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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Honduras/Ousted President Zelaya

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0587 2721419
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291419Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9666
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0799
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 9270

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000587

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: HONDURAS/OUSTED PRESIDENT ZELAYA

"A Step Back"

Editorial in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9-29) states: "Brazil's
involvement in the Honduran crisis has gone beyond what could be
reasonably expected and Brazil's Foreign Ministry has probably
already lost any chance of mediating the impasse.....It needs to
take a step back and regain its distance from both
sides......President Lula negotiates with Cuba's dictatorship and
has intervened in its favor at the U.N. In New York, he has praised
Iran's President....and right after that, in Venezuela, he met
with.....[people] like Robert Mungabe and Muammar Gaddafi....Roberto
Micheletti's regime is in a much more subtle category of
illegitimate democracy......Brazil needs to recover its diplomatic
lucidity and its capability to mediate. Helping to solve the
impasse is the best contribution Brazil's foreign ministry has to
offer in the Honduras' case."

"The errors, or not that much"

Op-ed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9-29) by Janio de Freitas notes:
"In political terms, President Lula is under more pressure than the
Organization of American States (OAS). It is his international
prestige, the greatest jewel of his current vanities, that is at
stake.....[The interpretation for] Zelaya's situation at the
Brazilian embassy depends on who is evaluating it....Lula's
opponents, those with a more conventional and conservative view, are
insistent on the opinion that it is absurd for Zelaya to be
conducting politics inside the embassy......But if Zelaya is
Honduras' legitimate President and is in the embassy only as a
guest, as the Lula's government considers, then the absurdity would
be blocking his words and his right to use them to defend a
democratic cause...."

"Ask to leave, Zelaya"

Op-ed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9-29) by columnist Clovis Rossi
states: "It is OK to condemn the coup against Manuel Zelaya in
Honduras. It is also OK that the Brazilian embassy gave him
shelter...But it is too much to allow the guest to take over the
house...It is a cowardly and indecent action to call for protests
while sheltered inside the embassy knowing that those who answer the
call would be risking their lives...Zelaya is still the legitimate
president of Honduras...but it is ever clearer that there is not a
single character in the Honduran drama that any decent person would
like to invite to their children's birthday party."

"The bridge collapsed"

Op-ed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9-29) by columnist Eliane
Cantanhde notes: "Brazil has completely lost the ability to deliver
on one of its strong suits in the resolution in Honduras: leadership
and mediation. As it entangled itself passionately defending one of
the sides, the one of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, the Lula
administration started a duel with the coup-backed president,
Roberto Micheletti. ...And so we have the worst of scenarios:
Micheletti went radical on one side, and Zelaya went radical on the
other....U.S. policy has been and remains uncertain (to us). Chavez
likes to set fires, not to put them out...But Brazil made a huge
mistake in confronting Micheletti. Before, it hosted a president
who had been ousted during a military coup. Now, it hosts a bomb
ready to explode."

The embassy and the sidewalk

Op-ed in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9-29) by Carlos Heitor Cony
says: "To what extent did Brazil, on behalf of democracy, meddle in
the domestic problem of a sovereign country like Honduras? When the
U.S. invades sovereign countries such as Iraq, there are complaints
left and right, and justifiably so. Does the end justify the
means?...Brazil is not intending to invade any country; it limited
itself to granting asylum in its embassy to a domestic politician
ousted from the presidency in a coup. And that is fine. But
besides asylum, Brazil intends to restore Zelaya to power and that
may be perceived by Hondurans as an intrusion in the sovereignty of
that country."
WHITE

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