Cablegate: Media Reaction; Armenian Genocide; Us-Latin American Ties;
DE RUEHBU #2035/01 2842038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 112038Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9469
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002035
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; ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; US-LATIN AMERICAN TIES;
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CUBA AND MYANMAR; 10/11/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's leading international stories include implications of a US
House committee vote to condemn the mass killings of Armenians in
Turkey in World War I as an act of genocide; prospects for the
US-Latin American relationship; and similarities between the
military regimes in Cuba and Myanmar.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "A Turning Point"
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarn," writes
(10/11) "While one should be cautious, the outcome of the dispute
between the White House and Capitol Hill (over the Armenian
genocide) foretells a serious loss of power for the Bush
administration. The issue worsens if one bears in mind that the
dispute will strain the alliance between the USG and Turkey in the
context of the failed war in Iraq.
"Rather than freeing (Turkey's) hands, what happened in Washington
could further complicate Turkey's goal to enter Europe, which is
already clouded by its unwillingness to acknowledge the Armenian
genocide during the Ottoman Empire.
"It will be a tough road without the concrete support of the US,
which would not tolerate more chaos in the (Persian) Gulf.
"However, the turning point has a profound ethical dimension. It
shows that the massacre of over one million and a half human beings
may no longer be overlooked or used as a political tool, which is
far from the inalienable right to justice."
- "A change for Latin America?"
Jorge Sosa, political editor of business-financial "El Cronista,"
comments (10/11) "Riordan Roett, head of Latin American Studies at
John Hopkins University, said: 'Unluckily for Latin America, all
Democratic candidates have switched to protectionist positions as
far as trade is concerned.' Consensus among analysts (and even in
the view of members of the Bush administration) is that no radical
change will take place in the US-Latin American relationship, whose
agenda is dominated by the Cuban issue, the problem of immigration
and the US-promoted bilateral free trade deals with several
"The problem of failed immigration reform... is a thorny issue in
the election campaign, to the point that Republicans have avoided
debating this point. Roett explains: 'This is an unpopular issue and
it is unclear what position Hillary will adopt on the new
legislation after elections.'
"The relationship with Brazil and the possibility of making progress
in developing a strategic alliance on bio-fuels is one of the
pillars of the US relationship with the region, while the Venezuela
of Hugo Chvez is a red alarm.
"In the view of analyst Michael Shifter, contrary to expectations,
'it will be hard to find a president with the commitment to the
region that Bush has had.'
"Nonetheless, the focus of US policy on Iraq and the Middle East has
certainly contributed to increasing the distance. For this reason,
and as a result of the American society's dissatisfaction with the
Iraq issue and Washington's need for new allies, expectations are
that 'there will be a much more multilateral approach to US foreign
policy, which could bring an indirect beneficial impact' on Latin
America. In fact, the Iraq problem and the conflict between Arabs
and Palestinians will remain priorities for the White House. For
instance, yesterday, Hillary made it clear that she does not see a
date for the withdrawal of troops from Baghdad.
"According to Jos Ral Perales, an analyst at the Woodrow Wilson
Center, 'there is an opportunity for a more constructive
"For many, Argentina is missing from the debate at least for now."
- "Myanmar is just like Cuba"
Daily-of-record "La Nacisn" (10/11) editorializes "... There is
practically no individual freedom in Burma and its government
actively thwarts every freedom. In Burma, just as in Cuba, any
meeting of a number of people is illegal as well as every expression
of opposition to the Government. It is impossible to freely access
phones or Internet and the imprisonment of dissident journalists,
artists or ordinary citizens is regular practice...
"On economic matters, just as in Cuba, Myanmar exercises arbitrary
control on prices, foreign trade, property, foreign investment and
markets in general, and this is why it is not surprising that,
according to Transparency International, Myanmar is the most corrupt
country in the world along with Somalia.
"Interestingly enough, just one week before the bloody repression of
opponents in Myanmar was made public, FM U. Nyan Win, from Myanmar,
and Cuban FM Felipe Prez Roque met in Havana... and Prez Roque
said that 'Myanmar is, just like Cuba, a free country that has to
confront an unfair and unequal world, in which it is hard for our
countries to access social and economic development.'
"... In fact, the thing that is difficult for the military regimes
of Cuba and Myanmar is to lose their privileges, open up to
democracy and stop chasing, imprisoning and killing opponents."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: