Search

 

Cablegate: Lula's Trip to Europe: Can Itamaraty Follow

VZCZCXRO8106
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1837/01 2691005
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261005Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6306
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0271
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5019
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0172
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0039
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0424
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0598
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7028
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0319
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0319
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 6439
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0065
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0291
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7166
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5165
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0865
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001837

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR WHA AND WHA/BSC FOR B.CHIANG AND D.SCHNIER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL ENRG BR
SUBJECT: LULA'S TRIP TO EUROPE: CAN ITAMARATY FOLLOW
THROUGH?

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission, reasons 1.4 B and D

1. (C) Summary. Brazilian President Luis Inacio "Lula" da
Silva,s mid-September tour of four Scandinavian countries
and Spain to promote foreign investment, expand the use of
biofuels in Europe, and press for the expansion of the United
Nations Security Council (UNSC), represents a continuation of
his efforts to enhance Brazil,s role as the key European
partner in Latin America and a global player in its own
right. The trip can also be seen as a preview of what will
motivate Lula,s diplomatic efforts on the European front
during the remainder of his term; an ambitious agenda that,
due to resource and staffing constraints, may overtax the
Ministry of External Relations, (MRE, or Itamaraty) ability
to follow through effectively. End Summary.

Selling Brazil to New Markets
-----------------------------

2. (C) During a wide-ranging discussion with PolCouns and
Poloff, MRE Western Europe Division Chief Counselor Ricardo
Guerra de Araujo said that Lula,s discussions in all Sweden,
Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Spain focused heavily on
expanding trade, particularly Brazilian exports of ethanol,
increasing foreign investments as part of the Growth
Acceleration Program (PAC), and selling Brazil as a model of
steady growth, stability, and reliability in a region
experiencing political turmoil.

3. (C) The Scandinavian part of the visit, which represented
a first for a Brazilian president and, in part, reciprocated
similar visits to Brazil by Scandinavian leaders, such as
Norway,s King Harald V and Queen Sonja in 2003, mainly
focused on increasing investments in Brazil and access to
markets for Brazilian ethanol. Although trade with
Scandinavian countries is not significant, Araujo said, it is
growing. Trade with Sweden in particular has grown more than
40% since 2000 and more than 180 Swedish companies have a
presence in Brazil. In the area of biofuels, Sweden imports
more than 80% of its ethanol needs from Brazil and boasts a
growing flex-fuel fleet of more than 40,000 vehicles. In
what may have been the most significant, if largely symbolic,
moment of his Scandinavian tour, the Swedish government
eliminated its tariffs on ethanol, although that still leaves
Brazilian ethanol subject to a 55% EU tariff. During the
visit Lula signed accords with Scandinavian countries to work
together on climate change, cooperate on biofuel research and
assist developing countries develop biofuel technology.

Consolidating a Strategic Partnership
-------------------------------------

4. (U) President Lula also completed his second official
visit to Spain, Brazil,s second largest foreign investor
after the US. Lula and top Brazilian officials made a full
court press for economic leaders from Banco Santander,
Telefonica, BBVA, and others to sell the PAC to Spain,s
business elite and increase Spanish investments in
infrastructure projects. According to press reports, some of
these projects include an estimated US$9 billion high-speed
rail line from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and an estimated
US$4.7 billion 25 year concession to double the capacity and
maintain about 2,600 km of roads in five states in the south
and southeast of Brazil.

5. (U) Beyond the economic arena, the visit to Spain also
served to build support for an enhanced role for Brazil in
international institutions, a fact underscored by Spanish
Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,s public statements in
support of reforming and "democratizing" the UN Security
Council. Both Lula and Zapatero repeatedly asserted that the
relationship between Spain and Brazil had expanded beyond

BRASILIA 00001837 002 OF 003


economic links and that both countries were now full
strategic partners that shared a wide array of common
interests.

6. (SBU) In fact, Araujo noted, the growth in ties with Spain
has seeped into the cultural arena as well; Spain has opened,
or is in the process of opening, nine Cervantes Institutes
throughout Brazil, which is the most Spain has in any
country. The institute is charged with promoting Spanish
culture and building cultural ties with the host country.
The institutes play a key role in instructing Brazilian
teachers of Spanish, which is now one of two languages (the
other being English) besides Portuguese taught in middle
schools.

But not Forgetting Old Partners
-------------------------------

7. (C) According to Araujo, in addition to Spain, Brazil has
strategic relationships with Portugal, Spain, France, and, as
Brazil,s largest trade partner in Europe, Germany. The
European Commission is is also seen as a strategic partner in
Europe. Portugal, with strong historical, economic, and
cultural links is a strategic partner, although Portugal,s
turn in the EU presidency has put high-level interactions,
such as the annual meeting between the Brazilian president
and Portuguese PM, on hold. The two will not meet until next
year. Araujo indicated that recent moves in Portugal to more
strictly monitor entry of illegal immigrants has caused
friction in the bilateral relationship, as Portuguese
authorities have been sending back Brazilians, who do not
require a visa to travel to Portugal, when they arrive at
Portuguese airports.

8. (C) Araujo singled out France as an important partner
because of its support for the G4 proposal on UNSC reform and
partnership with Brazil on development projects in Africa.
Araujo was clearly intrigued by President Sarkozy,s proposal
to bring Brazil into the G8, although he understands that the
G8 as a whole will need to consider France,s proposal.
Araujo sees joint development projects with European
countries in Lusophone Africa as a key part of Lula,s
European agenda, although Araujo did not think plans for most
of these projects were concrete at this stage. According to
Araujo, Lula intends to continue his outreach to European
countries with trips to Italy and the Netherlands next year.

From outreach to overreach?
---------------------------

9. (C) A potential stumbling block in developing and
expanding strategic links with Europe may be the lack of
personnel at Itamaraty to follow through on Lula,s active
travel schedule and set of initiatives. Araujo was frank in
discussing staffing problems that complicated implementation
of agreements reached during the latest trip. His office,
which handles bilateral relations with all of Western Europe
and the EU, is staffed by two people and two part time
interns completing their initial three-year training at the
Rio Branco Institute (the equivalent of the Foreign Service
Institute).

Comment:
--------

10. (C) It appears that Lula intends to dedicate a
significant portion of his second term to intensifying his
efforts to attract new investments, enhance Brazil,s role in
international institutions, and exploit global concerns over
climate change to tirelessly preach the ethanol gospel to the
international community. Whereas in the past Brazil may have
lacked a sufficiently compelling set of reasons to convince

BRASILIA 00001837 003 OF 003


European leaders that it could punch in a weight class
commensurate with its size, Brazil can now back up its claims
by pointing at its sustained period of growth, democratic
stability, positive influence through MINUSTAH and other
efforts in a region experiencing political turmoil, and its
role as an exporter of technologies that provide solutions to
global problems. The challenge to Lula will continue to be
whether Brazil can overcome its own staffing shortages which
could significantly limit, in practice, the implementation of
Lula,s agenda. Staffing levels in the Europe division
probably reflect a failure to reconcile old staffing levels
focused on more limited diplomatic activity aimed at niche
regions than with Lula,s global international agenda. This
situation will only be exacerbated by a cut in Itamaraty
personnel costs of about US$100 million planned for 2008 that
was reported in the press this week. End Comment.

Sobel

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>