Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us-Argentine Ties; Bolivia-Iran; 09/28/07
DE RUEHBU #1949/01 2711900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281900Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9383
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001949
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US-ARGENTINE TIES; BOLIVIA-IRAN; 09/28/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key international stories today include the current status of the
US-Argentine bilateral relationship; and the risks and
contradictions involved by hard positions, which are held by both
Bolivian President Evo Morales and his opponents.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "The White House seeks ways to improve its ties (to Argentina)"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacisn," comments (09/28) "Nstor Kirchner's
comments on the US were downplayed by the Bush administration, whose
approach is 'temporary' - in the view of three sources from
different areas of the USG, the (Argentine) President will only be
in power two more months and everyone is looking ahead.
"One of the USG officials consulted said: 'Our purpose is not
getting into trouble with President Kirchner about the past.' 'We
will look ahead on bilateral ties in order to strengthen them.' 'The
current government is coming to an end and everyone is expecting
"Deputy Assistant Secretary Tom Shannon and his staff, just like
their counterparts at the National Security Council believe that
today, Senator Cristina Fernndez has 'high chances' of winning the
presidency. However, they will be cautious in their manners.
"A USG source said: 'We do not know whether the US-Argentine
relationship will change when Cristina takes power. They are
'selling' a more open image than that of Kirchner in terms of
foreign relations and particularly with the US. But we will see.'
"A second USG source was pragmatic: 'We are not foolish. We know how
they think and what they want. And we are interested in maintaining
a positive relationship with Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.' Hugo
Chvez is the goal to be reached among the four countries... 'Fox
and Kirchner focused on their domestic agendas for different
reasons, but now Argentina and Mexico are returning to regional
diplomacy. And we have to help Argentina to get out of its
dependence on Chvez.'
"What does the White House interpret when Kirchner complains that it
abandoned (Argentina) in recent years? One of the USG sources said:
'(The US interprets) that he wants the US to play a more active role
in favor of Argentina on Paris Club debt, the Falklands/Malvinas
issue and other topics.'
"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took (Kirchner's) remarks
with a mixture of surprise and irritation. A USG officer said: 'She
is a friend of Anne Krueger and in the worst point of the Argentine
crisis she was one of those who used to call Krueger to meddle in
favor of Argentina at the IMF. And now Kirchner says these
- "The (Argentine) President criticizes the US and there is again
malaise in Washington"
Ana Barsn, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarn,"
comments (09/28) "On the eve of the meeting between FM Jorge Taiana
and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Kirchner 'kicked
the board' by lashing out at the Bush administration, whom he
accused of not having 'accompanied Argentina during recent years.'
"... These kinds of statements cannot be anything but a slam on
(Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice's face. During a recent press
conference, Rice said 'When Argentina was in trouble some years ago,
the US interfered at the IMF to support Argentina to help it reach a
deal and not once but many times.'
"However, everything indicates that Kirchner believes that the Bush
administration is practically over and he is betting on a Democratic
successor, more specifically on Hillary Clinton...
"Why did Kirchner decide to be so aggressive just before (FM
Taiana's) meeting with Rice? A member of the Argentine delegation
said: 'The president was not tough with the US, but with
Republicans. Didn't you see that he was much applauded?'
"In fact, most attendees to the Clinton Global Initiative are
"... The truth is that in the event Cristina Kirchner wins the
presidency, she will have to co-exist with Bush for more than one
year, in which Argentina will attempt to settle its Paris Club
- "US-Argentine relationship remains a pendulum"
Jorge Sosa, on special assignment in New York for business-financial
"El Cronista," writes (09/28) "(Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice
will meet with her Argentine counterpart, FM Jorge Taiana. Just as a
warm-up, Kirchner himself surprisingly claimed that the US should
pay more attention to and be more understanding with Latin America,
and particularly with Argentina, highlighting that 'we have not felt
accompanied by the US during recent years...'
"... While the Argentine Government does not admit to it, it can be
said that the bilateral agenda should be rebuilt after the back and
forth moves it had, regardless of the topics where there is
consensus, such as security and anti-money laundering cooperation.
Washington (where just a few doubt that Cristina will win the
presidency) is particularly interested in preventing the
US-Argentine relationship from having new 'short-circuits.'
"... The Bush administration is focused on limiting the region's
approach to Iran, which is supported by Chvez alignment with the
country. In this regard, Kirchner's speech was positively seen...
For now, the Kirchnerism maintains its 'not-too-close
not-too-far-from-the-White-House' posture. That message meant that
the Government will not support an eventual military attack against
Iran, a hot issue these days, and which they think Condoleezza Rice
could raise in her meeting with Taiana today."
- "Risks and contradictions"
Hinde Pomeraniec, international columnist of leading "Clarn,"
comments (09/28) "These days, curious questionings have been heard
in Bolivia when the opposition accused President Evo Morales of
acting as a puppet of Venezuelan Hugo Chvez regarding his ties to
Iran. Those questionings are curious because the opposition itself
has for decades followed the US dictates on the fate of Bolivia...
"Rigid postures involve risks and contradictions. This is
demonstrated by Evo's affectionate greeting to an ultraconservative
political leader like Ahmadinejad, whom he called 'revolutionary
buddy' only because both are on the same side against a common enemy
- the US."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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