Cablegate: Usoas Ambassador Meets with Brazilian Authorities

DE RUEHBR #1036/01 2101135
R 281135Z JUL 08




E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2018


Classified By: Charge Lisa Kubiske, reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C) Summary. Brazil's coordinator for the Fifth Summit of
the Americas (SOA) told visiting USOAS Ambassador Hector
Morales that the Concept Paper provides ample scope for
cooperation and the proposed three pillars are very
pertinent. Brazil broadly shares U.S. objectives for the
SOA, although its focus will be on social issues. Brazil
would like to see a discussion of food security that includes
complementary emergency and structural measures such as
purchasing local food stuffs from household agriculture
(family farms), guaranteed by crop insurance, for application
in school feeding programs. On energy, Brazilian officials
want to share information at the Summit about work under our
biofuels MOU, and recommended the U.S. be subtle in our
promotion of biofuels at the Summit. They predicted that
biofuels will not be a contentious issue, although it should
not dominate the rest of the Summit energy agenda. Regarding
Cuba participating in the next Summit, Brazilian officials
were unaware of any effort to invite Cuba, and Brazil will
continue to support the 2001 Quebec Declaration, which would
rule out any invitation to Cuba to the Fifth SOA. End

2. (SBU) USOAS Ambassador Hector Morales, USG coordinator
for the April 2009 Summit of the Americas (SOA) in Trinidad
and Tobago (T&T), exchanged views on the SOA in meetings with
the private sector in Sao Paulo on July 7 and at the
Brazilian Ministry of External Relations (MRE) on July 8. In
Sao Paulo he held a roundtable discussion with prominent
international affairs experts and with the Sao Paulo
Federation of Industries (FIESP). On the government side he
met separately at the MRE with: 1) Minister Carlos Duarte,
Brazilian SOA coordinator and director of the International
Organizations Department; 2) Counselor Milton Rondo, general
coordinator of International Action Against Hunger; and 3)
Minister Andre Aranha Correa do Lago, director of the Energy


3. (C) Ambassador Morales asked Duarte whether he had heard
that some in the region might be considering the possibility
of inviting Cuba to the SOA (reftels), and asked what
Brazil's position would be. Duarte replied he was unaware of
any effort to invite Cuba to the SOA, and Brazil will
continue to support the 2001 Quebec Declaration, which would
rule out any invitation to Cuba to the Fifth SOA. Ambassador
Sergio Amaral - retired career diplomat and former Minister
of Development, Industry and Trade - told Ambassador Morales
that in order to make the Summit relevant it would be
necessary to bring a fresh new approach, including the
possible addition of Cuba into the process. At the same
meeting with Ambassador Amaral, Ambassador Rubens Barbosa
also raised this point. Amaral also recognized, however,
that given that the Summit will take place so soon after the
inauguration of the new administration that it is unlikely
that major changes on Cuba policy will be feasible in time
for the Summit.

Concept Paper

4. (SBU) Carlos Duarte, Brazil's SOA coordinator, told
Ambassador Morales that the Concept Paper and the draft
Declaration of Commitment that have been circulated are "very
pertinent," correspond to issues that are on the region's
agenda, and provide ample room for cooperation.


5. (SBU) Duarte agreed with Ambassador Morales that the
environment is a global issue and the SOA does not take place
in a vacuum, and Brazil does not want to introduce
contentious issues into the SOA that are already being
discussed globally. Georges Landau, consultant on energy and
international affairs, argued that Brazil's track record on
the environment has been bleak, failing to reach its own
domestic benchmarks and deforesting in 2007 a territory
equivalent in size to Haiti.

BRASILIA 00001036 002 OF 005

Human prosperity

6. (SBU) Duarte noted that human prosperity is very much on
Brazil's agenda, Brazil strongly supports this pillar, and
said the USG's "sensitivity on this would be welcome in the
region." Amaral highlighted that the Summit should take into
account the important role of emerging social movements in
the region coupled with the inability of traditional
political parties to absorb these movements in many
countries. Amaral said that the poorer segments of society
in Latin America have become empowered, and this necessarily
affects how foreign policy is conducted. Barbosa agreed,
noting that true democracy has arrived in full force in
Brazil and elsewhere, as manifested in the rise of indigenous
groups. Barbosa said that this has caused consternation
among the traditional ruling classes.

Food Security

7. (SBU) Milton Rondo, general coordinator for International
Action Against Hunger, told Ambassador Morales that Brazil is
pleased to see so many paragraphs on social issues in the
Concept Paper. Brazil favors a double track approach to food
security, he explained, in which emergency measures and
structural measures work together for greater effectiveness.
He pointed to the example of Haiti, where in addition to
emergency measures such as school feeding programs to provide
immediate relief, Brazil promotes structural remedies such as
supporting sustainable agricultural practices and
agro-biological fertilizers, buying food stocks from local
family farms, and seed banks to reproduce seeds locally.
Rondo said in Haiti, Brazil is considering creating a council
for discussion with local citizens that would have the
benefit of bringing many away from street protests and into
constructive dialogue.

8. (SBU) Rondo said World Bank President Robert Zoellick's
ten point program was very good, and Brazil is thinking of
similar "pillar programs." He said Brazil wants to work with
Haiti on that as well as on household agriculture, and in
that regard will buy local foodstuffs for the school feeding
program, an approach that Brazil would like to see reflected
in the SOA text. He added that Brazil does this at home as
well, donating locally purchased food to poor communities,
landless peasants, and others.

9. (SBU) With regard to other areas of the upcoming Madrid
meeting that Brazil would emphasize, Rondo identified
sustainability and emergency operations as top Brazilian
concerns. He said Brazil also supports crop insurance
programs, and pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights in article 25, item one, which, in his view, means
governments must provide assistance to their citizens during
poor harvests if it is not of the farmers' own doing.

10. (SBU) Rondo also discussed briefly the Brazilian
"Territories of Citizenship program," which builds local
interconnections through installation of bio-digesters,
cisterns, and other resources in public places available to,
for example, sustainable rice farmers. Farm machinery is
available through extension of micro-credits. He said Brazil
is trying this out in Haiti as well.

11. (SBU) He said President Lula believes in both food
security and energy security, and Lula told FAO
Director-General Jacques Diouf that the FAO should study the
impact of biofuels on food security. He said the main issue
for Madrid is coordination, not pledges.


12. (SBU) In the meeting with Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Director for Energy Issues, Andre Correa Do Lago, Ambassador
Morales stressed U.S. interest in maintaining solidarity with
Brazil at the summit on biofuels issues. Do Lago agreed and
suggested that given growing concern over the rising cost of
gas and oil, biofuels was likely to be a primary focus. Do
Lago concurred that the Summit might be an opportunity to
share information on the work that has been done under our
biofuels MOU but suggested that at the Summit, the third
countries that benefited from our joint assistance in
feasibility studies, should make presentations on their
experience. He stressed that given innate suspicions among

BRASILIA 00001036 003 OF 005

smaller countries when the U.S. and Brazil work together, we
should be subtle in our promotion of biofuels at the Summit.

13. (SBU) On the biofuels v. food debate, Duarte said, "it
will be hard to convince Brazilians that biofuels have
increased food prices" because this has not been Brazil's
experience. He predicted that biofuels will not necessarily
be a contentious issue in the region.

14. (SBU) Do Lago, and Daniel Lins, officer in charge of
UNISUL energy negotiations, noted that there is already some
entrenched opposition to biofuels in the hemisphere, citing
what they called the ideological opposition of Bolivia,s Evo
Morales to biofuels. (Note: commercial gas interests may
play into this ideology as well. End Note.) In the energy
working group negotiations in the evolving South American
association, UNISUL, Bolivia has taken a reservation to the
biofuels section and may be expected to resist efforts to
support a positive stance on biofuels, likely along with
Venezuela. Pointing to the success of Chavez's petro
diplomacy with programs like PetroCaribe, Lins warned that we
should not underestimate Venezuela,s influence on energy
topics in the region. On a brighter note, Lin mentioned that
due to Venezuela,s political inability to raise oil prices
domestically, Chavez is now expressing interest in energy
efficiency, a potential point of agreement between the U.S.
and Venezuela.

15. (SBU) Do Lago and Lins voiced Brazil,s concern that
discussions of energy efficiency not dominate the rest of the
Summit energy agenda. However, reflecting the varying
circumstances of nations in the hemisphere, the need for
access to energy in many countries should also be addressed.
Do Lago pointed out that bioelectricity production from
bagasse holds great potential in opening access to energy in
low income countries. Morales took note of the position but
expressed caution that any group beyond individual countries
would be in a position to address access to energy and that
access to energy depended further on regulatory and legal
frameworks that promoted private sector investment. He
promised to deliver the message to Washington and take the
issue under consideration. Do Lago suggested that we exchange
views bilaterally on the proposed declaration in advance of a
September meeting in Barbados.

Trade & Investment

16. (SBU) Trade and investment figured prominently in the
roundtable discussion with Sergio Amaral, Rubens Barbosa
(former Ambassador to the U.S.) and Georges Landau. Barbosa
was pleased that trade is not overtly on the Summit agenda,
although noted the synergies with human prosperity. Landau
was of the opinion that trade has to be dealt with in some
fashion, despite the fact that consensus on the issue is
difficult. Barbosa and Amaral both emphasized that the FTAA
is not the right approach to pursue. Ambassador Clifford
Sobel clarified that the United States is interested in
pursuing a different kind of trade agenda in the region
focused on trade facilitation, regional integration, and
infrastructure development. Ambassador Sobel said that the
Mission will work hard to put infrastructure and regional
integration on the agenda of the next Administration.
Barbosa agreed that this type of discussion could be
fruitful, but cautioned to focus on promises that could be
delivered. Ambassador Morales noted that it was a strategic
decision to deal with trade under the human prosperity pillar
and noted the intention to focus on integration,
competitiveness, and the role of improved health and
education to furthering human prosperity. Ambassador Morales
also noted that it was critical to the success of the Summit
to include private sector participation.


17. (SBU) While implementation has become something of an
issue, Duarte said, the tendency is to include it in
documents to give a sense that previous mandates are being
implemented and things do not occur in a vacuum. Brazil will
support a focus on implementation, and shares with some
others a concern about efficiency in implementation. He said
the continuation of the process is "to engage in a more
focused way" on the basis of the Concept Paper and see what
difficulties arise along the way.

18. (SBU) Duarte said he will miss the next Summit

BRASILIA 00001036 004 OF 005

Implementation Review Group (SIRG) meeting on July 24 and
views it as mainly an opportunity for participants to get
acquainted and receive the Declaration of Commitment, while
the "real negotiations begin in Barbados." Duarte and
Ambassador Morales agreed to begin discussions between the US
and Brazilians teams at the next SIRG (July 24).


19. (SBU) Duarte professed ignorance of any logistical
difficulties in Port of Spain but offered Brazil's help if
needed. He mentioned that on July 23 T&T PM Manning will
visit Brasilia and Brazil might raise logistics with him.

Role of Private Sector

20. (SBU) In the meeting with FIESP's President Paulo Skaf,
Ambassador Morales expressed the USG's intention to enhance
the role of the private sector in the Summit. Whereas in
previous summits the private sector held parallel meetings,
Morales expressed his hope that the agenda would include an
opportunity for joint meetings with the heads of state. Skaf
was receptive to this idea and said that FIESP could consider
organizing a pre-Summit preparatory meeting with private
sector leaders from key countries. Skaf designated Barbosa,
who participated in the meeting as head of FIESP's
international trade council, to continue to engage with the
USG as the private sector role materializes.

21. (SBU) With regards to topics, Morales said that this is
still in the planning stages, but eventual themes might look
at lessons learned and keys to successful investments. FIESP
offered their expertise on issues ranging from energy to the
environment. FIESP also committed to engage the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs on Summit preparation.

Shifting Regional Paradigm?

22. (SBU) Amaral encouraged the USG to understand that this
Summit will take place in the context of new regional
realities. He said that the U.S. is no longer as powerful as
it once was vis-a-vis South America. He argued that because
of this shifting paradigm, U.S.-Latin America relations are
more important now than in the past because there is room for
a new approach to emerge. He said that the U.S. no longer is
in the region to dictate or solve problems and therefore it
is a good moment to work together on issues of mutual
interest. He expressed optimism for the future of U.S.-Latin
America relations, noting his belief that only the U.S. can
push forward a progressive agenda for global affairs.

23. (SBU) Amaral was also of the opinion that the region's
diversity has of late gained strength. He said that because
of this it is no longer possible to consider a single unified
agenda for the Americas, as may have been the case in past
decades. He said that any new agenda must take into account
this diversity. Barbosa echoed this sentiment in
distinguishing the separate realities of Central America,
Mexico, and the Caribbean versus South America. Whereas the
former is still very dependent on the U.S., the latter is
increasingly looking elsewhere for economic opportunities and
political partnerships.

Summit Fatigue

24. (SBU) Barbosa, Amaral, and Landau were of the opinion
that Summit coordinators are facing an uphill battle when it
comes to making the 2009 Summit successful. In addition to
the unpleasant memories that still persist of the last Summit
in Mar del Plata, the international arena is suffering from
"summit fatigue." Amaral said that if this Summit follows in
the footsteps of its predecessors, it will not be successful.
He also said that the role of governments in pursuing closer
ties in the Americas is decreasing, largely due to the
ever-expanding and deepening relationship at the society
level. In this context, Amaral said that summits are
increasingly irrelevant. Ambassador Morales recognized the
fatigue, but highlighted that while there are many
sub-regional meetings, this is the only forum where the
leaders of the 34 democracies can convene for furthering the
inter-American agenda. The Brazilians agree, however, that

BRASILIA 00001036 005 OF 005

the Summit would be an excellent opportunity for the next
president to express his views towards the region, and they
would look forward to hearing his ideas.

25. (U) This cable was jointly written by Embassy Brasilia
and Consulate-General Sao Paulo and has been cleared with
Ambassador Hector Morales.

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