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Cablegate: Argentina: Demarche Delivered On Ofac Designations

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1281 2562152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 122152Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2025
INFO RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 1796
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1878
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001281

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTFN PTER PINR EFIN SNAR KCRM PREL VE AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: DEMARCHE DELIVERED ON OFAC DESIGNATIONS

REF: STATE 97316

1. (SBU) Per reftel, Poloff on September 12 delivered notice
of the impending OFAC Narcotics Kingpin Act designations of
three senior Venezuelan officials to Ricardo Roselli, the
Director General for International Narcotics Affairs at the
Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Points were also
provided to Claudio Rojo, head of the MFA's USA Desk.
Separately, Econoff delivered key points by phone to Jose
Ignacio Tobella, Deputy to the MFA's Special
Counter-Terrorism Representative Ambassador Orlando
Rebagliati.

2. (SBU) Roselli and Rojo expressed appreciation for the
advance notice and said they would inform their superiors.
Both expressed understanding of the U.S. decision and of the
point that it was a continuation of efforts against the FARC
and based on narcotics-trafficking linkages, not a step taken
to target any government. Roselli noted with interest that
the step was taken in the wake of Venezuelan President
Chavez's decision to expel the U.S. Ambassador, but accepted
that the U.S. measure under the Kingpin Act was taken
independently of that situation. Roselli, who conveys in
meetings a personal commitment against drug trafficking, read
with interest details regarding the Venezuelans' links to the
FARC but did not provide additional comment.

3. (SBU) Tobella, who is Post's primary contact for terrorism
finance designations, agreed to pass reftel information to
the appropriate GOA agencies and Central Bank. However, he
reiterated the standard GOA position with regards to freezing
assets of terrorists: the GOA does not have its own lists but
rather depends on UN designations. It has no procedure in
place to act in response to U.S. domestic designations. He
suggested nonetheless that since this was a narcotics
designation the MFA's International Narcotics Affairs might
be aware of other authorities through which to pursue any
assets held by the individuals in Argentina.

4. (U) Post will monitor and report any significant local
reaction to the OFAC designations and maintain contact with
the MFA on these designations.


WAYNE

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