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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Zelaya's Return to Honduras; President

VZCZCXYZ0022
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1063/01 2661530
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231530Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4389
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001063

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: ZELAYA'S RETURN TO HONDURAS; PRESIDENT
CRISTINA KIRCHNER TO NEW YORK; 09/23/09; BUENOS AIRES

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Key international stories are focused on the implications of ousted
President Zelaya's return to Honduras; as well as President Cristina
Kirchner's first formal meeting with IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn
in the framework of her trip to the US.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "(Zelaya's return to Honduras) drew surprise at the UN, which
afterwards gave way to concern"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion's" Washington-based correspondent Silvia
Pisani writes (09/23), "In just 24 hours, the heads of State
attending the UN General Assembly initially reacted with surprise at
Manuel Zelaya's return to Honduras but, later on, they showed
concern over it, particularly those that are most directly affected
by it.

"... Behind the scenes, the Brazilian delegation's 'mounting
concern' was remarkable. Then, it transcended that the Lula
administration requested an urgent meeting of the UN Security
Council. However, the initiative was not supported by some Latin
American countries, particularly Mexico and Costa Rica. The latter
insisted on prioritizing President Oscar Arias' mediator role. On
the other hand, the countries aligned with Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez did not believe either that the UN Security Council should
intervene. Last night, Brazil asked for regional support to move on
with its initiative.

"Last night, they feared the de facto government of Roberto
Micheletti could decide to denounce the Vienna Treaty and suspend
the inviolability of the diplomatic territory by storming into the
Brazilian Embassy to arrest Zelaya...

"Formally speaking, the Barack Obama administration has called for
calm, dialogue and respect for the territory of the diplomatic
mission. Ian Kelly, the State Department spokesperson, emphasized
that it is 'a universally accepted principle in international
relations.'"

- "Pressures to find a way out"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarin," writes
(09/23), "Unsolved issues can re-emerge at any moment, and when they
do reappear they do not do it in a gentle way... What happens today
in Honduras abides by this rule.

"Manuel Zelaya's abrupt return to Tegucigalpa revived an unsolved
conflict... Actually, Brazil seems to seek to prevent this coup from
setting a precedent. In Honduras the de facto regime denounced Lula
Da Silva's interference. They do not realize that given its
importance, Brazil cannot allow a repetition of a disaster performed
by an arrogant Honduran minority. If this works in Honduras, it
could work in many other places when economic havoc weakens
democracies...

"... Nevertheless, Zelaya is in his country and this is a step
forward in a badly needed negotiation. Additionally, the prevailing
idea is that Washington was aware of the move given that the US
takes Lula seriously. Barack Obama has already had his battle with
Republican 'hawks,' who fiercely repudiated the agreements with
Moscow on the antimissile shield. Honduras is a 'small fly' compared
to such a controversy. Perhaps, precisely because of this, the time
has come for the White House to take seriously this conflict."

- "The weakest link"

Left-of-center "Pagina 12" carries an opinion piece by international
columnist Mario Wainfeld, who opines (09/23), "The official
explanation (President Manuel Zelaya suddenly arrived at the
Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa) sounds naove. However, even if one
believes it (everything indicates that there was a previous
agreement), President Lula da Silva's commitment with his Honduran
counterpart is remarkable... Lula da Silva's abilities as an
important national and regional leader are broadly recognized... He
has consolidated Brazil as a world and regional power.

"... The Honduran de facto regime does not seem a feasible regime in
the medium term. A small nation which is 'not doomed to success' is
not a good basis for survival in the event its government is
internationally isolated. As never before in the cruel history of
the 'backyard,' no state acknowledged the coup mongers. Nonetheless,
the end is far from being automatic in the short run, given the
radicalization of coup mongers, the presence of troops on the
streets, the curfew and the siege.

"Of course, 'one had to do something about it' in order to alter the
pro-coup inertia...

"Obviously enough, Lula da Silva believes the case is a crucial
one... Almost one century ago, Lenin explained that socialism could
emerge at the weakest link of the capitalistic system. Many Latin
American presidents notice today that Honduras could be the weakest
link in a chain that is worth keeping - the unusual coexistence of
popular democratic regimes that guarantee sustainability to the
neighborhood.

"... Some USG agencies, some members of the government and political
leaders are empathic with Micheletti, his methods and goals. One
could argue whether President Barack Obama, who does not agree with
them, is doing everything he can to defend the Honduran democratic
system. It is a thorny debate and it is clear that the US foreign
policy cannot give a 180-degree turn and that Obama is (in the best
case) the most advanced leader his country can have although he is
not a revolutionary. It is undeniable that the Obama
administration's reaction to the coup was quite different from what
the USG reaction to coups d'etat used to be in the past. Yesterday,
while Obama was lecturing on climate change, the State Department
made calls for peace without moving one single finger in favor of
coup mongers.

"Change is partial and slow, but some positive perspectives are
ahead. Of course, the luck of our nations depends on our own
actions, which explains and highlights Lula's decision. The time
when he made it, while the UN General Assembly was gathering, gives
it a special resonance..."

- "Cristina (Kirchner) toughly rebuffs IMF head on the eve of the
G20 Summit"

Santiago Chelala, on special assignment in New York for
business-financial "El Cronista," writes (09/23), "... Yesterday the
(Argentine) Government had its first formal meeting with IMF head
Dominique Strauss-Kahn... Expectation is focused on the search of
funding, which could imply a return to the IMF... or the issuance of
public securities, based on a previous negotiation with creditors
('holdouts' and the Paris Club)...

"In an exclusive panel with (IMF head) Strauss-Kahn, Larry Summers,
President Barack Obama's chief economic advisor, and former Mexican
President Ernesto Zedillo, Cristina reiterated the need to create an
institution aimed at creating working positions rather than devoted
to financial issues. She also complained that the IMF took Argentina
as its best student during the '90s. She said: 'Without following
those prescriptions, we grew at Chinese rates and we will also grow
this year.'

"Strauss-Khan turned down the Argentine initiative to crate a new
institution...

"The Argentine President also said that it is necessary to have
egalitarian global rules - 'While countries like ours were asked to
have tax and trade surplus, the US was spending more than what it
should. There should not be two different handbooks according to the
country.'

"... In the morning, the Argentine president received businessmen,
who criticized the lack of judicial security in the country and
warned over the country-risk..."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

MARTINEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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