties to
Mexico is intended to soften the caudillo's isolation in the region
and also to heal his ties to Washington."

- "Cristina Kirchner asks for more investment"

Paola Juarez, political columnist of daily-of-record "La Nacion,"
writes (08/08) "Cristina Kirchner sought to convey a message of
stability before a very valued audience - the representatives of
powerful US corporations. In the closing ceremony of the Council of
the Americas meeting, Cristina said 'Argentina is a very good
opportunity to do business.' She never raised the tone of her voice
and stressed that Argentina is today 'less vulnerable' than in the
'90s.

"... She again put forward that if she takes power, she will promote
a deal among the Government, businessmen and workers in order to
establish long-term policies.' She stated: 'We Argentines have
decided to establish a definitive primary fiscal and trade surplus
as well as an unusual indebtedness process.'"

- "Cristina's pendulum"

Business-financial "Ambito Financiero" (08/08) front-pages
"According to the Venezuelan leader, in less than 24 hours, Cristina
de Kirchner passed from the Chavez revolution to intimacy with the
imperial Dracula (the US). Or, according to the US version, she
passed from talking to the Caribbean dictator to the purest US
spirit, which was represented by the Council of the Americas... In
both places she felt comfortable, flattered... In both places, she
had to listen to charges - those from the Venezuelans against the
US, and others from the Americans against Hugo Chavez. From what was
heard, she does not mediate in the conflict... and, curiously
enough, she avoids defending a friend in front of an enemy and vice
versa. Her attitude is surprising based on the fact that the


presidential candidate's position is not between the two extremes
but on every single occasion she supports every one of them,
according to the moment, place and convenience...

"One should accept that Cristina and her husband's obvious pendulum
seem to please their visitors... They must enjoy it - Chavez does
not take notice of the lack of solidarity..."

- "Negative impact of (Argentina's) ties to Chavez"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" front-pages an opinion piece by
political analyst Joaquin Morales Sol, who opines (08/08) "Nestor
Kirchner's problem is that Hugo Chavez is negative rather than
positive for him. Does he not know it? Does he ignore that an
important number of Argentines and great part of the world have a
very critical opinion of the Venezuelan leader? If this is so, the
Argentine president is reported to have lost social sensitivity and
foreign opinion would be indifferent to him...

"According to the Argentine diplomatic tradition, the country seldom
distanced itself from any foreign government. Chavez is an example
of this...

"Nevertheless, the difference with Kirchner is that his relationship
with Chavez is the only international relationship the Argentine
president takes care of and cultivates. He has had tension and
disagreement with Brazil and Spain themselves... Instead, he is not
reported to have any vital point of disagreement with the Caracas
caudillo. According to Kirchner, Chavez has an asset that he cannot
afford to lose - money and energy.

"With those two things, Chavez has done good business with
Argentina...

"... Does Argentina depend on Chavez? In a certain way, it does.
Kirchner often says that his partnership with the Venezuelan is a
relationship of mutual interest, not an ideological one. The
conflict appears when interests are so profound and imperative that
they end up getting confused with ideas.

"The problem is not only with Argentina... Almost all Mercosur
countries have quickly forgotten that, in addition to the bloc's
tariff- and rate-related commitments, there is a Democratic Charter
in South America's alliance that should be honored by all its member
countries. Chavez does not honor it except for the democratic origin
of his power."

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

WAYNE

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