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Cablegate: Pdas Kelly Calls in Bolivian Ambassador Guzman

VZCZCXRO5968
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHC #6011/01 3181455
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O R 141437Z NOV 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ IMMEDIATE 9397
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3440
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6224
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 2637
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 6808
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 9934
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 0984
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 7532

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 156011

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2017
TAGS: BO EUN KDEM PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: PDAS KELLY CALLS IN BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR GUZMAN

REF: LA PAZ 2974

Classified By: PDAS Craig Kelly, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

SUMMARY
-------

1. (C) PDAS Craig Kelly called in Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo
Guzman November 9 to express USG dissatisfaction about the
Bolivian Government's (GOB) repeated verbal attacks against
the USG. PDAS Kelly warned Guzman that GOB actions could
negatively impact Bolivia's requests for trade preferences
and development assistance. Note: Department hopes EU
members resident in La Paz will support our appeal for calmer
rhetoric; details to follow via septel. End Summary.

HELP US HELP YOU: END THE ATTACKS
----------------------------------

2. (C) PDAS Kelly told Ambassador Guzman (who was accompanied
by Bolivian DCM Raul Barrios, First Secretary Davalos, and
First Secretary Ayllon) that the USG wanted an open and
positive relationship with Bolivia and was committed to
helping Bolivia address poverty and counternarcotics
challenges; however, the tone and frequency of the GOB,s
political rhetoric and attacks against the USG caused us
serious concern. Kelly said the baseless attacks against
USAID and allegations of a USG conspiracy against the GOB
were counterproductive and made it difficult to sustain
positive will. Actions have consequences, Kelly admonished,
and the GOB,s actions threatened MCC, ATPA, and future AID
programs. Kelly specifically noted MCC President
Danilovich,s and other high level officials, negative
reaction to the GOB,s attacks against the USG.

3. (C) Kelly also said that the personal attacks against
Ambassador Goldberg, who enjoys an excellent reputation
throughout the USG, must stop immediately. Recent
accusations that Ambassador Goldberg was working with
Colombian paramilitaries were not only groundless and
offensive but also made light of the USG's support for the
Government of Colombia's success in reining in illegal armed
groups and our overall policy against narcoterrorism.
Department hopes EU members resident in La Paz will support
our appeal for calmer rhetoric; details to follow via septel.


DON'T PICK ON EVO, HE'S JUST A COCALERO
---------------------------------------

4. (C) Ambassador Guzman assured PDAS Kelly that he would
convey USG concerns to President Morales via the MFA and
expressed his commitment to overcoming these challenges. He
attempted to explain away Morales, behavior, recalling
Bolivia's conflictive history, Morales, indigenous
background and cocalero base of support, and the Bolivian
President's belief that Bolivian elites and one former USG
ambassador in particular had worked actively to undermine
him. Guzman said that Morales, rhetoric played to his
cocalero constituency which viewed him as their champion
against imperialism. His campaign for social inclusion
represented an important democratic movement not only for
Bolivia, Guzman stressed, but for all of Latin America --
particularly the heretofore excluded indigenous population.
PDAS Kelly interjected that the USG shared Morales, vision
for eradicating poverty and social inclusion; however, it was
offensive and unacceptable to seek to portray the U.S., which
was an important ally of Bolivia's in this regard, as
imperialist.

5. (C) Guzman said his objective was to build trust and
confidence between the U.S. and Bolivia and agreed that
bilateral disagreements should be resolved privately through
diplomatic channels, not in the press. He lamented the lack
of coordination between Bolivia's MFA and office of the
Presidency, and said that FM Choquehuanca continued to
promote a one-on-one breakfast for Morales and Ambassador
Goldberg to help resolve outstanding differences and put the
bilateral relationship on a more solid footing.

GOB RADAR: TRADE, DRUGS, AND THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

STATE 00156011 002 OF 002


--------------------------------------------- -----------
6. (C) Guzman said that like Peru and Colombia, Bolivia
sought an open commercial relationship with the U.S.; to that
end, Minister of Economic Development Cecilia Sosa was
planning to visit Washington to lobby for an extension of
Bolivia's ATPA benefits and would request appropriate
appointments in the Department. Regarding pending removal
proceedings for Bolivian drug trafficker Arce Gomez, Guzman
reiterated his request that the Department support efforts to
prevent Arce Gomez from being deported to a third country
instead of Bolivia when he completed his jail sentence.
Kelly said this was a DHS matter and promised the Office of
Andean affairs would continue to facilitate the Bolivian
embassy's contacts with the appropriate USG officials. In
closing, Guzman offered his thoughts on Bolivia's troubled
Constituent Assembly, noting that its probable demise would
represent a major failure for the opposition as well as the
GOB. He predicted that if the Constituent Assembly did not
succeed, Morales would likely put the issues under
consideration directly to the people in a referendum.
RICE

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