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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Kirk's Visit; Racism Against Obama;

VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0556 2641742
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211742Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9623
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0760
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 9255

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000556

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP XM XR XF BR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - KIRK'S VISIT; RACISM AGAINST OBAMA;
MISSILE SHIELD; FX-2 BID; SAO PAULO

"Obama's empty message"

Editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (9-21) states: "U.S.
Trade Representative Ronald Kirk's first visit to Brazil was a
notable diplomatic failure. He was only able to reinforce Barack
Obama's image as a protectionist president, willing to use the
weight of his country to twist international rules and with no
interest in discussing the balanced conclusion of the Doha
Round...He tried, in his trip to Brasilia, to convince the GOB not
to use its right to retaliate in order to compensate for the damages
caused by subsidies given to U.S. cotton producers. But his actions
were limited to presenting a vague and uninteresting proposal of a
deal on trade and investment [Trade and Investment Framework
Agreement or TIFA] and he avoided talking about any longer term
trade issues...Ron Kirk's trip did not produce any relevant
outcome..."

"Racism against Obama"

Editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (9-19) states:
"....In the attacks against President Obama, it is undeniable that
racial prejudice adds to the ideological opposition of many
Americans to what they believe is a 'socialist project' to expand
the State's power in the area of private decisions regarding what is
literally a matter of life or death. Obama's election did not
transform the U.S. into a homogenous country. The economic
crisis.....prevailed over racism, but did not suppress it from
American life...."

"The end of a provocation"

Editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (9-20) notes:
"....President Barack Obama presented on Thursday his first concrete
initiative with global repercussions in U.S. foreign
relations....This time, facts spoke for themselves, launching a new
era for U.S. relations with Russia and Eastern Europe. Obama
removed......the plan to install a long range anti-missile shield in
Poland and Czech Republic....From the beginning, Moscow had reacted
to the project, launched in January 2007, as a threat and a
provocation...As one could foresee, Moscow's first answer [to
Obama's announcement] was a complete nyet....It may be a small step
for Eastern Europeans to believe that they will not have to pay for
the price of this American-Russian revival."

"Canned Mushroom"

Op-ed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9-20) by columnist Janio de
Freitas says: "....Lula's government and he himself do not explain
their insistence in buying a dozen billion reais worth of French
armaments and consultations.....[Brazil's Defense Minister] Nelson
Jobim's embarrassment was evidenced by the crudeness of his comment
about the Swedish proposal: "It is like buying a beer and getting
four guaranas [a common Brazilian soft drink].....Nonetheless, the
embarrassment isn't only on the Brazilian side. It has been widely
reported that the French government needs to sell the Rafale planes
due to the failures of the plane in international competitions and
the high cost of its development, which has left Dassault with
financial difficulties..."
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