Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Policy On Cuba; Venezuela; Imf And
DE RUEHBU #2170/01 3091345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051345Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9646
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002170
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 POLICY ON CUBA; VENEZUELA; IMF AND
ARGENTINA; PAKISTAN 11/05/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international stories include the Bush administration's
policy on Cuba; Venezuelan President Chavez's concentration of
power; IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn's remarks about
Argentina; and implications of Pakistani leader Musharraf's
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Bush and Cuba"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" (11/03) carries an op-ed story by Carlos
Fuentes, writer, who opines "Americans call an outgoing president
that cannot be reelected a 'lame duck.' At this point in his failed
presidency, one could say that George W. Bush does not even have
'wings.' What he does have is blind arrogance, self-ignoring
ignorance and the mistaken idea that he owns universal kindness.
"When Bush came to power, he said: 'The US is the only surviving
example of human progress.' Hence, the unilateralist arrogance with
which the fatal Bush administration took over...
"What's happening is that the 'international community' is burying
Bush's unilateralist dream... However, some matters allow Bush to
believe that he can behave as though the world had not changed. One
of them is Cuba...
"... Two threats hang over the Cuban transition- the less important
threat is posed by a regime that is louder than enduring, that of
Hugo Chavez, who is claiming that Cuba and Venezuela are the very
"Evidently, the larger threat is posed by Bush's imperial defiance
on the eve of departure. Incredibly mistaken, Bush is using all the
tools to frustrate (or at least delay) Cuba's transition - he is
encouraging Miami exiles to replace the current regime on the
island, inciting Cuban armed forces to betray the regime,
reiterating the policy of sanctions on Cuba..., refusing to grant
the Cuban regime what he provides to other communist regimes, like
China and Vietnam (investment, dialogue, diplomacy, respect). Bush
lashes out at Cuba for being a concentration camp, thereby
forgetting that the worst prison on the island is the US base in
Guantanamo. He does nothing but offer Cuba a veiled threat - that it
could again be a US colony.
"... To Bush's arrogance, Latin America should respond with weapons
of reason, caution, diplomacy, negotiation and respect for the Cuban
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," writes
(11/05) "We should open our eyes wide. If we closely observe the
Chavist reform, (we see that) it will increase the social balance,
which is badly needed in a country with a lot of problems. But an
imbalance is triggered by this concentration of power that scares
even those within partisan ranks.
"Why so much concentration of power? Leaders and their programs
should be measured by their ability to change, that is to evolve.
"Whether Chavez acknowledges it or not, the total sum of power he
demands clearly implies a severe limitation on that ability to
change. Or, as some world leftist leaders have put it (some of them
admired by Chavez himself), there cannot be true socialism without
- "Now that Strauss-Kahn takes over, he says he wants to see
Ana Baron, leading "Clarin's" Washington-based correspondent, writes
(11/03) "During election campaigns, candidates can promise many
things. However, the moment of truth has arrived, and the brand new
IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn went right to the
point. In response to a question from 'Clarin,' Strauss-Kahn
explained that 'in order to negotiate its Paris Club debt,'
Argentina will need 'IMF approval.' And he added: 'What I expect now
is to see what the new Argentine government will say on economics,
and what kind of economic policy the new president will implement.'
"In other words, Strauss-Kahn wants to know Cristina Kirchner's
economic program before deciding whether the IMF can 'approve'
Argentina's renegotiation of its six-billion-dollar Paris Club
"This means that the new IMF head expects some change in
(Argentina's) economic policy; not only this.
"When 'Clarin' asked him whether Argentina will need an IMF
arrangement to start negotiating its Paris Club debt, or whether
there will be some flexibility on this, Strauss-Kahn confessed he
will not decide that.
"... (Strauss-Kahn) warned that 'without (an) IMF (arrangement),
there will not be any negotiation of the country's Paris Club debt,
and without the latter investors will not be able to access adequate
lines of credit, and without investment, the country's economic
growth will stall.'"
- "An obstacle"
Paula Lugones, leading "Clarin's" international columnist, writes
(11/05) "With his self-coup d'etat, Musharraf has turned into
something much worse than an uncomfortable ally for Washington.
"In addition to a serious diplomatic retreat..., the White House has
already felt the impact. Joseph Biden, head of the Senate's Foreign
Relations Committee and Democratic presidential pre-candidate, said
yesterday that the Bush administration does not have a concrete
policy on Pakistan and that it is paying the price of flattering
Musharraf at the expense of democracy in the country.
"Conditions worsened for the US yesterday - how can it continue
betting on a coup maker who imprisons opponents and defenders of
human rights? Of course, it is not the first time, but for someone
who brags about being a world anti-terrorist leader and a 'defender
of freedom,' it is a serious obstacle."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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